Your current law firm intake process may serve you well enough as is, but if you want to grow your firm and work with more clients, a few small changes to that process can go a long way. The most efficient intake processes anticipate clients’ needs to simplify and shorten the process.
If it’s easy for people to find you and become your client, you’ll land more clients. Here are 6 changes to make to your law firm intake process that will help you land more clients!
Land More Clients with 6 Changes to Your Law Firm Intake Process
1. Learn to operate without relying on voicemail.
If voicemail has been your primary method of capturing client leads, you’ve probably lost a lot of potential clients. Relying on voicemail to capture leads for you will produce modest results at best; disastrous results at worst. Your clients know that you’re a busy attorney, and many of them won’t leave a voicemail because they assume you won’t listen to it and call back. Instead, they’ll just call the next attorney on their list until they reach a live person to help them.
You can anticipate this reaction from your clients and put a process in place to ensure you have someone to answer every phone call without directing your potential clients to voicemail. The best way to do this is by hiring an answering service, or virtual receptionist, to man your law firms’ phones. An answering service ensures you’ll never miss a client call and that every lead is qualified and captured as it comes in. A good answering service will also take appointments and handle appointment reminder calls, rescheduling, and any client cancellations for you.
2. Provide multiple channels of contact.
There’s more than one way to
skin a cat get in touch with a law firm. If you’re not providing multiple channels of contact for clients to get in touch with you, you can be sure that your competitors are or will be soon. It’s easy to set up additional points of contact for your clients’ convenience. Here are a few ideas to make plainly visible on your website and on any promotional materials you create:
- Email address
- Telephone number
- Website contact forms
- Live chat on website
3. Qualify every lead that comes your way.
Above, we mentioned website contact forms as a possible channel of contact to make available to clients. If you’re going to use a contact form, you should take advantage of the nature of this method of contact and get some qualifying information from your potential client.
The trick is knowing what information to request in order to properly qualify your leads and avoid wasting your time. Aside from basic contact details like name, phone number, and email address, it’s wise to get some preliminary details about the clients’ legal needs and situation. You don’t want to have clients going too in-depth this early in the process, so simply offering a drop down box with different options – Divorce, Child Support, and Custody might be options for a family lawyer – can be effective in qualifying your leads.
4. Keep up with those leads – all of them.
You can use an existing intake management system or create one of your own, but it’s essential that you keep up with every lead that comes your way. Examples of information and details to track include:
- Date and time client reached out
- Method of contact
- Details about case or needs
- Date and time of your response
After collecting this data for a few leads, you’ll begin to see important patterns and information that can help you land more of these leads and figure out where in the process the most leads are dropping off. Maybe your response time could be improved, or perhaps you’re receiving a lot of inquiries from clients whose needs don’t mesh with your practice. In this case, you should consider re-targeting your advertisements and marketing.
5. Respond to new leads as quickly as possible.
“The faster you can respond to a potential clients’ inquiry, the more likely they will do business with you.” Above the Law
The quote above is undeniably true, and also in reverse: The longer it takes you to respond to a potential clients’ inquiry, the less likely they will do business with you. In fact, if it takes you more than 24 hours to respond to a prime lead, the chances are overwhelming that they’ve already spoken to and selected another lawyer.
For this reason, respond to potential clients as soon as you see that they’ve contacted you. If you’re working with an answering service, you’ll receive an email or text message as soon as a potential client contacts you via phone, website contact form, or email, so you can ensure you don’t miss any leads and can respond right away. The faster you respond, the more secure your client will feel doing business with you. That alone improves your law firm intake process.
6. Use email marketing to capture dormant leads.
If you’re adequately tracking each lead as it comes in, this step should be relatively simple. You’ll need to use an email marketing program like Mailchimp or Constant Contact to automate follow-up emails to send to leads who haven’t become clients yet. You can automate these emails to send at any point in time after the lead has initially contacted you – we recommend sending a follow-up at 30 days and 90 days.
You’ll only need to draft the email once, and in Mailchimp, you can use merger tags (first name, last name, full name, etc.) to get each person’s information to show up in the email you send to make it more personal. Some of these leads will have chosen another lawyer since you spoke with them last, but some will respond to your subtle nudge and decide to do business with you.