Your law firm’s intake process is vital to the success of your business. How you onboard new clients and collect their personal information is critical to starting their case, but it also sets the tone for your relationship with them.
Many attorneys overlook the importance of the client intake the process because it is time-consuming and often is not billable time. However, whether your firm is new or an established practice, an organized and efficient client intake process provides new clients with a valuable, good impression.
Tips for Improving Your Client Intake Process
Many law firms hand new clients an intake form and consider it their intake process. However, attorneys should consider everything from their initial interaction (which often occurs online when the client is searching for help) to the client’s execution of the engagement letter to be part of the intake process. It can even be argued that onboarding new clients continues even after your law firm has been retained.
Below are several tips to consider for your law firm’s intake process:
Attracting Potential Clients
While personal referrals are a great way to obtain new clients, most law firms are discovered by online searches. Even if a potential client is provided a referral, they still usually investigate your firm online before contacting you. As a result, your website should represent your brand and demonstrate to the new client exactly why your law firm is the best to help with their legal issue.
Providing a quick and simple way for potential clients to provide their contact information is key in moving them toward becoming a client. Depending on the information you are collecting, an online form on your website can streamline this process. Collecting the potential client’s initial information allows you to determine whether the client is a fit for your law firm before scheduling a consultation. You can also use the information to confirm your law firm does not have a conflict of interest in representing the potential client.
Your firm can also streamline the consultation process by providing an online scheduling tool. If you prefer a more personal approach, train your support staff on intake procedures. At The Rainmaker Institute Intake University Live, we provide an intensive 8-week program designed to train your intake staff and lawyers to track your leads, better qualify prospects, set more appointments, and retain more clients.
Your law firm needs a questionnaire for clients to provide their key information necessary for you to handle their case properly. The client questionnaire should be created with thoughtful consideration, not just a generic form found online. Obtaining the critical information upfront can save time and prevent costly mistakes from being made.
If your law firm has successfully obtained the key information from your new client’s intake questionnaire, generating the fee agreement should be simple.
Onboarding is the process of letting your client know what to expect. For example, you should inform them of when and how they will be billed for your services, methods for paying their bills, the best way to contact you, and other types of information that help set expectations.
How The Rainmaker Institute Can Help
The professionals at The Rainmaker Institute are established law firm marketing experts. For more than 20 years we have helped law firms just like yours operate more effectively and build their books of business.
Our greatest insights related to client intake are distilled in the Intake University program. In it, we teach law firm intake staff how to convert contacts into contracts, using many different learning mechanisms. All these techniques complement one another, showing your intake staff how to boost your firm’s conversion rate.
If you are ready to take your law firm to the next level and see your Google ranking improve, we can help. Whether you choose to attend one of our live events or you want a free, confidential consultation, we are here to help!