legal-intake , tips

4 Tips to Improve Your Client Intake Process

November 2, 2020

While you may already have an established procedure for prospective clients, it is beneficial to revisit your intake process to see if any steps need to be reworked or eliminated, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are 4 tips to help improve your intake process to turn prospective individuals into signed clients.

1. Dedicate an individual or team to handle the intake process

Even if you have a smaller firm, it is important to have a dedicated individual to handle the intake process. This not only makes sure that potential clients are addressed during the busiest hours of the day but it ensures that potential clients are communicating with someone from your firm who will reinforce your firm’s brand and message. Although it might be easier and affordable to handle the intake yourself, having a dedicated intake person will benefit your intake process during the times you’re unavailable like in court or meetings.

2. Limit the online intake process

While it seems efficient to have a long intake form on your website to collect contact and case information, requesting too many personal details about prospective clients and their case before speaking with them may deter them from submitting their inquiry. It’s best to leave the gathering of personal and case information to the intake person. This ensures that all pertinent information is collected by a trained staff member and establishes a good rapport with the potential client. By giving your intake process a personal touch, prospective clients will feel more comfortable sharing information and hopefully signing with your firm.

3. Follow through on following up

When a client submits an inquiry through your website, it is always best to reach out within 5 minutes. However, sometimes we find that the potential client does not answer the phone, even if we call immediately. You have to take into consideration that sometimes people may be able to submit a form but could be at work or otherwise occupied at the time they reached out online so are thus unable to answer your call. If your intake staff does not receive a response right away, it is important to continue to follow up every few days. If the prospective client included an email address, have your intake staff send an email. Oftentimes, the phone number will be a mobile number and can accept text messages so you should have your intake staff send a text after the initial call to let the potential client know your firm is available to speak with them. Trying alternate contact methods and spacing out outreach over different days and times will improve contactability with the prospective client, leading to a call with your intake staff and possibly a converted client.

4. Embrace the power of the e-signature and online forms

An important element of the intake process should be to convert the potential client into a signed one as efficiently and quickly as possible. If you rely on physical paperwork that requires a physical signature, you may be losing out on clients due to the current COVID-19 pandemic or lack of the proper equipment to scan the paperwork. Implementing e-signature software like Adobe Sign, DocuSign and Hello Sign, allow for a streamlined and safe way to get documents signed and delivered. All of the information can be digitally integrated into your systems, removing the need for redundant data entry that can oftentimes lead to input errors. When you have the option for clients to provide an e-signature, you make your intake process easy, simple, and effective by removing the need for the client to print any documents and worry about how to get it returned to your office. They can become a client immediately, allowing your team to begin working on their case rather than chasing down unsigned paperwork waiting to be returned.

Legal Brand Marketing is here to help

When an individual is looking for legal help, they are oftentimes nervous or hesitant to start speaking to an attorney. Having a safe and effective intake process can make the difference between signing a client and having them turn away completely.  If you have questions about your legal referral intake process, Legal Brand Marketing is here to help. Our client representatives are available to discuss your program, suggest ideas to optimize your intakes, as well as discuss your leads and your account.