Every client interaction counts, but few encounters hold more sway than the first call. This is your opportunity to show prospective clients that your law firm offers the high-quality service they need and that you are capable of delivering a desirable case outcome.
Not only that, but failure to sign clients promptly could mean not signing them at all But how can you make sure to sign legal clients promptly?
The following best practices should help you catch and keep new clients starting with their first phone call.
1. Respond Promptly
Today’s clients avoid voicemail at all costs. They’re even more annoyed by law firms that fail to quickly respond to their calls. Few are willing to wait long before moving on to the next law firm, so aim to answer every call. When calls slip through the cracks, be sure to respond within a matter of minutes—not days.
The need for a prompt response may seem obvious, but this remains a huge area of weakness even among today’s most acclaimed law firms. Data analyzed by the ABA Law Practice Division’s Social Media, Legal Blogs, and Websites Committee reveals that in 42 percent of cases, law firms neglect to respond within two days of receiving voicemails or web-generated client forms.
2. Select Intake Staff Wisely
Don’t think of intake staff members as receptionists or phone-based paralegals. Rather, these skilled individuals form an essential component of your firm’s sales strategy.
Their job is convincing potential clients of your law firm’s value. While intake techniques can always be improved upon, some people are simply blessed with a knack for sales.
Ideal intake specialists are personable, persuasive, and proactive. They’re also in tune with clients’ needs. Leads seek not only information about your firm’s services, but also reassurance and confidence. After speaking with intake staff, they should feel positive about their prospects with your firm.
3. Customize Your Response
Clients want to feel like they matter. They’ll quickly be put off by generic intake scripts that fail to address their unique concerns.
Harness the power of customized scripts to secure both efficiency and personalization. Most clients can be divided into one of several categories based on demographic information and practice area. If possible, determine these factors in advance, to streamline the intake process.
4. Maintain Full Transparency
Clients find the legal process overwhelming. They want to be reassured, but more importantly, they want to know what to expect as they navigate a potentially stressful ordeal. Calmly explain next steps, highlighting everything from case procedure to your firm’s billing and staffing protocol.
Transparency is critical. Prospective clients should end initial calls feeling confident that, with your law firm in their corner, they will make it through the confusing legal process in one piece.
5. Use Technology to Promote a Seamless Experience
Even the possibility of future inconvenience can drive off potential clients. Clients also dislike extended intake questioning, physical paperwork, and extra law firm office visits. The more steps you can remove from the equation, the happier they will be.
A streamlined approach is best achieved through the use of lead management software, which removes much of the hassle from intake while also delivering an efficient, customized experience.
Tools such as electronic signatures that allow prospective clients to sign up immediately from their mobile devices or computers dramatically improve conversion rates and enhance client satisfaction.
Equipped with the right software and intake protocol, your firm can easily sign clients as soon as they call. Don’t waste this opportunity to improve conversion rates and amp up your law firm’s marketing ROI.