How To Get Better Cases With Better Legal Intake
By John O'Haver
Legal intake is the most important process in a law firm. Making the right decision is vital to bringing in new clients and creating lasting relationships. Learn the top seven strategies that can help you improve your legal intake and get better cases.
Create a Solid Legal Intake Process
Not long ago, law firms depended on telephones, pens, and paper to keep track of their leads. These systems have room for human error and lead to many missed opportunities. Establishing a solid legal process can foster a better intake process.
There are different ways to create a solid legal intake process. For instance, you can adapt existing templates to gather similar information about a client through a telephone call. Or you can use online intake forms to collect client information via your website.
Prioritize Asking Your Clients’ Name and Contact Details
When a client calls your law firm, the questions you ask them to play a significant role in whether you retain or lose that client. Your priority should be asking for the client’s name and contact details.
If a client is reluctant to share this information, explain that you need the information so you can call them back in the event you are disconnected during a call. You don’t know what kind of reception or service they have at their end. This is good insurance in case their call drops.
Treat Your Clients with Empathy
Clients are human beings with real problems that need to be solved. A person could be calling your firm seeking a divorce, compensation in a personal injury claim, or to have a loved one represented in court. No matter their reason for contacting you, all clients should be treated with empathy.
The best way to do this is by taking your receptionist through empathy training at least once a year so they can learn how to empathize with your clients. Use different approaches to empower your receptionists so they handle your prospects with the empathy they deserve.
Educate Your Intake Team
Regular education for your intake team is critical to enabling them to convert prospective clients to long-term customers. There are several steps you can take.
Hold a Meeting at Least Every Three Months
These meetings help reinforce your expectations of the intake team. Discuss what’s going right and wrong, and consistently seek to improve your intake process.
Follow Up with Clients You’ve Turned Away or Who Are Yet to Work with Your Law Firm
These clients can provide good insight into your law firm that you can use to improve your intake process.
Establish a Two-Tired Intake Process
If you’re running a large firm, you need two intake teams. One team should focus on logging prospect clients’ information in your database, while the other details cases and quickly decides whether to take or abandon a case.
Evaluate Your Intake Team Performance
Check the number of appointments they make within a specific timeline and the number of prospects they convert to clients. In addition, record how many times the law firm won cases on these clients’ behalf. Then, reward those with good performance.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
Ramping up your use of technology can significantly boost your legal intake process. Good use of technology means keeping track of a client the second they complete your online intake form or call your firm until you meet their expectations to their satisfaction. This calls for quick and efficient ways to get back to leads.
You can achieve this through automated technology that keeps track of every interaction between a new client and your law firm. A well-established automatic process tells you who’s been following up on a specific client and their progress without relying on traditional methods, such as emails and spreadsheets.
When there’s better control of where a lead stands, you have a higher chance of conversion and more chance of making a profit.
Improve Your Intake Culture
Any company’s culture is built over time. You should do the same with your legal intake process. Therefore, establish whether your company will use an open-door policy, regular meetings with clients, or standards and call protocols to deal with clients.
You should also check whether your attorneys should be more involved in the intake process or if they are intervening in a way that devalues your intake process. This requires thoroughly assessing your intake process and clearly defining your goals for your intake process.
Hire Bilingual Receptionists
If you heavily depend on your receptionists for your legal intake, hiring a bilingual team can account for non-English speaking prospects. Whether you intend to outsource an answering service, establish an in-house team, or use a mix of these options, ensure you hire bilingual staff members.
You don’t necessarily need to hire someone for every language. Focus on hiring receptionists fluent in Spanish to start, since it’s the second most spoken language in the U.S. You can then build on other languages based on need.
Guarantee 24/7 Availability
Clients reach out to law firms at all times of day and night. Therefore, as you can be contacted anytime, you should avail your services round-the-clock to cater to all your leads.
Realistically, not all firms can establish an in-house answering service that’s available at all times. Hiring a third-party legal intake service works best for this expectation. You should choose a virtual receptionist team that’s flexible enough to create custom experiences based on your law firm’s specific requirements.
Improve Your Legal Intake with Go Answer
It’s no secret that the success of a law firm heavily depends on the number of prospects it can convert to clients. There’s no better way to achieve this than using call answering services. They ensure your law firm is always available and engage your clients accordingly.
Go Answer helps you improve your legal intake process with exceptional call answering services, with customized services that fit our clients’ needs and budgets. Contact us today, and improve your legal intake process in the best way possible.
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