Legal client intake significantly impacts your law firm’s rate of growth. Handled incorrectly, it can result in lost leads, stifling your firm’s profitability. But when done in a comprehensive and consistent manner, client intake can drive conversions and provide your law practice with a positive return on its legal marketing investments.
Keep reading for valuable tips for insight on mastering the legal client intake process at your law firm.
Speed to Lead
Your firm’s response time to an initial prospect communication – particularly when they reach out through an electronic medium – is critical to the success of your legal client intake. Law Ruler, a top law firm client relationship management (CRM) software provider, has conducted extensive research that shows a steep drop off in the number of captured leads within as little as an hour after initial communication. Consider this scenario:
Your personal injury firm receives a website contact form for a new client at noon. Typically, an administrative member of the firm handles the follow up on these communications, but they are busy handling a billing dispute with one of the firm’s service providers. They finish their call at 12:30 and turn their attention to following up on the contact form, only to find that the potential client has already chosen another law firm.
This is how quickly your firm can lose out on viable leads without a consistent follow-up system in place. Responses should occur within a minute or two. Anything longer leaves room for your competition.
One more point about speed to lead. Make sure that your law firm maintains a mobile friendly intake process. Many prospects prefer to engage and decide on legal services through their mobile devices. Ideally you want to use an intake firm that easily guides them through questions and instructions, even from their phone.
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The key to successful legal client intake is a standard process for input, as well as lead follow-up. This includes the number of steps and the channels through which those steps occur. Ideally, you want to replace ad hoc manual data entry with software that maintains a consistent cadence with minimal steps. Done successfully, it looks like the following:
- Phone numbers automatically populate into the intake form for immediate reference by firm representatives, eliminating the risk of human error.
- The opportunity for specific webforms to capture data relevant to different practice areas, including the ability for leads to upload records which provides a more complete intake process from the very first interaction.
- Enhanced lead satisfaction with automation technology. For instance, Law Ruler offers features like automated text messaging and a dialer that can automatically send out reminders.
- Standard number of touches for each lead, eliminating the need for firm members to make guesses about the process.
Even small changes at the start of the top of your law firm sales funnel can have a major impact on conversion rates, as well as the cost per signed retainer.
In many law firms, the period between intake form completion and a signed retainer often is riddled with bottlenecks that negatively affect conversion rates. One prevalent problem occurs when firm members question whether they are making enough lead touches. Staff members may worry about making too many touches and upsetting leads.
Consistent automated processes remove that fear. These legal marketing systems balance out the numbers in favor of your firm, so that highly engaged leads receive consistent touches, resulting in higher conversion rates at the end of the funnel. Your staff is no longer guessing about the legal client intake process. Instead, they have standardized tasks that create an organized experience for the lead.
Many firms still rely only on their legal practice management (LPM) systems for their client intake processes, but this is a mistake for various reasons:
- With LPM, firms miss out on the benefits of automation due to the need for manual data entry.
- These platforms typically are not set up to handle marketing automation for the cadence your firm needs.
- LPM software generally does not offer the marketing performance data firms need to make informed legal marketing strategies.
CRM for law firms is a very specific tool designed to optimize your legal intake funnel. Look for one that integrates with your LPM to streamline your process, reduce double entry, and remove bottlenecks. When you spend dollars on law firm marketing, you want to know that you are getting a high return on investment while not creating extra work for your team.
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The successful nurturing of leads requires a nuanced approach that priorities consistency in all aspects of communications. For instance, you may have a couple of team members sending out lead emails, but one person has a very different tone than the other, which can frustrate your firm branding. Law Ruler’s AI Email Assistant can solve this problem by creating consistent emails that always offer an accurate value proposition.
Without having to write the same email over and over, your firm members can choose the topic and tone and have the tool complete the email. This valuable augmentation tool helps your staff be more consistent with tone, grammar, and spelling. It’s a time saver that can also offer content ideas that may not have been considered otherwise.
AI generated emails are not a replacement for the supervision of your law firm staff though. So, it is vitally important to review and edit the generated messages before sending them out.
Law Ruler’s AI feature also provides the option of creating custom messages regarding your law firm specifics, including details like:
- Your firm is family owned and operated
- The court jurisdictions serviced by your firm
- Your geographic office locations
- Practice accomplishments
- Exemplary client base details
These value adds can bump up your conversion rates, but they need to be included consistently. The Law Ruler automated email writer weaves them into the content to ensure that these messages reach clients every time.
Law Ruler Helps your Law Firm Master Client Intake
Research shows that 78% of customers choose the first law firm that follows up with them. To drive conversions, your firm needs automated communications that include a speed to lead strategy, a consistent cadence, less intake bottlenecks, and lead nurturing that gets results.
Law Ruler recently conducted a webinar detailing tools to maximize the lead to client process. Click this link to watch it and learn more about their CRM for your law firm.
Transform Your Law Firm
Maximize your client intake process and acquire more leads with Law Ruler’s all-in-one legal intake and marketing automation software. Schedule a personalized, one-on-one demonstration of Law Ruler today!