Acquiring Clients via Interactive Chat Technology – Epilogue

Website Client Chat TechnologySo, what about this interactive chat technology? To my delight, questions of interest followed the recent article I wrote on “Turning Web Visitors into Clients with Chat Technology”.

As a lawyer, you have to admit, it’s refreshing, though sometimes challenging to be a part of an evolving paradigm. Case in point – Ever wonder why some firms get a flood of website business, while others scratch their heads in bewilderment wondering why they don’t get much, if any? In the age of an ever expanding internet and online marketing madness, strategizing how to stay on the leading edge of new client acquisition requires firms to be receptive to stepping out and trying something new. This includes adopting and adapting to newly established technologies, as well as exploring yet-to-be-proven avenues of innovation. I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage, “You never know until you try it!”

The most frequently asked question by lawyers with regard to chat technology . . . Is it really that good at getting new clients? The resounding answer is YES, it is. However, the echo to that response is it’s a function of conditions precedent.  Like any welcoming party, you have to prudently prepare for what you hope will be an onslaught of engagements. If you don’t prepare, you may not be overwhelmingly impressed by the results of your efforts.

Acknowledging preparation as a key ingredient, how do you get chat tech to work best on your website? First, and in every way, your website is an extension of your office waiting to court prospective clients. The obvious initial piece of advice – go the extra mile to decorate your online office for conducting fluid business. The goal is to keep potential clients from heading to the next firm’s website. If you want visitors staying on your website once they have landed there, make it “sticky”. This means having a dynamic website with content that is visually inviting, relevant and easy to navigate. Make the website mobile friendly as well. More than ever, people are using their handheld devices to browse.  If it’s difficult for them to visually absorb the info on your website, you will lose them. Once the prospect is hooked by your site, a chat attendant has higher odds of interacting with them to achieve a “valid chat”, which means acquiring their contact information (name, along with email and/or phone number), and perhaps some basic information on the type of case they need help with.

The catch 22, however, is that for a chat platform to be a successful website implement, you need to drive traffic. Plainly, without visitors to chat with, the technology won’t reveal its true potential as an indispensable aspect of your online investment. It is well worth it to engage SEO consultants (or someone capable in-house) to drive higher website rankings on search engines, spend money on advertising and allocate a budget for pay per click campaigns, and anything else that promotes and/or drives traffic to your website. Once you accumulate traffic, you will experience firsthand how chat technology can do its thing.

After addressing these key components –a dynamic website and driving traffic to it – another question that comes up is what kind of “numbers” can one expect from implementing a chat platform? It’s an open-ended question with multiple subjective answers, though we can perhaps arrive at certain acceptable conclusions. However, to pointedly answer the question:1- If you have few website visitors, you will have few chats, and 2 – If you have many visitors . . . well, let’s hope you’re adequately prepared for the party.

Speaking to the “numbers”, while we do not have data from other companies, based on our experience as a chat technology provider and the data we have collected, once someone interacts with one of our chat operators, a valid chat is accomplished 60-70% of the time, as an average range.  Some of our clients experience less success, while others a bit more.  Many factors come into play to support the numbers, type of practice/specialty, the website’s appeal, info relevant and pertinent to the website visitor, the intake script being used by the chat operator (which can be customized by the firm), and our professional experience in achieving the desired result, are among the most important considerations.

Rest assured, once you have established consistent traffic to your site, this is where chat tech truly comes alive. It has the opportunity to excel in the way intended – as a tool to proactively interact in real time with potential clients while they are on your website and as a funnel to collect their contact information so you can personally engage them for initial consultation via phone or in-office, and bring in the business – all from your website!

In a follow up article, we can explore other numbers and aspects that support adding chat technology as a viable component of your intake process. If you don’t have chat now, and would like to generate more business from your website, give it a try. You have nothing to lose and clients to gain.

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Oliver Byington

About Oliver Byington

Oliver Byington serves as business development director for Client Chat Live, an Austin, TX based company that specializes in providing professional interactive web attendant services to the legal industry. Oliver has been in the technology sector since 2008, and has extensive experience with customer relations management, lead generation platforms and, of course, interactive chat technology. He is passionate about helping firms maximize their potential through technological efficiencies and the resultant benefits derived from successful implementations.

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