The process of marketing is important in bringing new clients to your law firm. But once they are on board, it is not just about retention. Existing customers can be your finest marketing asset. Keep reading to learn some tips for improving your marketing strategy by keeping your clients happy.
Marketers everywhere will be aware of what is known as the buyer journey. It is as important in legal content marketing as it is for any other sector.
It all starts with awareness, that all-important stage when a potential client discovers you and your services exist. This is followed by the second stage – consideration – as they learn more about you and what you do. Success comes when they transition into the third (purchase) stage.
When a potential buyer reaches that third stage, it’s great news. It means the effort and investment in marketing have been successful. But there are a great deal more potential gains in store for you if you nurture your existing customers well.
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Happy customers are great marketers
The fourth phase in your marketing strategy is what comes next and is known as the ‘delight’ phase. This is when your focus will be on retaining your customers to ensure they keep coming back. The principle is the same as in so many businesses: loyalty brings rewards. That means there will be discounts on future purchases, special offers or even a few freebies.
However, while all that may keep them coming back, it has another great benefit. A happy customer will gladly recommend those they have enjoyed great service from to their friends, family and work colleagues. They may also leave a glowing review online.
The importance of this cannot be underestimated. There is no more effective form of marketing than personal recommendations. After all, rather skilled or well-planned professional marketing efforts, people will ultimately rely on those who freely offer positive expressions about a product or firm over those with a vested interest.
According to Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising Report in 2011, 92 per cent will trust word-of-mouth more.
Most people will know intuitively that this is true. After all, who have not used services, bought goods, seen films or eaten at certain restaurants after someone they trust told them good things about it? Equally, we will all have avoided making purchases or going to places because someone advised against it.
Also, every one of us will have at some point thought cynically about some of the marketing and advertising messages we have seen down the years. Besides, this is not just confined to those who are familiar with the techniques involved.
Give a helping hand
This transition of customers from buyers to advocates may make it seem like everything goes in two big phases: The marketer and firm does the hard work of getting the customer on board, then they can sit back and expect their happy client to effectively do their job for them when it comes to attracting further custom. But it is not really like that at all.
Your role at this stage should not be just to keep the customer happy and expect them to bring their friends with them; you can also create more platforms for them to help bring in further customers.
A good example of this is social media. If you have an active engagement with your customer, they can post positive reviews on your pages. They can also link your pages to theirs on their own social media. All this means you need to have a good presence in this area.
Risk and reward
Of course, there is a risk to be aware of: If you offer platforms for engagement, you might find an unhappy customer covers your page with negative reviews. However, there are good reasons to consider this a risk worth taking.
Firstly, if a customer is unhappy and takes the opportunity to say so, that does at least give you an opportunity to respond and do something to address the situation. Indeed, if you resolve a problem well, they may come back and praise you. That will turn the situation into a good news story, telling a positive tale about your high standards of customer care.
Also, it means you have more chance of retaining their custom than if they feel there is no avenue to complain. In the latter case, they may simply walk away. Indeed, recent news by the Ombudsman Service shows that nearly half of UK consumers take this approach. Chief executive Matthew Vickers said young people were especially likely to switch instead of complaining.
Focus on keeping existing clients happy
Furthermore, while many will not complain directly, the report found 58 per cent of consumers would go on social media to vent their frustrations. That means even if they don’t complain directly, they will find another way to tell people what they think.
In addition, the very fact that an existing customer might become quite the opposite of a keen advocate for your firm is an extra reason to focus your energies on keeping them happy. That very approach, of course, will make it so much more likely that they will be a satisfied client to start with.
Keep your clients informed
Indeed, having a good social media strategy can dovetail with a general approach to communication that ensures you always keep your clients well-informed about what is going on.
That itself can prevent one of the most common causes of unhappiness among the customers of law firms. All too often, clients feel they are not being kept up to date about the progress of their cases, not told of important details and don’t have technical information explained to them in a way that makes sense in layman’s terms.
By having lawyers online and being better at communication, firms can earn another feather in their caps, but also give their happy customers another reason to recommend them – often in contrast with rivals who have failed to offer the same standard of service. Here are some common errors that law firms should avoid while developing their digital marketing strategy.
How we can help
At BeUniqueness, we can help you build a comprehensive marketing strategy for all stages of the buyer journey. This will include helping you maximise the potential of existing customers, turning them into your greatest marketing asset of all