The number of digital contact points users can access has grown exponentially in recent years. Gone are the days when prospects would visit your website to learn about your brand before making a buying decision. Now they can get intel from YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, email and so many other channels besides. It’s no small wonder optimising the buying journey is so important.
Strategically, creating user-friendly buying journeys is a lot harder – with legal firms having to connect all the digital dots to create joined up experiences catering to the needs of pickier and savvier audiences.
So what does optimising the buying journey look like for law firms, how hard is it, and are there any hard and fast rules you can follow to boost engagement and drive more sign-ups?
The basics: what is the buying journey?
At its simplest your role is to get a customer from A-B as quickly, seamlessly, and painlessly as possible. The process always begins with awareness building – so prospects can understand the area of law you specialise in and what makes your brand unique.
The journey often ends when a purchase is made. But for service-driven professional organisations like yours the process will most likely repeat – with happy customers returning to take advantage of other services your firm offers.
In terms of optimising the buying journey
- Try to minimise the number of steps involved
- Focus on clarity – messaging should be clear
- Identify the right questions and answer them well
These guidelines are overarching, not exhaustive and therefore encompass all digital activity across your marketing channels.
The three steps in the buying journey are always the same
One constant your law firm can take comfort from is that the buying journey religiously adheres to the following three tried-and-tested stages which you can use to map out the overall user experience.
Phase 1: awareness building
Something triggers your customer, meaning they suddenly have a need for your service. If you’re divorce lawyers this event will be the dissolution of a civil partnership or marriage.
Your customer is now searching for answers to a variety of questions:
- Where is their nearest divorce solicitor?
- How credible (and expensive) are they?
- What are the first steps they should take?
- Will the process be fast or take months?
Optimising the buying journey isn’t just about anticipating these questions but answering them in the form of detailed blogs and FAQ pages.
Phase 2: comparing and evaluating
Your customers know you exist. They’ve read your website from top to bottom and are now broadening their research by scrutinising other digital touchpoints you own.
To optimise the user experience…
- Create useful how-to guides for your video channels
- Invest in creating an e-book packed with helpful tips
- Make sure you’re listed on review sites like TrustPilot
In other words, make sure your law brand is visible across as many digital touchpoints as possible while ensuring those channels are active and overflowing with helpful and positively-charged content.
Phase 3: The crunch – time to buy
That’s it. Your customer has finished comparing and is ready to choose from one of the many divorce solicitors they’ve been obsessively analysing the past few weeks.
Could you tip the balance? A free consultation might help. Or you could add social proof to your sign-up page:
“In the last year we won 93% of divorce cases for our customers. Visit our case studies page to learn more.”
Optimising the buying journey looks different for every sector
Let’s take the travel industry as an example. Agents like Thomas Cook need to consider the needs of multiple stakeholders – not just the end consumer. True, someone could buy directly through the booking page on the company’s website but they’re just as likely to compare prices on Travel Supermarket, Trivago, or On The Beach. That’s without mentioning airline carriers, car rental companies and hoteliers.
In short, optimising the buying journey can be extremely complex or exceedingly simple depending on the industry in which you operate. Arguably, as a law firm, you have less stakeholders to worry about than a travel agent – but you still have a mountain to climb.
Some final tips to help you get started
- Optimising the buying journey only works if you involve everyone – not just the marketing team. The people who answer your phones understand better than anyone what customers like and don’t like about your law firm, so involve them in your feedback sessions.
- Design can make or break your user experience, so deploy space to break up the sections in your website, keep content short, crisp, and functional, and make sure your pages display optimally on a smartphone too.
- Where possible (and if relevant) personalise your content to suit the needs of different audiences. For example, a customer interested in estate planning will have different questions to someone going through a divorce.
Last but not least, optimising the buying journey is about adopting an omnichannel approach. So make sure your platforms are connected, that designs and messaging are consistent, and constantly monitored.
Our bad. One last thing: never stop monitoring your omnichannel activity. Identifying strengths and weaknesses in the buying journey will ensure you adjust to emerging trends and adapt your tactics accordingly.
Need help optimising the user journey?
Then you’ve come to the right place because that’s our specialty. Book a free call with one of our friendly marketing specialists – or, if you’re local, let’s talk over a cup of coffee.