Does your law firm have a system for client intake? Intake is the process of onboarding new clients. This includes obtaining their contact information, facts about their legal needs, and more. Client intake can be time-consuming, and it is not billable time, but it is critical to the success of your law firm.
Creating a streamlined client intake process is vital to making a positive first impression. It shows that your office is efficient and that you care enough not to waste your client’s time. Whether your firm is new or fully established, client intake is important.
Stages of the Client Intake Process
Many firms make the mistake of viewing client intake as merely having new clients fill out forms. However, you should view the client intake process as beginning with attracting potential clients to having them sign an engagement agreement.
Below are the four primary stages of an effective client intake procedure:
- Attracting new clients. Potential clients can find your firm in a variety of ways. Whether it is by using the internet, by referral, by word of mouth, or numerous other ways, it is useful for your firm to know how people are finding you. This information can be particularly useful in deciding where to focus your marketing budget.
- Obtaining contact information. Whenever a lead or potential client contacts your law firm, it is crucial to provide a convenient way for them to share their contact information. Having the ability to communicate directly with people drastically increases the likelihood of converting them into a client.
- Pre-screen for fit. Prior to scheduling an initial consultation, you can save yourself time and effort by determining if the lead is a good fit for your law firm. For example, if the client is seeking help with divorce and none of your attorneys practice family law, there is no need to have a consultation when a telephone call providing a referral for a divorce attorney is sufficient.
- Check for conflicts. Having enough information to run a conflict check can also save you time. The sooner you know whether your firm has a conflict, the better.
- Schedule and attend the initial consultation. Providing a convenient tool for scheduling appointments will improve your rate of bookings. Many people are more likely to click on your calendar and schedule a consultation than they are to call your office to handle it.
- Gather key information. One essential step in the intake process is asking the potential client to provide key information in your intake questionnaire. You will want a basic understanding of their case as soon as possible.
- Obtain signed fee agreement and onboard client. Again, the more convenient it is for a client to sign the fee agreement, the more likely they are to do it in a timely manner. Your staff’s onboarding process for new clients should include how your billing procedure works, the various ways your office will communicate with them, and what to expect as the case proceeds.
Creating an organized client intake process establishes a better experience for new clients and for your staff. Streamlining the intake lightens the workload for your firm and saves time for everyone involved.
How The Rainmaker Institute Can Help With Client Intake
Your digital presence is crucial in generating and converting leads. You have worked hard to get where you are, so learn to use technology to your advantage so you can enjoy the fruits of your labor more often while also generating new clients!
The Rainmaker Institute manages your legal marketing so you can focus on lawyering. We can set-up live chat services and improve your website. We will provide content that contains top legal focus keywords, proper page titles, appropriate meta descriptions, target length of content, and images that will boost your attractiveness to Google.
If you are ready to take your law firm to the next level and see your lead conversions 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!