On Wednesday, I blogged about how LegalZoom Zooms In On Solos and Small Firms With IPO. I have also written previously about how small firms and solos are walking around with targets on their backs from LegalZoom, Rocket Lawyer and other online legal service providers who are taking direct aim at your clients.
Solos and small firms who ignore these repeated shots over their bows are doing so at their own risk. It is clear from the LegalZoom IPO, which stated that the company has already served more than 2 million companies and set up 20 percent of the LLCs in California last year, that consumers find these online services convenient, reasonably priced and just good enough to do the job.
No use crying about how online services really don’t do the right job – your potential clients aren’t buying it. Instead, they are buying from LegalZoom and others like them, in droves. So what can you do?
Here are 3 strategies you should be implementing to compete now against the online legal service providers:
1. Protect your clients. You need repeat business and referrals to grow. To acquire this, you need to nurture a relationship with your clients and keep it going. One of the best ways to do this is to send out a newsletter every month to stay in contact with your clients and keep you top-of-mind.
2. Provide value. Find little ways to better serve your clients and give them constant value. This starts from the moment they walk in the door. Be sure they are greeted by name, that your conference room has a Reserved sign on it with their name, offer them a beverage from a printed menu, validate their parking, and don’t ask them to sign a bunch of papers on their first visit.
3. Preserve the relationship. The #1 reason why attorneys get reported to the bar is lack of client communication. Have your paralegal call clients every month to give them a status update--even if there is no change in their case! I was speaking to the Tennessee Association of Justice the other day and I reminded them that I've never heard of an attorney who was reported for over-communicating with their clients.