Why Chatbots are Better than Live Chat for Lawyers

All lawyer websites should be designed with one objective in mind, to convert visitors into clients. The legal profession is highly competitive and it’s likely that when a new visitor is visiting your lawyer website that they are in the process of visiting several lawyer websites.

When it comes to converting your website visitors into clients, you only have a few seconds to convince your visitor to stay on your website rather than move on to your competitor’s website.

One thing to remember is that there are really only two main reasons someone will visit a lawyer’s website. First, they may already know of you and are simply looking for your contact info, or, more likely, they have questions they want answered prior to retaining a lawyer.

Website, Live Chat, or Chatbots?

When it comes to answering your visitor’s questions with the hope of converting them into clients a lawyer has basically three choices:  a static website, live chat, and a chatbot.

All three choices have then advantages and disadvantages, but it is the purpose of this paper to discuss why a chatbot is your best choice to convert the most visitors into clients.

The benefit of a static website, when compared to live chat and a chatbot, is that it is the least expensive option and the easiest to make changes to.

That said, the fact is that the typical website visitor is going to have difficulty finding any information that is not on your home page and will likely leave your website frustrated with their questions unanswered.

If you have pages of blog posts and articles the chances of your visitor finding the exact relevant page on your site are between slim and none.

The next option is live chat. There are many live chat service providers that specialize in working with lawyers. Their fees vary but most of them not only charge a monthly fee, but they also charge per lead generated. With an active website, these per lead charges can become quite large.

The Identification Issue

Another problem with live chat, when compared to a chatbot, is the issue of identification. Most live chat providers require that a visitor provide their contact info before proceeding to the live chat.

The problem with this is that many of your visitors will be in the information-gathering stage. At that point, many people simply are not ready to give out their contact info.

By requiring contact info you will lose a significant percentage of your visitors that have a question that you may have been able to answer.

Your chatbot should be designed to answer your visitors’ questions without asking for identification. After the requested information is provided your chatbot should then give you visitors the opportunity to request being contacted. This approach is much more likely to convert a visitor into a client.

Problems with Live Chat

There was a recent study conducted about live chat services and here are the key findings from the study:

  • 21% of live chat support requests are not answered
  • The average wait time for live chat support requests is 2 minutes and 40 seconds
  • 55% of companies do not offer transcripts once a chat has ended
  • 23% of companies do not ask for contact information before a chat begins
  • The average handle time for a chat request is 6 minutes and 50 seconds
  • 45% of companies do not ask users for feedback once the chat has ended [1]

When each potential customer might potentially be worth tens of thousands of dollars or more, a non-response rate of 21% is simply unacceptable. When a live chat firm is hired there is simply no way to audit their performance to tell what percentage of your live chat requests are going unanswered.

The fact is that the live chat operators are typically low-wage employees in a third world country reading from prepared scripts. If any in-depth question is asked they will not be able to answer and will have to refer it to a licensed attorney. 

Chatbots – A Better Choice

A chatbot is an automated response program that can help your clients complete your intake forms and answer your visitors' questions.

Chatbots are simply a better customer service solution that will lead to more satisfied visitors which will lead to more clients.

When first reaching your chatbot the chatbot will introduce itself and offer your visitor the choice of completing one of your intake forms or of asking it a question.

If they choose to complete an intake form they will be asked for their contact info and the details of their case. Upon completion of the intake form, the information will be immediately emailed to you or entered into your online CRM.

When it comes to answering questions, chatbots give an immediate response with no delays. Your chatbot will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. No sick days, no holidays, no vacations.

When it comes to providing your visitor’s answers to their questions it’s helpful to categorize them as either short-tail questions and long-tail questions. Short-tail questions are questions that we can anticipate your visitor asking.

Things like, “Where is your office located?”, “What are your working hours?”, and “What are your fees?” are the type of common questions that we will program into your chatbot as part of your FAQs.

The problem is that people will always ask questions that we cannot anticipate. Questions that we can not anticipate are known as long-tail questions.

Index Your Content to Answer Visitor Questions

Our chatbot, the Lead Generator is based on the IBM Watson platform. IBM Watson has the ability to index your website pages, blog posts, and articles to make them available via a simple question via your chatbot.

You've invested hundreds of hours creating content for your website. Writing blog posts and articles takes a lot of effort, but what good is your article if nobody reads what you’ve written or if your visitor can’t find it when they need it.

The most relevant time for people to find your post is when they are on your website with a question that can be answered by your webpage, post, or article.

Now, with the power of an IBM Watson chatbot, you can have a chatbot that can answer your visitor’s questions by linking directly to your relevant pages, posts, and articles.

This ability to get your visitors the information they are seeking will set your firm apart from all of the others who rely on either a static website or low-wage live chat operators.

Satisfied visitors are far more likely to become clients. Chatbots are new technology and at this time less than 1% of law firms have one. This will change but being an early adopter has the advantage of distinguishing your firm from the competition.

For more information about getting an IBM Watson based chatbot for your website visit us at https://Law.bot

[1] https://www.superoffice.com/blog/live-chat-support-study/