Why Case Management Software Doesn’t Work for Intake

By Stephanie Lica

25 Mar 2020 | Intake, Legal Technology

Best-of-breed software companies focus on building, enhancing, and supporting an application that belongs to their core area of expertise. They typically offer the same usability that all-in-one companies offer, while providing industry-focused solutions. This type of undivided attention results in a superior software solution that is fine-tuned to business needs.  

Best of Breed vs All in One

Consumer-focused law firms tend to be behind other businesses when it comes to adopting new technology that best fits their needs.  For example, many other businesses connect directly with consumers using text messaging. They use online reputation management tools to manage their reviews.  Relatively few consumer law firms, however, have embraced these technologies. Due to the desire for simplicity, or oftentimes simply complacency, law firm owners tend to try and stretch the capacity of a single software application well beyond its capabilities.  What a lot of these law firms do not realize is that this decision is ultimately impacting their bottom line in a very negative way. 

Consider case management software. Attorneys can benefit greatly from this technology—when used correctly, it streamlines many aspects of client and court interactions, optimizing workflows and the organization of client information. Yet case management software cannot effectively handle potential client interactions. Law firms often find their case management software ill-equipped to manage the unique concerns of the intake process.  These shortcomings are built into the software itself, as the tasks and mentality of managing an active docket differ considerably from that of acquiring new clients.

In short: case management solutions are designed with the intention of streamlining processes after you’ve already landed clients. Acquiring those clients is another matter altogether—and it warrants unique software specifically tailored to this critical endeavor. 

Picking the right tool makes all the difference in landing new clients

So how do you know when you’re trying to shoehorn your current technology into something that’s not the right fit – in particular, using case management software to capture new clients? When it comes to landing new clients, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do we keep increasing our marketing spend but not seeing a comparable increase in new clients?
  • Does our primary competitor keep growing while our growth has stagnated?
  • Are we finding there’s not enough time in the day to respond to potential clients inquiries?
  • Are we returning prospects’ calls and emails only to find they’ve already hired someone else?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then the odds are great that you have prospective clients falling through the cracks. Consumer-focused law firms need to stop trying to fix their client intake gap by spending ever more on marketing. Instead, they should consider using the tools designed to better track marketing analytics, follow up on leads, qualify potential clients and ultimately sign them up. Lead management programs are designed very specifically to help law firms capitalize on all of their marketing efforts.  When implemented, they actually increase firms’ caseloads and allow them to decrease their marketing spend.

The Takeaway

Change is never easy, particularly when it comes to technological advancements. This is doubly true for attorneys. Ultimately, however, a best-of-breed approach centered on strategic intake could pay dividends for your law firm. The sooner you make the leap and switch to a dedicated intake system, the better outcomes you’ll see in terms of staff morale, client response, and conversion rates.

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