No matter how big or small your firm is, the importance of technology in the legal client intake process should not go unnoticed.
We've put together a list of five areas that are often overlooked to help you better understand and avoid the negative outcomes of using less effective technology in your intake process.
Pitfall #1: Not Tracking Every Call
When a new potential client reaches out to your law firm for more information, it’s critical you track each conversation. Using the right technology allows your team transparency in every call that comes through, no matter the outcome. The data you want to capture includes contact information, date and time of the call, subject of the call, the length of the call, next steps, and notes on the conversation. This detailed information makes it easier to see if your communication strategies are effective while also providing a digital paper trail for future reference.
If you’re using the best intake tools, then tracking this data allows you to measure the effectiveness of each campaign and gives transparency to a variety of important conversion rates. Without this, you could be missing out on critical data that will drive future optimization of your marketing campaigns and legal intake process.
Pitfall #2: Not Using Calendar Scheduling
Calendar scheduling allows your intake specialists to schedule follow-up appointments while still on the phone with a prospective client. The best calendar scheduling software accurately syncs to key team members’ calendars, allowing intake specialists to immediately find availability and not delay the next steps. Sending a calendar invitation automates the process and reduces the chance of missed opportunities. Receiving a calendar invitation to meet immediately after a meeting can also help a prospective client feel as though their point of contact has a genuine concern for their case and is eager to help them. This adds a layer of professionalism improving the overall process for everyone involved.
Pitfall #3: Not Offering Electronic Signatures
Removing small obstacles from the intake process turns more calls into clients. Asking a prospect to print a document, sign it, and then fax or scan the document to return it, requires several outdated steps. This process is particularly arduous and time-consuming in our fast-paced, digital world. It slows the process down and could be a barrier for some prospective clients. Offering electronic signatures (e-sign) means saving your prospective client time, which is something many other firms may not offer. Offering conveniences, such as e-sign, provides the most convenient experience for your prospects.
Pitfall #4: Making Your Client Duplicate Information in Your Intake Process
When possible, use technology that auto-populates form fields during the intake process. Even something as simple as auto-filling in the client name and contact information at the top of each form eliminates a step for your prospective client, encouraging them to move forward in the process. According to a Simplicity Index study, 64% of consumers are willing to recommend a brand if they provide a simpler experience. This statistic reinforces the emphasis on creating simple experiences for consumers and clients.
Pitfall #5: Not Automating Your Follow-Ups
Improve the conversion percentage of your leads by automating all of your follow-ups. According to the American Bar Association, 67% of consumers look for a lawyer who responds to a phone call or email right away. Automating follow-ups can help your firm meet expectations by adding efficiency and consistency to your processes.
With automation, your firm remains in regular contact with prospective clients at the critical moments in the decision-making process. You can touch base with them after the initial contact to help them remain engaged so they have a better experience with your firm.
Technology choices can be hard to make and there are a lot of options to navigate, but at the bare minimum, your legal intake process should utilize technology in a way that avoids these costly pitfalls.