A thoughtful, frictionless client intake process in your law firm has the power to win over dream clients and position your firm as a trusted provider of legal services. It also happens to be your shot at making a positive first impression. Below are five lessons for creating an impressive client intake experience that ensures you’ll attract the best new clients and make them fall in love with your firm.
1. Make the best first impression
First and foremost, to attract new clients, you have to make an unforgettable first impression. You can do this by ensuring your website accurately represents your brand and gets clients excited to work with you. Sharing a short, captivating story about why you pursued law and the magic you feel when helping clients is one way to really wow prospective clients. On top of the charm factor, you’ll also be setting yourself apart from other firms. You can gain even more inspiration and insight into creating high-quality online assets by reading our complete guide to law firm website content.
The best law firm website designs provide an effortless, client-centered experience while projecting a unique brand true to their practice. Understand more about prioritizing the digital user’s experience by learning from the 20 best law firm websites on the internet.
2. Be responsive and communicative
What is the most sought-after trait of a lawyer? According to 86% of clients surveyed in the 2021 Legal Trends Report, it’s responsiveness to questions.
When a potential client engages with your firm via email, phone, or a form on your website, they want to hear back from you as soon as possible. One survey found that 46% of consumers expect companies to respond faster than four hours to their emails.
A straightforward process for replying to client communications will ensure you aren’t leaving any prospective clients behind. The tips below will help ensure reliable communication processes are in place at your firm:
- Have a checklist of each new prospective client’s progress. This record should also highlight the next steps in getting them closer to a signed retainer. Your checklist might include the following:
- Send an intake email.
- Follow up with an email reminder if they haven’t filled it out after a specific time.
- Follow up with a prompt to schedule a consultation appointment.
- Include drafted template emails for swift sends. These should include links to intake questionnaires or forms. Software such as Clio Grow can provide client intake form templates with customization capabilities.
- Use legal workflow and email automation software to send client communications and track their status passively.
- Consider investing in a chatbot application for lawyers. Using technology to communicate clearly and often is one of our top eight lawyer-client relationship tips.
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3. Develop a pre-screening process
Ensure your firm isn’t wasting valuable resources and time on potential clients you can’t help. Having a clear conflict of interest checking process is an excellent place to start. Legal CRM software such as Clio Grow makes it easy to run a conflict check.
Another important consideration for client intake in law firms is creating and implementing a pre-screening process. Before you book an initial consultation, save valuable time by asking for enough information to determine whether a given client is a fit for your firm. Create a pre-screening form that includes:
- Specific questions about their matter so you can determine whether the scope of their case will fit into your practice’s workflow.
- The information you require from them for a conflict check.
- Supporting information about expectations and results. This can help set realistic expectations about details, such as how long the process might take.
- Anything else that might support your ability to consider their case at your firm.
When you collect information through a form the client submits, you can ensure that information is as accurate as possible. No information gets lost because of hand-written intake notes or having it relayed through multiple people at your firm.
The best part is that this critical information can be shared with all the stakeholders at the firm as the client progresses through the various intake stages. Plus, it’s easy to store a digital record of the form to refer back to later. Client intake software makes this process even smoother—it’s the fastest way to share public intake forms online, see the status of all incoming clients, and more. Find out how client intake software can build your client list by scheduling a Clio Grow demo today.
4. Create an easy engagement experience
Your client intake work doesn’t end once a client decides to work with you. You’ll still need to get a signed engagement letter from the client.
With Clio Grow, you can easily create and save engagement letter templates for different matters and payment structures (e.g., flat-fee, hourly, and retainer). Clio Grow will auto-populate their information in an engagement letter template if your client has already filled out a pre-screening form.
Even better, using Clio Grow’s free HelloSign integration, you can obtain a signature from your client electronically with no additional meetings required.
Ready to enhance your legal client intake experience?
By following the tips above and our best practices for your law firm client intake process, you’ll be well on your way to creating a positive and professional first impression with prospective clients. Being memorable for the right reasons will support your firm’s growth, allowing you to help clients for years to come.
Adopting cloud-based legal practice management software is the best way to set your law firm intake process up for success. For a brief overview of how Clio Grow’s client intake process works, check out the video below:
We published this blog post in February 2022. Last updated: .
Categorized in: Technology