Settify has compiled the largest dataset to the largest dataset to date on the preferences, behaviour and attitudes of Family Law clients at the precise point that they choose their lawyers. In this article, we share those insights with you, and draw out some practical tips that you can put into effect to help you convert more people from ‘interested’ to ‘signed up’.

Settify works with over 200 firms worldwide, deploying artificially intelligent client onboarding systems for Family Law and Wills & Estates practices. In short, we add a button to the firm’s websites that says something like ‘Get Started Online.’ Via that link, clients are taken through a question/answer process where they receive immediate, helpful information about their matter, and provide their background to their lawyers ahead of their initial meeting.

Client data collected in Settify can then be fed straight into FilePro, automatically populating contacts and generating documents at the click of a button.

We, therefore, have seen a treasure trove of data on more than 11,000 family law clients. This is particularly useful, as it is gathered at the time that they choose their firm. 

We have compiled our top 5 learnings arising from our data, and drawn some key points for you to consider when thinking about your client conversion process.

Clients Look Around

Family law is still strongly referral based. Our stats show that 55% of new clients who engage Family Lawyers across Australia come via referrals from past clients, professional advisors and word of mouth.

One often-overlooked factor is that most people receive more than one referral. Yes, they were referred to you, but they were also referred to others. Often accountants and financial planners will provide 2 or 3 names. When asked how many websites they reviewed, more than 50% of people said they looked around.

Takeout: Your website is a crucial way to ‘catch’ clients that were referred to you, but might still go elsewhere. You should have something that stands out from the pack and gives them a chance to ‘make a start’ with you, rather than phoning the next firm on their list.

The ‘purchase’ decision – it happens later than you would think

Your clients will go through many steps before they have deposited funds into your trust account. So at what point do they actually make the decision to engage you?

People use Settify after they’ve clicked a ‘Get Started’ (or similar) button on your website, and before they meet with their lawyer. We asked Settify clients “Have you already made up your mind to engage [the firm you ultimately engaged] before starting this online process?” 

Their answer: Yes (44%) No (56%)

So when we look at people who use Settify, and then go on to become fee-paying clients of firms, we see that more than half were converted during that online process. 

Takeout: You should map out every key touchpoint in a clients’ journey to engage you. From referral to web search, to making contact with your firm, to communications before their first meeting, to the first conference. Having the right setup and tools available at each point is a great way to capture as many new files as possible.

What clients want – we rank their priorities

Before you read on, try to guess how a large aggregate of Family Law clients would rank the following priorities in terms of their relative importance:

We asked clients to rate those priorities from 1 (not important) to 5 (very important). Here are the average answers, displayed as a leader board:

Takeout: To serve your clients’ immediate needs when they are in the search phase, be sure to provide them with something that helps them to understand the legal process they are engaged in. Articles and FAQs are a good start, and Settify goes a step further, in asking clients about their circumstances, and then serving them information that is targeted and specific to them.

The difference a fast response time makes

How time-sensitive are enquiries? It turns out that a fast response makes a big difference. Enquiries ‘decay’ at quite an alarming rate.

Leaving a prospect without a response for 4 hours or more reduces the chance that they will engage you by more than 20%. 

Takeout: Having the right personnel, processes and tools available to handle client interest is imperative. Phone and email responsiveness is important, but in the era of instant online shopping, you can use automation to literally respond to client interest immediately and automatically. 

Time of search – When do clients look for your services?

Quality Family Law clients are often busy, upwardly mobile professionals, who can prefer not to take time out of the busy workday to contact you. Our stats show that nearly half of all Settify enquiries happen outside of office hours.

Takeout: Nobody likes a ‘Closed’ sign when they are looking to purchase. A 24-hour phone line will be expensive to appropriately maintain, but having tools on your website that can give clients helpful, immediate information, and make it easy for them to request an appointment with you can be a great way to be perpetually ‘Open for Business.’

About Settify

Settify intelligently interacts with your new Family Law and Wills clients, from your website or by invitation. It provides customised, helpful information relevant to their legal matter, and collects a full brief of their initial instructions. Visit Settify for more information.