What is the most important component of your business? Many business owners will respond with products, employees, or business operations. And while all of these are indeed very important, none of them matter without the most important player of all–your client.
You can be the best lawyer, provide flawless customer service, and have the most capable and highly-trained staff in the industry, but without the client, your business is a flop. For attorneys, this is especially true. No client, no case. No case, no income, no law firm.
But despite this, many law firms and other small businesses tend to run their marketing campaigns based on what they think will work or what has worked in the past. Instead, you should be building your marketing strategy around the existing trends and behaviors within your client base.
But how do you build a client-centric marketing strategy for lawyers, specifically? In this article, we will cover the basics of client-centric marketing as well as tips for implementation within a law firm. Read on to discover how centering the client in your marketing campaigns can strengthen your ROI and grow your law firm!
What Is a Client-Centric Marketing Strategy?
A client-centric marketing strategy is very much what it sounds like–an approach to marketing that spotlights the client rather than the firm. While this may sound rudimentary, consider your past campaigns and the marketing tactics of your competition.
Whose face is on the billboard? What ratings and numbers are you promoting? What stories are you telling? And who is at the center of those stories?
While it’s certainly important to establish trust and name recognition, focusing on what your clients want and need will get you much further than self-promotion.
Client-centric marketing focuses on understanding your audience. When you know exactly what they’re looking for, you can serve up personalized services and messaging that resonate and result in higher conversion rates.
The Benefits of Client-Centric Marketing Strategy for Lawyers
Higher Conversion Rates
One of the most immediate and tangible benefits of a client-centric approach to marketing is higher conversion rates. For attorneys, this means more qualified leads on potential cases.
When you put your customers first, it builds trust and loyalty. Approach them as people first and potential clients second to set yourself apart. Personalization in messaging is very helpful in this arena.
Multiple studies by Epsilon show that 90% of consumers prefer personalization in their marketing. And of those people, 80% are more likely to fill out a contact form and follow through.
Another benefit of switching to a client-centric approach is that it encourages feedback and open communication with your clients. This can help you tailor your services, approach, and marketing strategies to your core audience.
If you’re a criminal defense attorney, you may hope to never see your clients needing your services again. But most attorneys have several areas of practice and, in the realms of family law, estate law, corporate law, etc., it benefits you to build relationships with your clients and turn them into repeat or life-long clients.
According to this study, loyal customers (customers who have had a good experience before and who are returning again) spend 67% more than normal customers. While this may not apply to hourly legal services exactly the same way it does to retail products, it definitely reveals the strength and appeal that loyalty holds over us as consumers.
And loyal customers are 65% more likely to convert again. Compare that to the average 13% conversion rate of new prospects! Focusing on the client means building trust in your brand which leads to good relationships and repeat business.
Another major benefit of a client-centric marketing strategy for lawyers is an increase in referral business. Lawyers have always relied heavily on word of mouth and client reviews for business. Until it became legal to advertise your law firm in 1977, your reputation in the community was all you had.
Now, with the birth of the internet and review sites like Yelp and Google, there are visual representations of your reputation available with a few clicks. It shouldn’t shock you that the difference in traffic between a 3-star law firm and a 5-star law firm is mind-blowing.
Happy clients leave good reviews and tell their family and friends who to trust with their legal issues. Switching to a client-centric marketing strategy encourages high-quality client interactions and promotes community goodwill.
Tips for Creating a Dynamic Client-Centric Marketing Plan
Now you’re sold on the client-centric model. But how do you implement it successfully in your law firm? Follow these tips to craft a successful client-centric marketing strategy for lawyers.
Get Your Company and Leadership Involved
Just like any initiative, if you want to succeed with client-centered marketing it is vital that leadership within your firm approves and is actively involved.
When the senior partners center and prioritize their clients in every interaction and channel, it sets a precedent for the rest of the firm. You have to shift your company culture to become truly client-centric, and you can’t do that without your leadership team.
A great way to keep senior partners involved and updated is to schedule regular check-ins, during which you can discuss upcoming campaigns, conduct continued education on client-centric best practices, update them on the results of your efforts, and brainstorm new tactics and ideas for centering the client in your firm.
Learn Everything You Can About Your Clients
To become client-centric, you have to understand what the client wants and needs. To accomplish this you need to compile and analyze as much data as possible. Aside from the common analytics that you have access to (Google Analytics, Facebook and Instagram Insights, etc.) here are some great ways to learn more about your clients:
Conduct surveys asking your clients about their experience with your firm. Have them rate your customer service, your timeliness, and their overall satisfaction. You can also ask for freeform feedback by asking questions like, “What would you change about the service you received if you could?”
When you’re wrapping up after a case, ask your clients if they would mind conducting a short exit interview. Ask them what worked and what didn’t. Remember, this is not the place to argue or become defensive.
No matter what the feedback is, you should listen and accept it. Often people who’ve had a negative experience just need to feel heard, so this practice could also help cut back on negative reviews and festering resentment.
3. Set Up Alerts
Set up Google Alerts and monitor specific hashtags on social media to stay up to date on what your audience is saying about you and your industry.
Gathering this data can also reveal certain content trends and preferences between platforms. For instance, maybe YouTube is a great place for “FAQ” pieces, while your Facebook audience prefers behind-the-scenes interviews with the lawyers. Cater to these preferences to up engagement.
4. Gather Data on Emails and Calls
At every touchpoint where your firm interacts with a client, you should have an understanding of the messaging that’s going out. Read through customer emails and monitor screening calls to get an idea of the client experience.
Watch for recurring themes and try to assess the information you gather without bias. Are multiple people complaining about how long it takes to get back to them? Consider streamlining your intake process or hiring more staff.
Do people praise a certain staff member or attorney more often than others? Find out what they’re doing right and make that a part of your firm’s processes.
Add Value to Every Client Interaction
From discovery to conversion, every client is in a different phase of the customer journey. It’s important that you appeal to your clients at every stage of their relationship with the firm.
Lawyers have certain rules and regulations within marketing that retail businesses don’t have to deal with. You can’t offer seasonal sales on your services to bring customers in. However, you can provide engagement and spark joy with each interaction.
Response times are deeply important when people are considering legal services. Respond as quickly as possible to build trust. Consider a chatbox on your site, for example. People who are ready to convert can ask questions and schedule an appointment with an attorney immediately instead of waiting a few days for a callback.
This kind of consideration is deeply appealing to people who are dealing with legal trouble. It soothes anxiety and helps them take a step forward in a difficult process. Work with your team to find ways to offer this kind of comfort and convenience at every stage of your client journey.
Start Centering the Client In Your Business
If you’re interested in building a client-centric marketing strategy for your law firm, contact Surefire Local today! We specialize in making client-centric marketing strategies for lawyers easier and more streamlined with an all-in-one marketing platform.
The Surefire Local Marketing Platform gathers all the data and tools you need into one convenient platform! Monitor your online reputation, create and post content, and pull reports on consumer behavior with just a few clicks. Schedule a demo to learn more!