You know your ideal client.
You’re spending time, money, and energy marketing your services to them with advertisements that are authoritative, professional, and assuring—that’s why so many potential clients pick up the phone to call your firm.
But there’s a problem…
When those potential clients call your firm, they get your voicemail.
When prospects get an answering machine—when your client intake process isn’t polished and sharp—they hang up and call the other attorney (your competitor) down the street.
The average law firm misses 35% of the calls they receive, leaving almost four out of every ten potential clients with a negative impression of the firm…an impression that will lead to lost case opportunities and lost revenue.
Here’s the reality…people are impatient
Whether it’s a missed call or long hold times, potential clients are quick to pull the plug on attorneys who don’t deliver a white-glove experience.
Well, think about it…
Family law clients are typically dealing with high-stress, high-emotion issues like divorce and child custody—they want answers, and reassurance NOW, not in an hour. They want to feel like their attorney is not only there for them, but that their case is the only one on their docket.
Therefore, any client intake process has to be built around quality and speed. Inbound calls need to be answered quickly (before the third ring is recommended), and hold times need to be non-existent. If a message is being taken, thorough notes should be recorded, and any immediately answerable questions should be addressed.
Poor client intake costs you money
Did you know that 51% of customers will never do business with a company again after receiving poor service?
Referrals are an important part of the family law business, and a shoddy intake process can leave a negative impression that not only never leaves, but haunts a practice for years to come.
As much as 97% of prospective clients read online reviews when looking for a local attorney, and they regularly put as much trust in those online reviews as they do a personal recommendation from a friend. Reviews like those above cost unlucky firms thousands and thousands of dollars every single month.
“Friction” creates fire
If a prospect lands on your family law firm’s website, feels inspired to call, but can’t find your phone number, that creates friction. And if your client intake process consistently creates friction, it’s bound to create a fire that costs your practice precious dollars and cents.
Remember, family law prospects are generally impatient folks, which means the more hoops you make them jump through just to get in contact with your firm, the more likely they are to say “to hell with this” and start looking for someone else.
So, when it comes to your client intake process, look for points of friction and get to work smoothing them out.
How to build a silky-smooth client intake process…
When a lead calls…
- Ensure the phone is answered before the third ring by someone with a warm, friendly, and professional demeanor.
- Assuming the caller is a potential client, take at least 10 to 15 minutes to talk to them, learn about their needs, and figure out if they will be a fit for your practice. In effect, make this first phone call a sales call. Learn as much as you can, answer as many questions as you can, and present your firm as the best provider for their needs.
- To help intake calls from prospective clients go smoothly, have a script or a list of questions prepared to guide the conversation.
- Be compassionate and understanding on the phone.
- Set clear expectations for what will happen next.
- E.g., how and when you’ll get back to them.
- If you have to put a prospective client on hold, make sure they’re never on hold for longer than two minutes.
When a lead emails…
- Respond to emails within the hour.
- Grab direct contact information (their phone number) quickly after getting the qualifying details of their case, then set up a phone meeting.
- Use email to follow up on appointment reminders, fee agreements, and case updates.
- Don’t email back and forth, get them on the phone.
- If your client prefers email, then email. If they want to talk on the phone, talk on the phone. Do what makes them feel comfortable.
When a lead walks in…
- Understand that this can be a difficult step for many people. Address the needs of your walk-ins first and with priority.
- Have your receptionist or intake specialist ask qualifying questions or give your prospects a printed questionnaire before accepting a meeting with them.
- Offer the prospect a seat. Once qualified for the meeting, give them a reasonable wait time, and provide a beverage or snack until they can be seen.
- Push to secure them as clients on the spot. If they leave to explore other options, they likely won’t come back.
The benefits of creating a great client-intake experience
Happy clients are good for business, and that happiness begins with an intake process. If you can create a client intake process that ushers in the valuable leads generated by your marketing strategy, keeps them positively engaged, and closes them, it’ll mean significantly more cases, revenue, and positive word-of-mouth for your practice moving forward.
Need help building an ironclad intake process for your family law firm?
Call (866) 344-8852 or Contact Us for more information.