You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Easy come, easy go.” This is applicable in today’s online world. Potential clients are deciding if your law firm is worth their money within minutes…if not, seconds!.
If you don’t catch your potential client’s eye within moments, you’re out of the game. With the fierce competition within the legal industry, you’ve really got to shine when it counts. And here’s the kicker: recent events may have exacerbated this sense of competition even more! The UNCTAD shows that COVID-19 has accelerated consumer’s online research habits when purchasing a service/product.
What this means for you: More online prospects = more online competitors = an increased need to stand out from the crowd and get your prospects to tune into your broadcast and not your competitors’.
“OK, that makes sense. But how do I persuade my prospects to choose me?”
Learn how to speak your clients’ language so they pick you along their purchase journey. “What’s that about the purchase journey?”, you may ask. Here’s a quick summary:
“A buyer’s path to purchase” as Hubspot notes. What’s in it for you?
- It will help you understand your current clients’ behavior.
- It will help you understand the thin line between winning and losing potential new clients.
We have compiled Google’s Consumer Insights Research into a short article. Read on to find out how to use the ”messy middle” to your firm’s advantage.
A Powerful Tool to Fight Off Competitors
Before today’s online era, consumers would compare prices and go for their best financial option. But now?
Nowadays, consumers compare everything. This means that acquiring a new client is great but it is simply not enough. There are other factors such as: retention, fighting off competitors, and external distractions online.
Although this may sound overwhelming, worry not. There is a solution.
Thanks to research, there is an updated customer journey. This updated chart can be a powerful tool to stay ahead and differentiate yourself amongst your competitors.
Google and The Behavioural Architects, a Market Research Company, developed the new consumer journey as follows:
The overall purpose of this model is to decode how consumers decide what to buy. In other words, what makes a consumer go from online “Triggers” to actually “Purchasing”.
The Breaking Point: Winning vs Losing Customers
To summarize, the “Messy Middle” within the Exploration and Evaluation space is the equivalent of the breaking point. This is where you can either win or lose clients.
Whatever a person is doing online falls under one of the following mental modes:
- Exploration mode: A customer’s expansive activity online
- Evaluation mode: A customer’s reductive activity online
In the middle, the consumer goes back and forth between exploration and evaluation and repeats the cycle until they make a purchase decision.
This is where it gets interesting. This is the middle ground where law firms can shift a potential client to an actual client calling in and converting it into a case.
“How do I persuade clients to choose me?”
Potential clients want to quickly get to what really matters to them. They are avid shortcut seekers if you will.
According to the research conducted by Google, here are the 6 effective biases that influence a client’s purchase decisions:
- Category Heuristics: Short descriptions of the product/service.
- Power of Now: We are wired to live in the present. This is why clients want solutions now and not later.
- Social Proof: WOM (Word of Mouth) and Reviews are powerful tools for others to follow through. As humans, we have the tendency to copy what others are doing. This is also applicable to your law firm’s online presence.
- Scarcity Bias: Limited offers are desired.
- Authority Bias: When humans are unsure, they tend to follow a leader or someone with a voice and authority.
- Power of Free: Who doesn’t love free? Never underestimate the power of zero.
The 6 biases to influence your clients may come as no surprise to some of you. This is because all 6 biases are deeply ingrained within human psychology. According to Healthline, these biases have always been a part of our brain decluttering information, and they are still relevant in the online decision-making process (as well as other decision-making processes!).
The Power of Online Social Proof
According to Crobox, a retail product intelligence company, social proof is the most powerful bias. This can be difficult to attain, because it relies on clients that have already used your law firm’s services and are willing to express their satisfaction with your services online. (This makes it all the more satisfying when they do and you get a new client from it, though!)
Well, once you acquire a client you can ask them to review your law firm’s services and share their post-hiring experience. This will help your law firm in 2 ways:
- Externally: Future client’s reassurance of your law firm’s quality.
- Internally: Evoke claims with reassurance. For example: “The Best in ____ ”, “Proven success with ____”, “Professionals in the areas of ____” etc.
“How am I able to compete and succeed within the online market?”
Supercharge your law firm with a mix of the 6 biases.
The good news about this updated consumer journey is that, whether you are a small/medium/large scale law firm, you can apply this to your business model!
For established law firms: Be aware that “the messy middle” means you cannot stay fixated on the constants of your marketing strategy. In fact, you will need to keep an open mind within your digital marketing plan and adjust accordingly.
For growing law firms: “The messy middle” means there is room for opportunity. Make sure to use this to your advantage.
According to the published study by The Behavioural Architects, for any established or growing company to succeed keep the following in mind:
- Ensure your law firm’s online presence.
- Apply behavioral science (such as the 6 effective biases previously mentioned).
- Close the gap between “trigger” and “purchase”.
Download the full free report by the Bearchitects here
In Chaos, There is Opportunity!
In conclusion, today’s legal firm industry faces fierce competition. But, no matter where you are within your firm’s establishment, retaining and acquiring customers is possible.
By supercharging the digital marketing aspects of the customer journey within your law firm you can differentiate your law from “fine” to “first-class”. This is not only appreciated but it is vital for your firms’ survival.
Feel like you might need some additional help figuring things out and identifying where your “messy middle” is?
Contact us today and we will happily discuss strategies to help your law firm flourish.