You’ve probably seen them everywhere online – chatbots.
Legal chatbots can be a critical part of your law firm’s sales & customer service strategy.
If you have been thinking about using chatbots on your law firm website, below is important information to know.
What’s a chatbot? You can usually see one at the bottom, right-hand corner of a website. It’s usually a dialogue box. It may have a friendly-sounding name and have a prompt that says something like, “Have questions? Start here.”
The chatbot screen text also may read, “Hi, welcome to Smith Law Firm. What’s your name?”
Websites, including big players such as Apple, use chatbots because they are a powerful and cost-effective way to communicate with customers and clients.
Chatbots have many benefits and they aren’t just beneficial for law firms. While chatbots may not offer any additional information beyond what is on the law firm website, it can answer common questions quickly and without involving a human.
Both desktop and mobile website visitors like the idea of quickly typing a question in a chatbox and getting an answer. It’s nice to get the information you need without grabbing your cell phone or paging through the site.
Data confirms this point. A report on chatbox usage in 2017 found that 70% of consumers like getting fast answers from chatbots. In fact, some even said they would seek out a chatbot instead of a person to save time.
Got that? If some of your clients or prospects are willing to use an automated customer service method to get information, you probably should give it to them! Who doesn’t want to save on staffing expenses these days?
Imagine being able to handle many visitor questions and concerns without a staff member having to pick up a phone. Added up over a year, you could easily save thousands of dollars on your admin budget.
And there is a bevy of other chatbot benefits for law firms:
Many lawyers say using chatbots on their law firm’s website speeds up the client intake process. We all know that getting a new client routed to the correct attorney can take time.
But your IT department can program a chatbot with a discussion tree to get vital information from the client.
This critical data can be used to quickly get the person to the right lawyer. This can be important because not every client knows the type of attorney they need. They won’t necessarily get to the right lawyer by paging through the site.
For example, after a car accident, the person may think they need an attorney focused only on personal injury law. But let’s say the accident involved a defective part, so product liability also could be in play.
The chatbot can elicit this type of information and identify the right attorney without involving one of your staff.
All information that the person enters into the chatbox will be forwarded to the attorney.
If your law firm SEO is too broad, you may have people calling your law firm for legal help you don’t offer. For example, maybe your firm specializes in personal injury law. But people continue calling you for help with employer discrimination.
If you get enough of these phone calls, it can become a drain on staff resources. But a chatbot can solve this problem.
The chatbox can be programmed to greet the site visitor. When the visitor asks what the law firm’s specialties are, it will tell them, for example, car accidents and wrongful death.
If the visitor asks about employer discrimination, the chatbox can tell them that sorry, the law firm doesn’t handle that.
The visitor is told upfront without staff involvement the type of cases the law firm handles. Your administrative staff has other things to do besides handling these types of interactions.
Initial consultations can be set up with the chatbot. That way, your firm doesn’t need to have the administrative staff or an attorney handle it. This is one of the most popular ways chatbots are used by law firms these days.
When a visitor asks the chatbot questions, this information can be analyzed so you understand your client base better.
For example, if your website is receiving frequent questions about adverse reactions to a cholesterol drug, this could be a ripe option for expansion.
Many law firms have highly informative content on their sites but it may not be getting enough visibility. This content can be promoted on chatbots. When you do that, your law firm can establish itself as a thought leader in the field.
Your website probably has dozens or hundreds of pages about legal matters in your niche. And that’s great for search rankings, and for the visitor who is happy to find information on their own. But some visitors may be intimidated by paging through this information. Luckily, a chatbot can help.
Your chatbot can be programmed with a lot of common legal questions and definitions. For example, if a car accident victim wants to know what the statute of limitations is for a wrongful death lawsuit in Oregon, the chatbot can tell them.
Or perhaps the visitor wants to know if there is a legal limit on pain and suffering damages in Illinois. The chatbot can be programmed with this information, making it easy for the visitor to get the information they need. And again, you didn’t have to have a staff member handle the call.
Chatbots are highly useful for handling common visitor and client questions. If your law firm isn’t using a chatbot today, you definitely should consider it.
You can contract with a skilled IT company to help you set up a chatbot affordably on your website. And any time the chatbot needs to be updated with new information, it’s easy to do.