The legal services market is saturated and every firm is competing for new clients. Private client lawyers are perennially busy and it’s easy to slip into complacency around proactively working to attract new clients.
However, it’s not difficult to market your private client department effectively if you start to think more holistically around the work you do with existing clients – and work on your online presence to make yourself more visible.
One of the unique benefits of servicing wills and probate clients is the opportunity to take an organic approach to them and how you can market your services around the work you carry out. For instance, when you have finalised a will or a Lasting Power of Attorney, consider asking the client if it would be useful to send the executors or attorneys information about their role and how you can help.
When you close a file, ask the client to complete a questionnaire about the service you provided – and if there is any criticism, act on it. Keep in touch with your client, reminding them periodically of the need to review their will from time to time; or simply to notify them of important changes that could impact them.
Your website is your shop window and it needs to stand out from the competition. Make sure you post new, unique content aimed at your target audience on a regular basis. Always include a ‘call to action’ at the start or the end of each piece of content to make it simple for prospectives to get in touch.
Clients searching for a private client lawyer will be attracted by up-to-date, informative articles about what to consider when making a will; wealth planning; inheritance tax issues; setting up a trust; and even probate disputes.
Review websites have grown massively important for individuals looking for services and, consequently, for law firms who can win more business as a direct result.
ReviewSolicitors and TrustedPilot, for example, can be extremely valuable for private client departments whose clients leave excellent ratings and reviews. If you haven’t yet started doing so, encourage your clients to post reviews – and showcase your best reviews on your website.
Raise your social media profile to generate vital leads, but it is vital to first develop a strategy – whether that’s through Facebook or Instagram, blogging and sharing via social media or advertising via social media channels.
You can expect to receive negative comments about your firm on social media – the question is, how should you best respond? Critical comments are painful and can have significant consequences for the business and its reputation, so you will need to monitor what is said and by whom.
You can manage the potential fallout by responding to comments appropriately and promptly. This may require accepting criticism and committing to acting on it; avoid defensiveness; and consider dealing with the individual privately rather than on a public forum.
Maintain quality of service
The foundation to any solid legal services offering is and always will be excellent quality – both technically and the way you service your clients. The key markers for excellence include accuracy, transparency, good communication and outcomes.
Customer service is more important than ever before. The majority of law firms can do the technical stuff without much of a problem, but the private client firm that goes the extra mile with its clients will cement its reputation for excellent legal services and customer care.