When you think of a competing law firm, you think differently than a prospect. You think of the lawyers at the firm, if you have had an occasion to see their work, or if you’ve heard of a situation with the firm that created a problem for a couple who later became your client. But how a prospect considers your firm or your competitor’s firm is very different. You are looking at them as a colleague, competitor and fellow professional. Prospects are making decisions based on a wholly different set of criteria.
- Website look and feel, ease of navigation
- Quality of content on the website, is there a video?
- How many attorneys are at the firm?
- Where is the firm located?
- When they call, how did the person on the phone make them feel?
- How easy is it (or hard) to make an appointment?
- If they are asked to fill out forms prior to the appointment, are the forms easy to use?
Remember that your prospects are not coming to you for a fun afternoon. But they are coming to you because they know they need to take care of this part of their lives.
Once they get to your office, the process of evaluating you and your firm continues. Here are more ways that they are judging you:
- How easy is it to get to your office?
- Is it easy to find parking?
- Office décor
- Bathroom cleanliness
- How long did they have to wait once they arrived?
- Was everyone in the office friendly and accommodating
Notice how little of this has anything to do with the quality of your legal services. New clients are consumers of professional services who, consciously or otherwise, are gathering data about their experience before they get to your legal skills.
Once they sit down with you or an associate, another series of perceptions are created:
- Did they meet with a partner or an associate?
- How well-prepared was the attorney?
- Were their questions answered?
- Were they treated with respect and dignity?
Working with an estate planning attorney is not a comfortable thing for most people, especially if their only experience with attorneys has been centered in a negative chapter in their lives. When they have a good experience with a highly professional law office, they will be relieved and pleased. Create an exceptional experience for your clients, and you will have their loyalty.