Legal intake is the process a law firm implements for interacting and responding to potential clients’ inquiries, how the firm obtains critical information about their legal issue, and who provides answers to their questions. Simply stated, legal intake is the customer service strategy for your firm. It should be standardized and organized so it is easy to adopt and follow, especially if you have different staff members handling intake or multiple locations.
What is covered in a legal intake strategy?
The goal of your legal intake process is to provide clients and potential clients with a consistent and dependable customer service experience. A few of the procedures that should be included in your legal intake strategy are:
- The process for having a client retain your law firm
- Onboarding new clients, including gathering information about their legal matter
- Properly opening and organizing the client’s file
A client’s first impression of your law firm is critical, so having an organized intake process will vastly improve the client experience and their trust in your professionalism and ability to handle their case.
Does your current intake process provide credibility to your attorneys? Does your intake strategy demonstrate that you are serious about providing quality customer support?
Legal Intake Improves Responsiveness
The legal community is highly competitive. If a lead contacts your office and you do not respond quickly, the potential client will move on to your competitor for help. Most prospective clients expect their telephone call to be answered (not by voicemail) and handled in a professional manner. One of the primary reasons clients switch attorneys is due to the lawyer being unavailable or failing to timely respond to questions.
Losing clients to competitors not because they are more competent, but because you have an ineffective (or no) intake process should be unacceptable to all attorneys. Your law office should have a staff member designated to answer your telephone, respond to emails, or other inquiries during business hours.
Successful Intake Strategies Track Activity
Legal intake should include tracking all data for answering client calls, emails, or chats to ensure quality information about your attorneys is being provided to clients and leads. Maintaining a log of these interactions can also demonstrate if your follow-up procedures are successful. Your firm should also track how telephone calls are directed to the appropriate lawyer or department for further follow-up. Finally, track how information is gathered from the prospective client and used to open their client file.
Legal Intake Requires a Small Investment for Large Returns
Creating a consistent legal intake strategy will improve your interactions with leads and existing clients. Improving customer service will increase your retention rates and bottom line while also bolstering your law firm’s credibility. If you ensure that clients and prospects talk to a real person when they contact your office, essential information is obtained, and response time is quick, you might be surprised at the positive results you get.
Consider The Rainmaker’s Intake University LIVE to learn more!
The Rainmaker Intake University LIVE is an intensive 8-week program designed to train your intake staff and attorneys on how to track your leads, better qualify prospects, set more appointments and retain more clients.
The professionals at The Rainmaker Institute are established law firm marketing experts. For over 20 years, we’ve helped law firms just like yours 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:
- Instruction regarding marketing concepts relevant to lead conversion, including common objections and key points to make in every call
- Real-time coaching with live calls
- Call analysis
- Feedback from our secret shopper program
All these techniques complement one another, showing your intake staff how to boost your firm’s conversion rate.
If you are interested in our Intake University program or how the experts at The Rainmaker can improve your legal marketing, contact us online or by calling (480) 347-9800.