Legal client intake is a multifaceted process consisting of numerous steps and procedures. From the identification of prospects to lead conversion, law firms can spend a lot of time and resources handling the intake process. Unfortunately, the opportunity for error is extremely high and even the smallest mistakes can be detrimental to firm growth. That is why it’s important for firms to put systems in place that prevent errors and promote the client experience.
Keep reading to learn how some simple tips can create a seamless legal client intake process.
Tip #1 Systematize
Far too many law firms maintain an intake process that is disorganized and void of systemized procedural tasks. This is a dangerous way to operate, and it could cost them potential clients. Disorganization can destroy a firm’s legal client intake process. With the many procedural components, firm members may simply forget to return a call or collect all client data.
By operating without sensible systems in place, firms risk losing leads and missing profitable opportunities for growth. However, when they organize their legal client intake, they transform it into a consistent process that is easily followed by any current or future member of the firm. Potential clients remain centered throughout the intake process and firms provide the high level of engagement that drives conversions.
Tip #2 Define the Stages
A law firm cannot effectively cultivate conversions if its members have no method of identifying the stages of legal client intake. With this information, they can keep a better track of what has or has not been done to follow up with leads. Avoid this confusion by defining and organizing the stages of the intake process. Consider the following:
- Initiated Contact – Potential clients that called to inquire about legal representation, completed a website contact form, or left a comment under a firm social media post.
- Follow-Up Stage – These leads have been moved into the sales funnel. They are continuously targeted and contacted with marketing content that promotes conversion.
- Intake Pending – These leads are in the active process of converting to paying clients. The engagement agreement or retainer payment may be pending.
By defining the legal client intake stages, firm members can better manage the needs and expectations of potential clients.
Tip #3 Automate
A lot of the legal client intake procedures are more administrative than legal, which makes the hours spent non-billable. In other words, time spent on these tasks cannot be billed to clients, which can negatively impact firm profitability. In addition, these administrative duties tend to be handled less carefully than billable duties, which opens the door to human errors and costly mistakes. When errors occur, firms not only look unprofessional to potential clients, but they may also face bar complaints and financial liability.
Automation tools alleviate the persistent potential for human error within legal client intake. Here are some examples:
- Automated contact tools, like chat bots, can ensure that no prospect inquiries go unanswered.
- Customized templates can be automatically populated using information gathered early in the client intake process.
- Email campaigns can be programmed to automatically send targeted marketing emails throughout each step of the sales funnel.
With automation, firms can effortlessly guide leads towards the conversion stage, saving valuable firm time and enhancing billable hours.
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Tip #4 Valuable Content
When consumers search for legal services, they expect to find answers to their questions and information that bolsters their assurance in a firm’s abilities. Valuable marketing content provides those answers and promotes that level of confidence. Without it, firms may go unnoticed within the crowded legal marketplace, or lose viable leads to firms that provide higher quality content. Consider these examples:
- A highly informational website that provides detailed case studies and educational blog posts.
- An active social media presence that showcases the firm culture and educates viewers about practice area trends.
- Content that incorporates eye catching visuals, like pictures and videos.
Even the best legal client intake process can fall short without the integration of effective content.
Tip #5 Email Campaigns
Email drip campaigns are completed through a series of content heavy emails automatically sent to targeted leads at predetermined times. Businesses across numerous industries recognize their value as highly effective marketing tools, and law firms should not hesitate to implement these campaigns into their client intake process. Email campaigns proactively keep leads continuously engaged before they fall out of the sales funnel.
Tip #6 The Right Technology
An elevated legal client intake experience requires the right client relations management (CRM) software. These platforms bring all of the intake components together to help firms streamline the various workflow tools and automation capabilities. With law firm CRM, every sized legal practice can operate with the type of client intake process that consistently turns leads into paying clients.
Law Ruler is an industry leader when it comes to streamlining the legal intake process. With legal CRM, intake tools and marketing automation, Law Ruler offers viable growth solutions for modernized legal practices. To learn more about Law Ruler, sign up for your firm’s no-obligation demo.
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