When communicating with potential and current clients, wouldn’t it be great to better understand their legal needs and expectations of your working relationship? Get a better read on those experiences with “journey mapping.” It’s an easy-to-use, quick-to-deliver marketing tool to help you determine the most effective ways to communicate with them.
Journey mapping defined
Completing a journey map for your clients is a vital first step in building your firm’s marketing and communications plan. It analyzes all the steps a client takes before and during their relationship with you (and your firm) and helps you recognize what information the client needs at each stage of their journey.
The power of journey mapping is that it encourages you to stop thinking about what you want your clients to know and focuses on what your clients want to know. Once you start thinking about it from the client’s perspective, you’ll be amazed at the gaps you could uncover in your current communications.
Steps to create your journey map
Set aside some time to focus on mapping your clients’ journey. Create an oversized journey map using large white poster paper. Across the top of your poster, put the key stages a client goes through with you that include:
- Awareness: The prospect is learning about your law firm and your services — and may or may not have a legal need to address at this time.
- Consideration: The prospect has a legal need and is determining whether you’re the right attorney to help.
- Purchase/Hiring: The prospect decides to become a client and the client-attorney relationship begins.
- Engagement: The client is working with you and your staff.
- Retention: The client’s legal matter has ended, yet you want to maintain a relationship with them (and earn their referrals).
Down the left side of your map, add questions and considerations a client may ask at each stage:
- What are clients doing?
- What questions are they asking?
- What emotions are they feeling?
- What is the next step we’d like them to take?
- What content would be helpful to them at this stage?
For every stage of the journey, talk through these questions. As you answer, remember to put yourself in the mind of the client. Have everyone write down their own thoughts on sticky notes first. Then share and discuss them as a group, posting on the wall chart.
Consider incorporating data into your journey mapping discussion. Data from client intake forms, surveys, focus groups, reviews and website analytics can all be used to support your conclusions about what clients want at the various stages.
How to read your client journey map
Once you’ve gone through and answered the questions for each stage, analyze the information for common themes and gaps in your current marketing and communications efforts. Review your answers regarding:
- “What content would be helpful to them at this stage?” These answers highlight areas of opportunity. Freemiums, blog articles and client service communications are a good start.
- “What emotions are they feeling” and “what questions are they asking?” Use this insight to position the content within each stage of the journey.
- “What are they doing?” This may provide insight into where you should serve up content. For example, is your client searching Google or asking Facebook friends for answers to their legal questions during the awareness stage? If so, you may want to develop a social media campaign to drive consumers to a legal tips handbook or other asset to help them address their questions.
Determine your next steps
Now, step back and look at your journey map. Is there content you’re currently providing at the wrong stage? Move the content to the more appropriate place in the journey to increase your chances for success.
Finally, ask yourself what you could do to make the journey from prospect to client go more smoothly. Pay special attention to client intake and communications once you’ve engaged with the client. We’ve found that attorneys struggle to meet the growing expectations of consumers during this phase. Be upfront about frequency and timing of communications, what to expect and how you can be reached if the client has any questions.
The results of your journey mapping will help your firm focus on sending the right information to the right people at the right time and in the right format — which should add up to happier, more loyal clients and a growing business for you!
Ready to map out your next clients’ journey? Take the first step today and download this free template.
Sponsored by: ARAG Legal Insurance