6 Things Attorneys Can Do to Convert Clients: Attorney Client Intake Best Practices
Even the best lawyers are in competition with one another for clients with legal consumers adopting more consumer-like processes such as reading reviews and performing research prior to contacting an attorney. Driving new business involves many strategies to get your name out and convince potential clients you are the best attorney to represent them.
While providing excellent service and enhancing your reputation as a trustworthy practitioner is important, it’s often the smallest details that make the biggest difference when generating new business for your legal practice. Here are six ways you can improve your client intake best practices to attain a full roster of clients.
Adopt live chat and texting
You’ve got traffic to your website, but what do visitors do once they arrive? Hopefully, they spend some time reading about you, the kinds of cases you handle, and how your firm can help.
Oftentimes you only have a short window of time to grab a client’s attention before they navigate away from the page. One of the best ways to convert a visitor on your website is by using a managed live chat service. Managed live chat providers like Ngage Live Chat provide chat operators on your site 24/7/365, so your visitors can engage with your firm at all hours of the day, even on holidays. Law firms are generally able to double their website conversions with a live chat provider. Firms using Ngage live chat were able to sign on a new client for every 4.04 clients on average!
Unlike a chatbot, where a visitor doesn’t engage with a real person, a managed live chat provider puts your potential client in contact with a real person. This is significant, as Forbes recently reported on a survey that found 86% of people prefer a real person to a chatbot when talking to a business. Most managed Live Chat providers charge on a pay-per-chat basis, which makes having live chat on your site extremely affordable. At the time of this writing, you can expect to pay around $40 per qualified chat lead.
As an attorney, meeting your clients’ best interests is at the heart of what you do. There’s no better way to get them engaged from the get-go than by demonstrating there’s a human being ready to answer their query.
Answer the phone and respond to emails
Even if your potential client ignores the chat option, they might still want some response to their questions. Someone experiencing potential bankruptcy, facing a DUI charge, or going through a divorce seeks sensitivity, discretion, and legal skill. Thus, meeting those expectations is essential to converting clients.
To show your firm has what it takes to represent someone dealing with a massive life issue, it’s important to pick up the phone when it rings and answer those emails. It seems like a no-brainer, but it is absolutely worth mentioning as it can be quickly forgotten in the day and age of digital technology.
As an administrative matter, logging calls and emails is essential to the client intake process. You know who interacted with the potential client, such as a legal assistant, paralegal, or other attorney, and what discussions they might have already had.
You can then use this client information to pick up where your colleagues left off.
Create a legal intake strategy
Whether you’re a solo practitioner or have a small team that handles intake and communications with potential clients,you should have an intake checklist for prospects. This ensures all necessary and pertinent information is captured for every lead.
Law firms should include the following on their intake checklist:
- Contact details: Name, phone number, email
- How they found you: Website, transit advertisement, referral, etc.
- Why they might need a lawyer: Experiencing a divorce, considering bankruptcy
- Relevant case details: Served with divorce papers, received a tax assessment, etc.
- Who talked to them: Ngage live chat agent, legal assistant, or you
Also include critical details like if you indicated you could help or you referred them to another lawyer or professional, as well as if you discussed fee arrangements.
You should have an intake database that captures incoming leads and measures and software in place to track your processes, efficiency, and performance of both intake and client onboarding functions.
Track leads and follow up
Often a legal consumer calls or emails the firm but doesn’t sign up for the firm’s services right away. That’s normal; people often need time to research and decide on the right attorney to represent them in highly personal, life-changing cases.
Attorneys can take time to follow up with clients who have been in touch to remind them you are experienced, qualified, and ready to help with their legal issue. There are a couple of steps in this process:
- Set a follow-up schedule: Consider getting in touch within a week or a few business days, depending on the matter, with a gentle reminder.
- Use the client’s preferred contact method: During the initial discussions, your potential client might have said whether they want to be contacted over the phone or email, so adhere to this preference.
- Contact the lead: Send automated “drip” emails with a brief note encouraging the lead to stay in touch. Alternatively, you can call the lead to ask if you can be of further help.
- Invoke your experience & credentials: In your follow up, include validation of your experience and credentials to prove why you’re the right attorney for their case. This could include something like: “We’ve helped hundreds of individuals win their personal injury cases in the last six months alone. We’re here to help ensure you’re protected and fight to win yours too.”
As with your initial contacts, keep a list of all follow-up efforts and the results.
Automate your processes
The “tracking” and “checklist” are intuitively good ideas, but attorneys are some of the busiest people working today. It’s also not a priority for you or your team to keep up with client intake processes when you have existing clients who need attention.
The easy answer is to automate your attorney lead intake processes. You can take care of the fine details with an intake solution like that offered by Captorra. It’s an all-in-one solution, from intake scripts to texting, with easy integration into your existing software systems.
With automation you’re less likely to miss out on a follow-up opportunity and you’re enabling your legal practice to convert more of the right cases more effectively. Other members of your team can easily pick up where you left off, with all relevant information about a potential client in one solution.
Track the source of each lead
One final key to attorney intake best practices is to know where your leads came from. It might seem obvious but it’s an easy-to-overlook detail that can make a big difference in your lawyer marketing strategies.
For instance, did your lead end up on your website? If so, was the traffic source originally through Google, in response to a specific social media post, a lead from an online legal directory, or from a personal referral? Did they see your name and number on a bus shelter or transit vehicle?
Knowing the source of traffic can help you decide where to spend future marketing budget and help to improve your overall intake processes. You can ask clients as part of the intake process and monitor Google Analytics to see how people find you from your website.
Get started with the best tools for attorney intake
Ready to level up your legal intake? Get in touch with Martindale-Avvo today for the latest in technology, tools, and solutions we have to support attorneys.