Is your firm looking for any of the following?
- Increase internal efficiencies
- Fortify client satisfaction
- Improve retention rate
- Boost overall number of cases
Then, this blog post is for you!
As the legal industry continues to evolve in a post-pandemic business market, law firms need to focus on every aspect of the client experience to stand out. And when it comes to winning over new clients, there’s perhaps no process more critical than legal intake.
Your first point of contact with a prospect can make or break your chances of securing more business. Why’s that? Your prospects and clients are going through a stressful situation. Thus, clients appreciate it when firms are:
- Responsive: Clients want to feel that their legal matter is being taken seriously and that the law firm is responsive.
- Dedicated to One-On-One Interactions: Clients want to feel like their case is important and that they’re not just a number.
- Clear and Transparent: Clients want to know what to expect from the legal process and what their responsibilities are.
- Professional: Clients want to work with a law firm that exudes professionalism and competence. They want to be in the hands of the very best.
Overall, a strong legal intake process can reinforce all of this. In addition, it can help your law firm build a positive reputation, retain clients, increase revenue, and reduce the risk of errors and liability issues.
Here are a few strategies you can implement for successful legal intake.
Standardize, Standardize, Standardize
Standardizing your intake process helps ensure that all staff members are following the same process when handling leads and clients.
Why is standardizing the intake process so important?
Here are some compelling reasons:
- One word: lawsuits. If important information is missed or not properly recorded during the intake process, your firm could face a malpractice claim down the line.
- You’re establishing clear expectations for staff regarding how leads and clients should be treated from the very first interaction.
- You’re ensuring that all relevant details are recorded and accessible to anyone who needs them. This can be especially important for firms with multiple attorneys handling cases. When everyone on your team is collecting and documenting information in the same way, it becomes easier to ensure that important details don’t slip through the cracks.
To ensure a standardized legal intake process, training your legal staff on how to respond consistently when faced with a client intake situation is crucial. You can better uniform your staff with this protocol:
Actively Listen and Empathize
Clients approach law firms for the first time with mistrust – and that makes sense! They’re often reaching out because they have a sensitive issue that requires resolution, and the initial communication serves to determine if you’re the right attorney for the job.
Therefore, your legal staff must be empathetic, professional, and communicate effectively to build trust and establish a positive relationship. This requires more than just knowing the legal jargon – it requires understanding and addressing the emotional and personal aspects of your client’s situation.
Lean on a Legal Dashboard
Acquiring new clients requires tracking leads from multiple sources. These sources include:
- Website intake forms
- Phone calls
- Live online chats
This can prove to be a lot of information to keep track of. Relying on spreadsheets or your email inbox to manage your intake process is a mistake that can result in lost information. That’s where a legal dashboard comes in.
Adopting a legal dashboard lets you keep all your prospects and clients organized in one central location. You can move them through the pipeline, ensure timely follow-up, and maintain total control over your leads and clients’ information.
Tip: If you’re interested in investing in a legal dashboard, we strongly recommend you take a look at LawEval. LawEval is the result of two decades’ worth of gathering attorney feedback and designing the most user-friendly and convenient platform to address their client intake needs.
Have the Right Conversations From the Get-Go
No two cases are alike, thus no two conversations will be alike. However, you need to ensure your first conversation:
- Helps you determine the likelihood of lead converting to case
- Gives you clear image of the legal issue at hand
And how can you ensure this? As Consultwebs, a legal digital marketing agency, notes, you can begin by asking the following questions:
By focusing on these practices , your firm can expect to:
- Increase Client Satisfaction
- Improved Retention
- Enhanced Reputation
- Increased Revenue
- Reduced Errors and Liability
Your legal intake process can make or break your chances of securing more business. If you’d like to look into other proven strategies, find gaps within your intake process, ask more questions or want to get a head start- schedule a 1-1 and we’ll be happy to help.