Many readers have inquired how they might transform their website to boost client retention — in large part because the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a massive net loss in consumer spending on goods and services. With flu season and increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases projected simultaneously over the next few weeks, many industry analysts have asked those in the service industry to expect it to get worse before it gets better. What can you do to mitigate losses?
This autumn, you might consider reducing in-person interaction between your associates and clients, even if legal restrictions in your region don’t require that you make the sacrifice. You can add widgets or app downloads to your home page to provide potential clients with an easy way to get into contact. Most legal websites use something similar already. How often had you browsed competitors’ websites before you decided to offer a pop up “would you like to chat with a representative?” box of your own?
Of course, those “representatives” were automated chat bots that would eventually connect a client to an actual person in the usual way, i.e. online chat or a phone call. These days, phone calls are still the ideal way to go. But customers now expect you to offer a video chat option through Zoom or another service, which means you should make sure you provide this service via your website’s homepage. Otherwise, those competitors will gobble up your business. Every disaster is an opportunity, or so they say.
What kind of legal service you provide matters too. Whereas a personal injury attorney might require clients to maintain in-person visits (because you need to see injuries with your own eyes), an estate planning attorney can get away with advertising and conducting business almost wholly online. Many lawyers are considering housecalls as well.
Because so many people are still unemployed — and “permanent” unemployment numbers are on the rise as well — they are turning to the internet not just for entertainment, but also for legal help due to coronavirus-related problems at the workplace or in the streets. Keep in mind that a surge in internet traffic means that there has never been a better time to advertise online. Some analysts say that web browsing has gone up a whopping 70 percent since the onset of the pandemic.
For those that provide actually goods in addition to services, make sure that all business can be conducted online. Your best sellers should be placed directly on the home page! Analysts believe for the first time in history the majority of Black Friday shopping will be done online.
For those businesses that don’t yet have an online store, now is the time.
Law firms are inundated with coronavirus-related business, and should put together short Question and Answer lists for their homepages. By now, you know what to expect. Let clients know exactly how business will be conducted while the pandemic is ongoing — but more than that, ensure that they know you’re still around to help them through this trying time.