The client intake process in law firms is a vital part of operating a firm. This process typically involves onboarding a new client and acquiring their personal information to begin their legal case. Yet, while necessary, this process is considered quite tedious and incredibly time-consuming, primarily for a small firm.
As a result, despite its importance, the legal client intake process often brings with it several issues that can ultimately hurt a client’s experience and result in low conversion rates. For these reasons, we have prepared the following blog post. In it, we will walk you through some of the best practices you should consider implementing into your legal intake process and go over how Back Office Legal can help you every step of the way.
One of the worst things you can do is lose clients before they even become one. Prospective clients hate working with unresponsive law firms, and it is often the number one complaint when it comes to attorneys.
Fortunately, when you use a virtual assistant or receptionist service, you do not have to worry about this problem. This service can ensure that every client who calls your firm will talk to a person, no matter if they call on the weekends or evenings. This can also make sure these individuals get the responsiveness they need, which can help start building trust with the firm and maximizing the firm’s chance of the individual becoming a client.
Another common mistake that law firms waste time on is onboarding clients that will not be a good fit for the firm. Even if the attorney handles certain cases, not every issue or person is a good match for them.
That is why pre-screening is so essential, and law firms should set up a call to assess the matter at hand quickly, including figuring out what the person wants to get from this attorney-client relationship, whether they worked with a lawyer in the past, and what their expectations are for their case.
Collecting these details can also enable the firm to perform a conflict check, review the merits of the case, and determine whether the case is something they want to take on.
If the firm decides the client is not a good fit for them through the pre-screening, it is okay for them to refer the individual to another attorney or let them know that the relationship will not work. Even when firms decide to pass on cases, the way they handle the matter can still establish a good relationship with others and even lead to clients down the road.
During that initial consultation, you also want to touch on the billing process, the methods of payment you will accept, and other issues related to the fees. This can help the client understand your expectations regarding payment and ensure they are clear on how much they will owe you after you perform the legal services they need.
You will want to keep track of your clients and potential clients, making sure that none of them get lost or fall through the cracks.
To ensure this does not happen, it is important to turn your client intake process into specific stages, including sections related to “forms pending” or clients that you “have not yet contacted.” This will allow you to see the steps you still need to do, the actions you have completed, and what actions you should take next.
When it comes to new clients, the goal should always be to make the process as easy as possible and minimize barriers. That is why one of the best ways to streamline the intake process is to offer e-signatures on your documents, including fee agreements. This can help speed up everything and make the process much quicker to tackle.
Yet, whatever things you offer with this intake process, you want to remember that although nothing will ever be perfect and hiccups may still arise, the main point is to constantly improve and look for opportunities to make things better for your clients and yourself.
While onboarding a client can be stressful for any law firm, when you work with a back office outsourcing team, you will not have to take on this challenging process alone. Instead, the team at Back Office Legal can focus on your legal client intake process while you focus on what matters most, including growing your business and practicing law.
In fact, our company helps firms of all sizes improve their lead conversions and increase client satisfaction through our legal intake and answering services. We make sure that our intake conversion experts will answer calls from prospective clients, complete initial consultations, process intake forms, and even schedule appointments that work for your firm.
If you are thinking about working with legal intake specialists, then do not wait any longer to get your questions answered. Instead, contact Back Office Legal today for more information and let us show you how we can help.