Make 2023 the Year of Putting the Client First in Legal Client Intake

by | Feb 2, 2023 | Intake Software, Legal Software | 0 comments

The client intake process involves the first interactions between a law firm and potential clients. It establishes a foundation for a relationship that can either be extremely positive or prohibitively negative, depending on the experience provided. Unfortunately, far too many firms put the speed of their intake process over the quality of the process with the intention of moving conversions along as quickly as possible. But this can be a costly mistake. With some planning and the right systems in place, law firms can handle client intake in a manner that successfully promotes efficiency while also putting the client’s needs first.

Why Client Intake Matters

Law firm client intake can broadly refer to the entire lifecycle of attracting prospects, nurturing leads and converting them into paying clients. It is the phase of representation where critical information is collected and utilized for the purpose of showcasing your firm as a lead’s best option for legal representation.

Handled correctly, the client intake process sets a tone that drives conversion and client retention. But done incorrectly, it can negatively impact a law firm’s productivity, leading to slower processes, avoidable errors, and missed conversion opportunities. Even more importantly, poor client intake can result in a poor lead experience, causing them to look elsewhere for legal representation.

Law firms get the client intake wrong in various ways. Consider the following:

  • Firms that rely on manual intake processes are more likely to miss important steps of the sales funnel, which may lead to inconsistent lead experiences.
  • In the absence of standardized data collection, firms may collect necessary information in a haphazard fashion, potentially resulting in data that is inaccurate or the absence of critical information altogether.
  • Manual responses to prospect communications are more likely to be delayed, opening the door for other law firms to gain a competitive edge in the eyes of the prospect.
  • Without an organized process in place, firms do not have the information they need to deliver the right content to the right leads. The delivery of irrelevant content does not provide leads with any value, frustrating the intake process.

Automation is the Key

Through the automation of intake processes, law firms can consistently provide a top-notch experience during the client intake process. These technologies eliminate the possibility of human error and help the intake process move along more expediently which demonstrates appreciation for a client’s valuable time.

Take a look at how automation enhances the legal client intake process along every stage of the sales funnel:

Attracting Prospects

Client intake starts with the process of capturing potential new clients. This may happen through various mediums, including advertising campaigns, website visits, social media, and referrals. Automation can help with these efforts in a variety of ways. For instance, social media posts can be crafted in advance and scheduled for automatic posting at specific dates and times.

Automation also elevates the experience of a potential client that initiates contact with the firm. Prospects want to feel heard and valued right from the start when seeking legal services. If their attempted communications go unanswered, they will quickly look elsewhere for representation. Whether contact is initiated through a website contact form or a direct email, automated systems can ensure an expedited and complete response.

Nurturing Leads

Once prospects become leads, it is vitally important for law firms to nurture them through the sales funnel. This could include an email drip campaign where the delivery of customized emails is automated so that leads receive content like educational materials, case studies, or client testimonials relevant to their specific needs with a regular cadence.

Automation may also entail automated follow-up calls or text messages that offer additional assistance. For clients who are closer to the conversion stage of the funnel, the task of scheduling an intake appointment can also be automated.

Streamlining the Conversion Process

The consultation is an extremely important part of the client intake process because it is often the final step before converting a lead into a paying client. As such, it is very important to make meetings as effective and useful as possible.

Automation can play a significant role in organizing the consultation. For example, the data gathered during the nurturing process can be automatically transferred into a client file. Having specific case information up front allows law firms the opportunity to more quickly evaluate the merits of the matter, perform crucial conflict checks, and calendar important dates. These tasks streamline the consultation process to make it more organized and efficient for the new client.

The processes of the consultation can also be automated, to include tasks like sending confirmation emails and crafting engagement documents. Automation can even be used to gather necessary signatures through technologies like e-signature software. The client experience is elevated with a convenient process that takes seconds instead of hours and days.

Prioritize the Client in Client Intake Process with Automation

Intake is an extremely important aspect of a successful client relationship. With an organized and automated process in place, law firms can center the experience of clients every step of the way. Law Ruler is an innovative CRM and legal marketing software that offers law firms a variety of automation features. To learn more, schedule a personalized demo today.


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