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Setting Appropriate Expectations With Your Law Firm’s Website 

Your law firm’s website establishes expectations for your potential clients and current clients alike. It’s typically the first or one of the first places where potential clients learn about your firm. Your website makes a first impression not dissimilar from the view of office space from the street. Does your website have “curb appeal”? Is it clear and inviting? Does it communicate when you’re open and what you offer?

When you build a website, it’s important to set expectations that are appropriate for your audience and reflective of how your firm does business. Let’s explore the three ways your firm’s website does (or doesn’t) do this. 

The Tools

Consider the expectations of your website visitors and potential clients. Does each site tool function the way a visitor thinks it should? 

For example, it’s common for firms to have a chat widget that advertises “always on” availability. That’s likely designed to make the user feel communication is available 24/7 and that reaching out will be a quick and easy process. 

But if your firm relies on a chat tool that leverages bots when the office is closed, your visitors may easily be frustrated by the experience (and wonder what other claims on your site aren’t true). 

For this reason, it’s essential to evaluate each tool and whether a visitor will be satisfied with the user experience. Think like a visitor who has no previous knowledge of your firm and who may have some hesitation about hiring a lawyer. It’s essential that each site tool functions the way your visitor believes it should. 

The Information

Ever thought you found the perfect article to answer your question, only to realize after clicking on it that it doesn’t answer your question at all? 

A catchy title may get a user to click, but to attract clients who will stick around, you’ll need content that clearly meets the needs of the user. 

Make sure you avoid clickbait headlines. Instead, focus your efforts on answering questions that are commonly asked by your prospective clients. 

Another great way to set accurate expectations with your content? Include a short summary blurb at the top of each article as well as the estimated time to read it. Knowing the time commitment involved to read an article helps to set appropriate expectations and lets visitors knowingly commit their time – which makes for a much better user experience. 

The Process

Understanding the process is key to user and future client satisfaction. 

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does your site visitor have clear expectations about what happens after they contact your firm? 
  • Will an attorney call them within 24 hours of submitting an online request? 
  • If the attorney does call them, will they be charged for a consultation? 
  • When will they know if you will take on their case? 
  • How long will the whole legal proceeding take? 

It’s important that the information on this process lives in various places throughout the site: FAQs are always helpful, and they’re something many users are accustomed to seeking out when they have questions. FAQS can also be hugely helpful when it comes to optimizing your site for search engines (SEO). 

You may also want to pair the details about the next steps along with the respective call to action and even alongside your firms’ web forms. By doing this, you create a better user experience, giving visitors a better idea of what to expect before they take the next step in the attorney selection journey. 

Setting expectations is a key way to avoid disappointment or frustration and to minimize the questions your staff face on a day to day basis. 

If you haven’t yet, take some time and evaluate your website with these goals in mind. Just as setting appropriate expectations can help you remain patient if you get put on hold, you can use your website tools, information, and process to create a better user experience.