Law Firms and Client Engagement

14/12/2021
Written by: Ieuan Leigh 

Client Engagement begins at a potential clients' first representation of the firm, and never ends.

We hear it all the time, don’t we? Client engagement is critical to ensuring your firm provides the highest levels of customer service. But often, the question of ‘what is client engagement’ can be avoided, or at least not answered clearly. This article explores what client engagement really means for law firms and clients alike, and how technology can be imperative in the success of your firm when approaching client engagement.

What is client engagement?

There are many examples and definitions of what client engagement is and looks like in firms. It’s right, client engagement will look different depending on the type of firm, the size of firm, the type of work, and the relationship between client and lawyer. But that’s not to say that there can't be concrete elements to a matter that are considered engagement throughout the entire industry. Below are five points that I believe are seen in all firms when it comes to client engagement:

  • Ensuring that your client is kept up to date with any updates, changes, or advancements in the matter or transaction on either end;
  • Make sure that you get a solid understanding of your client – whether private or commercial;
  • Utilising technology to improve client experiences and to make engagement easier, whilst finding the right balance with human interaction too;
  • Ensuring that your clients are aware of additional services that you can offer them;
  • Effective follow up when the matter or transaction has ended

To me, the third point above is crucial for success when it comes to client engagement. Therefore, the next part of this article reviews where technology can help at different points of a clients' matter.

Start of the matter

  • Digital Marketing and Marketing Campaigns

You have the ability to engage your clients with your firm when they are looking for the right firm for them by increasing budgets in your digital marketing. Inbound marketing is proving to be a very strong tool in all firms' toolbelts.

  • Chatbots

Chatbots provide a great opportunity to capture potential client details when they land on your website. This not only shows that your firm is utilising technology, but it can streamline the client prospecting without needing an initial discovery call.

  • Live Chat

Live chat can be great for clients who can’t get on a call – especially busier and bigger commercial clients. But, for smaller firms, the resources to have a live chat team are often unavailable. Often, chatbots are a more reasonable solution.

  • Solicitor Review Websites

Being included on solicitor review websites means that you can show the level of services that you have provided your previous clients. This is a great opportunity to win business and to showcase your expertise.

  • Digital Onboarding Solutions

Digital onboarding solutions can be the ultimate first impression that you provide your client. With clients expecting a more technological experience when seeking legal advice, a streamlined and easy onboarding process can make you stand out from other firms. If you’re interested in seeing how Validient can help, book a demo here.

During the matter

  • Client portals

Ensuring that you are keeping your clients engaged means that they need ongoing matter updates, the ability to have all of their things in one place rather than the traditional email ping pong, and to be able to access the services anytime, anywhere. 

  • Automated notifications of matter updates

By providing notifications to your clients of updates throughout the matters, it can reduce the calls that take up time out of your day where they are looking for updates. This isn't saying that there will be no client communication or that you shouldn't interact with clients, but automating as much as possible is beneficial for time efficiencies.

After the matter

  • Sign up to newsletters and alerts

Getting your clients to sign up for newsletters and alerts means that you can keep them engaged with your firm and gain podium position in their minds when they are seeking more legal advice.

  • Systems to improve up and cross-selling

As the old saying goes – it’s a lot easier to sell more to a buyer than to a bit to a non-buyer. So having systems in place that you can provide additional services to clients once their original matter has ended can improve client experiences, business development, and enrich your brand experience.

  • Follow up with your client for feedback and offering additional information

By following up with your client about their experiences, it proves that you are truly interested in the feedback to improve your services. It also means that you can see what you can improve on. Having those valuable insights from clients can mean a lot to your firm since without clients, there’s no firm. Therefore, they must always be at the core of all you do.

  • Add clients to your CRM

Having a Customer Relationship Management system allows you to keep track of the clients that you have worked with. This means you can improve your follow ups and keep track on your business development opportunities.

Summary

To summarise, client engagement is a difficult thing to define, and to get right. But the utilisation of different technologies can mean that firms can improve their client engagement from the outset of the matter, all the way through to the end.

To find out how Validient can help with the onboarding and the client portal issues around client engagement, then feel free to book a demo here.

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