Death, divorce, debt.
More often than not, we do not seek out a lawyer when things are going well. When clients require legal services or representation, they are potentially immersed in some of the most stress-laden tribulations of their lives.
Irrespective of whether it’s a personal or business-related matter, it is imperative that clients perceive their chosen law firm as being easily accessible and that their questions are answered swiftly and fully. Recognising the urgency inherent in these circumstances, rapid response and the creation of impactful initial impressions are critical.
Against this backdrop, a compelling imperative arises for law firms to introspect and strategically integrate live chat functionalities onto their websites. This becomes especially crucial as firms begin to navigate the myriad challenges and seize the opportunities that the year 2024 holds, as the prevalence of AI and automation continues to rise.
The findings from the ‘What Clients Want’ (WCW) research by the Law Firm Marketing Club, shed light on the delicate and evolving dynamics of client expectations with regards to communication preferences and first impressions, with 58 pages of insights and commentary. Within its pages, the experiences of 668 law firm clients across the UK across personal and corporate services, client demographics and locations are outlined.
The WCW research applauds the strides made by law firms in enhancing first impressions across various channels, with a notable improvement compared to the previous year. However, the sobering reality is that only 53% of law firms collectively succeed in leaving a brilliant or good first impression on their clients. This statistic underscores the urgent need for improvement – only slightly more than half of clients feel like they had a good first impression. It’s not a great percentage, is it?
Digital channels take centre stage in the research, portraying them as the “underdog” in terms of first impressions. This raises concerns, especially as an increasing number of clients lean towards initiating their first contact with a law firm online, whether through websites, social media, live chat, or email and expect a prompt reply.
Live chat emerges as a pivotal factor when viewed through the lens of different age groups. 76% of individuals under 30 consider live chat vital or preferable, in stark contrast to 42% of those over 60. This age-related discrepancy underscores the importance of understanding and catering to diverse expectations within the client demographic.
The research spotlights the gap between individual and business clients in terms of satisfaction with initial contact through digital channels. This prompts questions about differing expectations and the need for law firms to better manage and align these expectations.
The generational divide is a recurring theme, with notable variations in how different age groups perceive and engage with digital channels. The report encourages law firms to develop strategies tailored to each generation, emphasising the need for adaptability in service offerings.
To purchase the full WCW report, read the shortened summary, or to enquire about the research, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sophia Stancer is the Community Manager of the Law Firm Marketing Club