How Lawyers Can Catch Boomerang Consumers

Recently we’ve placed a lot of focus on the speed at which U.S. legal consumers move. While that is the thrust of our recent white paper, the fact remains that 42 percent of consumers don’t exactly dive for the phone once they realize they have a legal need.

For whatever reason, contacting an attorney right away isn’t a top priority for these people. It might be that their cases are less urgent, their budget is restricted or their understanding of the implications is narrow. Regardless, their actions are as varied as their cases:

  • 21 percent attempted to handle the situation on their own
  • 20 percent sought help from friends, family, co-workers or community and charitable groups
  • 19 percent researched or sought out free legal information and products
  • 16 percent contacted a professional in a non-legal field
  • 11 percent worked with a free legal aid provider
  • 9 percent sought paid legal software or online tools for DIY forms or products

Now, if you’re doing the math, you’ve noticed that these behaviors don’t add up. That’s because these consumers, just like their fast-moving counterparts, don’t engage in just one action. Just as an online attorney seeker looks in multiple places during their search and evaluation process, so do these people aim to address their situation in a variety of ways.

So if these people aren’t seeking a lawyer then they must be lost causes, right?

In a word: no. In fact, our 2015 research found that two of these groups offer a potentially valuable second-stage opportunity. Nearly half (42 percent) of consumers who opted to do some research and over a third (35 percent) of those intrepid do-it-yourselfers wound up contacting an attorney in the end.

As an attorney, you know why this happens. Looking elsewhere and looking deeper into legal issues often leads to this conclusion: Working with an attorney is the straightest path to satisfying results.

So plan for this behavior. Leave space in your marketing to inform the curious and convince the frugal that coming to you is their best bet for success. Consumers like these might not become clients right away, but we now know that many of them will indeed come back around in the end.

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