Every lawyer and every law firm has a brand, but most of these brands are inadvertent and invisible to their owners. When a lawyer fails to respond to email inquiries, or interrupts a client in the first seven seconds of their conversation, or sends a bill 20% more expensive than the original estimate with no warning or explanation, that lawyer has created a brand more powerful and authentic than anything the Marketing Department will ever come up with. The user experience of that lawyer is terrible, and therefore so is his or her brand. Multiply that effect across law firms with tens or hundreds of lawyers and staff: every point of contact between the firm and its clients is another data point in the firm’s true brand. Are clients delighted by their experience of using the firm? Or are they confused, frustrated, bewildered or infuriated? Tell me the answer, and I’ll tell you the brand.
That’s why law firm marketing professionals (or, in smaller firms, the partners in charge of marketing) should step away from tagline debates and advertising campaigns and instead pay close attention to improving the firm’s user experience. Your brand is what it’s like to deal with you. Figure out exactly what it’s like to use your firm: walk through the process of finding, assessing, contacting, conversing with, being served by, and paying your firm. These are among the most critical points of the law firm user experience. Upgrade these, and you’ll be well on your way to meeting your firm’s branding objectives.
Posted by Jordan Furlong