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From AI chat to live chat, website chat features vary in value, effectiveness, and ease of integration with your existing platform. So who or what will you choose to represent you to potential clients on your site? It could mean the difference between getting and giving up a job.

You have a lot to gain by using a chat feature on your law firm site, such as 24/7 availability and streamlined automation functions. But before you pick one, you have to understand the different types of chat features as well as what your own firm’s goals are.

Here’s an overview of the website chat options on the market right now, including the pros and cons of live chats and chatbots, sample tasks that chat can help you with, and how to use chat analytics to improve your results.

Livechat vs. chatbots for law firm websites

Live chat is a real-time communication tool where human agents help users. It involves direct interaction and immediate, personalized responses to queries.

  • Pro: Human touch and language nuances
  • Pro: Trust and credibility
  • Pro: Complex problem solving
  • Con: Limited to working hours, response time variability
  • Con: More costly
  • Con: Not as scalable

Chatbots are AI-driven software programs designed to simulate human conversation. They automate responses to user inquiries, often using predefined scripts or machine learning algorithms.

  • Pro: 24/7 availability and consistent responsiveness
  • Pro: Cost-effective
  • Pro: Scalable
  • Pro: Analytics
  • Con: AI can’t solve every problem and may frustrate people
  • Con: Lack of empathy
  • Con: Lengthy set-up process

Examples of website chat services: Apex Chat, Ruby, Ngage, Zendesk Chat, Chatfuel (for WhatsApp)

There are also some interesting new options like Intaker that attempt to humanize AI technologies.

Tasks that chat can help you with

Sure, a bot can’t help you with everything—but it can help with a lot of things. Do you really need to pay a real human to answer common legal questions via live chat?

Here are a few of the tasks an AI chatbot can take off your plate:

  • Answer common legal questions
  • Answer inquiries about hours and location
  • Book a consultation
  • Client intake information collection

AI doesn’t need coffee to deliver peak performance.

Seriously, step away from the keyboard! Trust that your AI chatbot is working as hard as you are to charm potential clients and capture leads—and it’s probably more reliable than you, let’s be honest. 

Invest in a chat tool to improve your lead gen

Did you know that 79% of your online visitors expect a response within 24 hours of reaching out? You can’t be in five places at once, and your team can only cover so many areas of growth. 

The right chat feature can help you establish expertise, generate leads through informational chats, and reduce your administrative workload by streamlining scheduling. 

Your firm can enjoy a reduced workload and more qualified leads. Potential clients benefit from easy scheduling and reduced wait times.

Two things to research about your chat tool

Your chat tool must stay up-to-date with the world. Not all tasks can be outsourced to machines. New regulations, updated terminology, and sensitive case updates may still require human effort.

Your chat tool must also integrate seamlessly with your existing website. Depending on the tool, it may not be as simple as an API or a no-code addition. Please, do not invest any work into crafting scripts or setting up modules without learning whether or not the chatbot is compatible with your site.

Remember to check your chat analytics

Analyzing your chat data is not optional—it’s essential. 

This data isn’t just about understanding client inquiries. It will help you hone your marketing strategies and enhance your website. 

You can track visitor behavior and engagement and then adapt based on your clients’ communication preferences. Rewrite your chatbot scripts, add pages to your website, or explore new service areas. Use this data to better allocate resources and set your budget. You can even use it as inspiration for content creation.

Final words

A great website chat tool is like the cherry on top of a fantastic website. It’s a little pop of satisfaction that can seal the deal for a potential client after they browse your site and still have a few remaining questions.

It’s your reputation on the line. So, choose wisely.

Get a website with a compatible chat solution that will perform reliably—for the sake of your clients and for your firm. You’re just a click away from a sophisticated, modern website built by a team of attorneys and experienced legal marketing experts.

About the Author
The team at OneFirst Legal has built websites for thousands of law firms across the United States. Fueled by data and whole lot of creativity, OneFirst helps law firms make a powerful first impression online with websites that convert visitors into clients.