How Do I Improve My Intake Process to Get More Cases?
In law firms, client intake involves onboarding the potential new client while gathering the information necessary to build a case. This process can be taxing on a small firm, mainly because it is typically an un-billable process. However, with a few simple tweaks, law firms can set up their intake process to attract new clients by making intake more efficient and transparent.
Streamline the Intake Process
Communication between intake staff and new clients is vital to a smooth intake process. Take the time to create a document or guide for your staff that covers all the components of the intake process. Things to include could be links to the intake forms for new clients, an active calendar for scheduling consultations, and an email response template to send to interested parties. Having staff streamline the client intake process by organizing all the necessary information will result in a faster and more efficient system for everyone.
Another way to streamline your intake process is by utilizing software that keeps contracts and files in one place and tracks your client’s stage in the intake process. Software platforms such as Zapier and Clio allow people to enter their information once without manually copying data into individual systems. This leaves less room for human error and helps staff stay more organized in times of high demand. Using software to track where clients are in their intake process allows staff to do automatic outreach and allows for accessible communication if clients have questions.
Be Transparent with Clients
By nature, attorneys love to help others with their problems. However, that may lead to trouble if a potential client’s problem does not fit within your firm’s practice area, and you spend hours on an intake for a client who is not best suited for your practice. To avoid this, set up a pre-screen call with a potential client to get a better feel for the issue. What are they looking for help on? How do they want you to help them? By asking these questions, you could save time and resources if it is clear the person’s needs are better served elsewhere.
Another essential part of transparency with clients is the fees involved. Make sure you are transparent with accepted payment types and the billing process so that the client understands the monetary commitment to your services.
Small Tweaks Can Make a Big Impact
Changing small things in the client intake process for your law firm may lead to successful results. Streamlining the intake process may result in less time spent on un-billable tasks and create a smoother process for new clients. Transparency with clients regarding their needs and the fiscal responsibility that comes with your services creates trust and confidence early on. Improving this process will be an investment that could reap the rewards in your company’s reputation, recognition, and referrals.