Chatbots for Law Firms: Convert More Clients, Provide Better Customer Service

Technology has progressed mightily over the past decade, including impressive forward momentum in artificial intelligence communications. The popularity of Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa have changed the way people search for services and products. This is true for everything from purchasing laundry detergent to finding a Latin-focused restaurant nearby or locating the nearest physician – and, yes – finding an attorney.

In a world dominated by technology, people are searching for lawyers the same way they are searching for a movie theater: On their laptops, tablets, phones, and voice-activated devices.

Once a prospective client searches for a law firm, and locates yours, you want them to contact you, which isn’t the easiest feat – considering the search engine results will provide more than just your firm. Now would be an appropriate time to mention that being at the top of the page will help send the coveted traffic to your page. That’s a given. But how do you grab and keep them there once they arrive? Chatbots can help facilitate a conversion by answering questions, collecting contact information, vetting their legal needs, and walking the client directly to human contact: You.

Where’s the Value in Talking to Chatbots?

Chatbots are a computer program that allows a prospective client to hold a conversation with a program that can answer questions quickly and effectively. Simple questions like, “Does your firm work on a contingency basis?” can be answered online, without you or your office staff taking a phone call to provide the same answer.

When you are saving time in the office, you can focus on the clients you have in-house and allow your website or app to work for you by employing a chatbot.

Chatbots engage prospects in real-time, keeping their attention, expanding the conversation, and delivering value including:

  • Decreasing response times, answering questions in seconds
  • Vetting their needs, and actual claim parameters to confirm their case is one your firm can/will handle
  • Scheduling contact through a phone call, text, or email between the prospect and the firm’s attorney

How Many People Are Actually Participating in Chatbot Conversations?

An effective way to think about chatbots is to consider them as automated messaging services, which is exactly what they are. Their existence and effectiveness are driving client communication into an area where most online adults are already comfortable.

Research suggests:

  • By 2020, more than 85% of customer interactions will be handled without a human
  • 60% of adults in the United States are already using online messaging, video, or voice chat services
  • For the first time, more people are using messenger apps than social networks
  • 72% of people are using seven or fewer apps each day, leaning more towards messenger apps to communicate
  • 90% of the most frequent questions asked by attorney website visitors can be answered by a chatbot
  • Chatbots remove the stigma of speaking with a human about uncomfortable circumstances, especially when talking about legal issues

As people move away from apps, and into online messaging, chatbots provide a comfortable transition for question and answers from service providers, including attorneys. When the chatbot is unable to answer the other 10% of inquiries, prospective clients can contact you directly, or schedule a contact preference. By the time you speak with the individual, you already know their needs, and can take the conversation from inquiry to a solution.

Popular Chatbot Services for Law Firms

Choosing the best chatbot for your law firm begins with choosing a service that helps, not hinders. Chatbots are converting more clients with each visit by simply providing immediate answers. Visitors have reached your website or landing page to fulfill a need, and the quicker they receive the answers they need, the quicker they can be converted to actual clients. Your target audience will help you determine which chatbot service is right for you. Here are a few options to get started.

Messenger via Facebook

The power of Facebook goes much further than birthday reminders and pictures of your friends and relatives. In fact, 79% of adults who are online in the United States are on Facebook. This makes a Facebook Messenger Chatbot a winner in communication lead generation.

Messenger chatbots allow law firms to make these conversations part of their marketing strategy, allowing attorneys to retarget users and drive conversion rates.

With 1.3 billion users dedicated to Messenger, chatbot developers have heeded the call to create bots that work with the platform, and there are over 100,000 compatible options on the market.

One of the most popular chatbots for Messenger is Chatfuel.

Chatfuel

The simplicity of Chatfuel drives its popularity with law firms interested in building chatbots.

Chatfuel’s attributes include:

  • Intuitive, easy to use design features
  • Zero coding, simply copy and paste
  • Templates included in the service
  • Up and running on Facebook Messenger in as little as ten minutes

The real value of employing a chatbot in Messenger is that your firm will have direct access to Facebook users, their information, and demographic data. This will allow your law firm to target prospective clients through focused advertising opportunities on the site.

Botsify

Botsify is a customer service chatbot platform that can be added directly to your website. This application is perfect for capturing visitors who have gone from search engine results to your legal website and allows them to access customer support in a single click and ask format.

Botsify provides:

  • Easy website integrations using Plugins
  • Drag and drop templates
  • Intuitive intelligence, allowing owners to add phrases and sentences to the program, essentially teaching the bot how to answer questions more accurately
  • Analytics integration
  • Alerts for human interaction takeover

Chatting with prospective clients directly from your site allows immediate access that delivers a quality connection, without asking the user to switch platforms.

Intercom

Of the chatbots mentioned here, Intercom is more involved and provides an intricate process for the user and owner alike. Instead of answering questions directly, the bot will engage prospective clients be rerouting them to articles or Q&As that provide the answers they are looking for or will reroute them to a human who can answer their questions directly.

Intercom:

  • Engages clients quickly to find answers to their questions
  • Collects contact information
  • Qualifies leads
  • Measures the user’s satisfaction of answers provided
  • Tracks conversations the user closes, so you can review the contact

Join the Movement: Chatbots Are Converting Law Firm Website Visitors into Clients

Lawyers know their client-base as well as they know the law, and when it comes to providing the services they need, including enhancing their journey from online visitor to contact, chatbots are a beneficial addition to any team. The key to its success is using the technology smartly. You do not want the chatbot to attack your website visitors, or to cover your logo or contact information when it is in use. It should be easily accessible, and able to provide sufficient answers that lead to an actual conversation regarding the retention of your services. With more and more people shying away from making actual phone calls, that conversation can be as simple as asking how the prospective client would like to be contacted – which is something a chatbot can do. The easier you make the process, the easier it will be to land the client.