With the increasing popularity of virtual law firms, live chat and virtual receptionist software has become an essential tool for many lawyers. Live chat software helps legal professionals attract new leads and provide exceptional client experience.
There are many live chat apps available on the market today, and choosing the best solution can be difficult. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite live chat solutions for lawyers below, along with details on pricing and features, to help you choose the best solution for your law firm.
Table of Contents
- What Features Matter Most to Lawyers?
- How Much Does Live Chat Software Cost?
- Does Live Chat Software Integrate With My Practice Management Solution?
- The Best Live Chat Software for Lawyers
What Features Matter Most to Lawyers?
Live chat software includes useful features that allow lawyers to streamline the communication experience between the firm and its clients. Here are some of the most important and legal-specific features found in live chat solutions:
|Lead Capture & Qualification||Live chat tools improve lead acquisition rates by adding an additional communication channel to your law firm. Live chat agents will capture and qualify potential new clients, and begin the intake process.|
|Client Intake||Live chat apps accelerate the intake process by capturing contact information and case details from your prospective clients.|
|Industry-trained Chat Agents||Some solutions offer live chat agents that are well-versed in legal-specific matters. This offers reassurance that live chat agents can interact with your clients in a knowledgeable fashion, and communicate with you and your staff effectively.|
|Appointment Scheduling||In many live chat solutions, clients can schedule appointments and consultations on your law firm’s website. Some solutions integrate with your practice management system, and will automatically populate calendar events based on your availability.|
|24/7 Virtual Assistant||Some solutions offer live chat agents that are available 24/7. This allows you to field client inquiries and capture leads outside of working hours.|
|Practice Management Software Integration||Many of the live chat tools we list below integrate with popular legal practice management solutions. Integrations allow information collected from prospective clients in the chats to automatically flow into your database. This accelerates document assembly and reduces your staff’s administrative burden.|
How Much Does Live Chat Software Cost?
Live chat software pricing generally ranges from $19 per month for basic tools to $999 per month for advanced options. More expensive solutions are equipped with robust features, such as 24/7 live chat agents and appointment scheduling. Additionally, some live chat tools listed below are one part of a broader suite of features offered by reputation management providers, such as Birdeye and Podium. These solutions are less affordable than standalone live chat apps.
Many live chat solutions are also free to use, though these free choices may not have features that will easily support law firms.
Does Live Chat Software Integrate With My Practice Management Solution?
Many live chat solutions integrate with legal practice management software. Integrations are particularly useful for client intake, appointment scheduling, and lead management. Many practice management solutions offer built-in integrations with live chat, and others are connected through Zapier. Here are some of the live chat tools that offer integrations with legal practice management solutions:
The Best Live Chat Software for Lawyers
The best live chat solutions for lawyers are listed below. These solutions are ideal for law firms that would like to augment their company website with a tool that improves client experience and automates the intake process.
Smith.ai is a live chat and 24/7 virtual receptionist service that offers legal-specific features. There are easy-to-build lead capture forms and Smith.ai’s chat agents provide services like appointment scheduling, payment processing, and client intake. Smith.ai also has pre-built integrations with many legal practice management solutions such as ClientRock, Clio, and Lawmatics.
Smith.ai’s Basic Plan costs $140 for 20 chats and charges $6 per additional chat, making this solution less affordable for law firms with high traffic. If you have the budget, Smith.ai is a useful tool if you want to invest in technology that differentiates your law firm.
Podium is classified as a reputation management system and includes live chat for your website. Podium’s live chat is unique in that visitors will text with your company, which can be beneficial for continuing contact even when visitors aren’t at their computers. Podium also integrates with legal tools like Clio. Through Podium, customers can make payments and provide feedback.
Podium is priced at $399 per month, and far more expensive than any standalone live chat tool. If you are looking for a solution with a broader suite of reputation management features that includes live chat, then consider testing Podium. If you have a tighter budget, and only desire live chat functionality, we strongly recommend testing the other solutions we have listed before purchasing Podium.
BirdEye is a reputation management platform with messaging capabilities, surveys, and a ticketing system to manage client concerns. It is a similar price to Podium, starting at $399 per month for the plan that includes live chat. This solution is used by many companies to improve online presence and attract new customers and clients, which may be beneficial for your firm.
BirdEye has pre-built integrations with Clio and PracticePanther, two popular legal practice management systems. Though it does not have a tool for payment processing, it has many other features that will enhance a law firm’s client support efforts.
LiveChat, as the name suggests, is a live chat-focused tool that includes all essential features to support website messaging. It’s powerful but is not specifically geared towards law firms, like Smith.ai—for example, it does not have chat agents for hire the way Smith.ai does. There is a ticketing system where you can track client concerns, surveys to capture prospective client information, and chat transferring in case you need to switch the chat between different departments.
If you have a high-traffic site, LiveChat may not be the best choice given that it does not have the option to hire chat agents and virtual assistants on your company’s behalf. However, if you have in-house receptionists who will staff the LiveChat inbox, it can work well for your law firm. It’s also more affordable than both Podium and Smith.ai with prices starting at just $19 per month.