Your marketing team is a lot bigger than you think. It includes every person in your office, the entire IMS team and your clients. Yes, your clients. They are your brand ambassadors. They know you, they know your practice, and they know if you have been able to help them.
Here are a few suggestions to increase the chances that your clients become brand ambassadors for your firm:
Make sure every client becomes a brand ambassador. Every law firm has clients who are difficult, those who are easy to deal with, and those who they develop a deep connection and friendship with. Developing brand ambassadors means taking the time and making the effort at every step of the way, to ensure that clients have an optimal experience. That means from the minute they visit your website to the day they leave with a folder of documents.
Build loyalty by being more than a transactional law practice. If your practice currently works with clients to prepare an estate plan and then disappears from their world, you’re losing the ability to build a connection that could otherwise lead to referrals, reviews and endorsements. Using IMS’ E2-CRM makes it easy for you to stay in touch with clients at a number of points throughout the year: birthdays, changes in the law, updating their wills, holidays, speaking engagements, news about the firm, and more.
Ask brand ambassadors what you’d like them to do. Clients are not mind readers, and you are not the first thing on their minds. Don’t be surprised if you need to ask them more than once. Asking for referrals is an art, requiring a gracious approach and gratitude. If it helps, create a script that becomes part of your follow up conversation after your work for them has been completed.
Ask for a testimonial that you can share. Testimonials for estate planning and elder law firms are different than product testimonials. Don’t use client names without their permission, and don’t provide too many specific details, but do share their comments about the level of caring, professionalism and other positive descriptions of their experience with your firm. Some clients will post on AVVO without being asked, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. Only ask for testimonials from clients who you are certain will provide a positive review.
Say thank you. There are many other law firms your clients could have used. Let them know that you appreciate their selecting your firm to help them with their estate plan and/or elder law matters. Say thank you by providing an amazing client service experience and in small ways, like making sure they are comfortable in your office, that they are treated with respect and concern by every member of your team, and that your work for them is exceptional.
Connect outside of your office. Give clients and prospects the opportunity to connect with you at community events, senior law days, fundraisers and other places where you are on neutral turf. It gives them an opportunity to see you as a person as well as a trusted professional on the other side of the conference table. Follow up when you’ve seen them with an email or a hard copy note.
Building brand ambassadors is about building relationships. Your estate planning and elder law practice is a highly personal field of law. The more you can connect with your clients, the better!