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What is Web Chat and How Can It Help Your Law Firm?

When it comes to Internet marketing, attracting visitors to your law firm website is only part of the equation. The other, equally important elements are screening and converting those visitors into clients. And that can be a challenge. No matter how engaging your site’s content and design, you’re still at the mercy of visitors who may or may not decide to contact you.

One solution to that conundrum is live Web chat services, which allow Web visitors to type responses back and forth with a customer service rep. They’ve become an increasingly popular conversion solution over the last decade, initially starting with online retailers and then spreading to other sectors, including the legal field.

Web chat 101

How popular is Web chat? A study by Forrester Research found that 44 percent of online consumers say that the ability to have questions answered by a live person is one of the most important features a website can offer. Another by software firm BoldChat revealed that chat is the preferred communication method for 31- to 50-year-olds. In a sense, those numbers aren’t surprising. Today’s consumers expect near-instant communication.

Web chat works like this: Shortly after a prospect visits your site, he or she can start a chat by clicking on a chat button or accepting an invitation that will appear in a dialogue box. If the visitor opts to participate, he or she engages in what amounts to instant messaging with a chat operator. The process can be productive for both parties. The visitor gets real-time assistance, while the operator screens the person, collects contact information and sends an alert to you.

Three key benefits of Web chat

How can Web chat help your firm?

1. It’s convenient — for you and your customers

For a law firm, it’s like staffing your front desk with a skilled intake specialist who works 24/7/365. The same convenience applies to potential clients who can learn about your firm in a no-pressure fashion at any time of the day or night.

2. It can separate you from your competitors

Picture yourself as an insomniac homeowner wrestling with the idea of declaring bankruptcy. All things equal, a local law firm with someone available to provide information on a Saturday at 11:30 pm could well emerge as your first option.

3. It can boost your efficiency — and potentially connect you with new clients

For argument’s sake, say your website averages 100 visits per month. Having a chat operator available to engage each of those visitors boosts your chances of connecting with potential clients who otherwise might not have called or filled out your contact request form. If the visitor turns out to be the wrong fit for your firm, you haven’t wasted any time on them. But if he or she is a qualified lead, the chat has multiplied your odds of converting the person into a potential client.

The bottom line: Done correctly, Web chat can be a powerful resource that allows you to connect with site visitors around the clock — and potentially boost your conversion rates in the process.

If you would like to learn more about how FindLaw can help with Web chat solutions, contact us for a free consultation.


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