At their core, law firms are businesses that provide their clients with legal services. Therefore, successful firm leaders must also act like successful business leaders in order to drive consistent profits. That means getting the firm’s brand out into the marketplace, identifying prospects, nurturing leads, and converting those leads into paying clients. This is the process of legal client intake, and it is an extremely important part of managing a viable law firm.
This post will provide four steps that your law firm can implement for an enhanced legal client intake process.
Step #1 Organization is Key
Disorganization is the number one cause of ineffective legal client intake. When firms operate haphazardly without sensible systems in place, it may result in lost leads and missed opportunities for firm growth. How can you cultivate conversions if you have no idea what stages your leads are in and what has or has not been done to follow up with them?
Your firm can avoid this confusion by crafting an organized process that is broken down into the defined stages of the intake process. For instance, your firm’s procedures may be divided as follows:
- Initiated Contact – These are prospects who have reached out to the firm by taking some action like filling out a website contact form or leaving a comment on a social media post.
- Follow-Up Stage – These leads are being actively nurtured through the sales funnel. They have been contacted at least once and will continue to be contacted with targeted marketing content.
- Intake Pending – These leads have communicated their intention to engage the firm, but the conversion process is ongoing. Perhaps the engagement agreement has not been executed, or the firm is awaiting the retainer payment.
These are only a few examples of how your firm can organize its intake process. You can include as many or as few stages as needed to provide a clear picture of where each lead stands.
Another useful tool for organization is the checklist. There are numerous tasks that go into comprehensive legal client intake. It is very possible that firm members may forget to return a call or collect needed information. Checklists help ensure that all steps are completed with no gaps for potential clients to slip through. They also help firm members ensure that no important deadlines or appearances are missed.
When legal client intake looks like an organized process, it also becomes consistent and easy to follow by any member of the firm. They form a foundation that can be referred to, even as you scale up your firm and add new members.
Step #2 Automate the Processes
Automation is an imperative aspect of improving your legal client intake process. Many of the involved tasks are more administrative than legal, which means they are nonbillable. This is problematic for two reasons. First is the obvious concern that time spent on these tasks cannot be billed to clients. Secondly, this type of work tends to be handled hastily, which can lead to human errors and costly mistakes.
From simple typographical errors to major oversights, your law firm cannot afford the potential consequences of mistakes within its legal client intake. Not only do they make your firm look unprofessional, but they can also open it up to bar complaints and liability.
With automation, your firm can eliminate the constant potential for human error in your client intake workflow. For instance, you can create templates customized to meet the common circumstances of your client base. These templates can then be automatically populated using information gathered from potential clients through automated contacts.
Leads stay top of mind with automation as they are effortlessly guided along the sales funnel of engagement towards conversion. You also have access to up-to-date status reports on all leads and new clients. Automation saves your firm valuable time and effort that can be spent on more profitable tasks.
Step #3 Use Effective Content
Even the most organized and high-tech legal client intake process can fail without the use of effective content that gets results. When people start looking for legal services, they want answers to their questions and comfort to ease their concerns. The right law firm marketing content can provide those answers and that comfort.
For your firm, this may look like an educational website complete with case studies and a detailed FAQ. You can also use social media platforms to craft content that gets your firm noticed. Pictures and video have become extremely popular vehicles for delivering content. To keep your firm on par with the competition, consider incorporating some of these media options into your legal marketing strategy.
Drip email campaigns are proven marketing tools that get results. They consist of a series of targeted emails that are sent to specific leads at predetermined intervals of time. The goal of a drip campaign is using targeted contact to keep potential clients interested in your law firm or re-engage those that may have fallen out of the sales funnel. These emails can also be automated, making them even more useful to your firm.
Step #4 Choose the Right Technology
Your law firm needs the right client relations management (CRM) software to bring all these components together for an elevated legal client intake experience. This technology streamlines these processes through various workflow tools and automation capabilities. With law firm CRM, your practice can operate with the type of client intake process that effectively turns leads into paying clients.
Law Ruler offers a high-level platform designed to expand your firm’s business. With legal CRM, intake tools, and marketing automation, Law Ruler provides solutions for a modernized practice with enhanced growth. To learn more about Law Ruler, click this link for your firm’s no-obligation demo.