One area that can make a law firm quickly lose business is with its client intake. Unless streamlined, client intake can be arduous, in-efficient, and valuable information may be lost with poor organization. Clients may not just walk away from the firm, they may never seek its services again. To ensure your law firm is doing everything it can to transition prospective clients into signed claimants, here are a few tips on how to make your client intake process more efficient.
Separate Intake from Your Website
A lot of law firms make the mistake of doubling up the functionality of their website. Besides just being a marketing tool, it also serves as a client intake form. This is a mistake. Your website should only be used as a marketing tool.
When clients first access your website, they’re looking to see who makes up the firm and their experience. They haven’t been convinced thoroughly yet if they want to work with your team. Requiring them to give their personal information right from the start may push away some clients.
Your potential clients need to feel that they can trust you before they divulge their personal information. While having a limited intake form is acceptable, such as just requiring their contact information, you’ll want to refrain from asking for more personal information until after dialogue has been established.
Continue to Make Contact
Another problem that a lot of law firms run into is that they don’t follow up after their clients have submitted an intake form or a partial intake form. One of the best practices that you can utilize is to have a contact form on your website. After your client fills it out asking for more information, that’s when your team should start sending them emails.
You don’t want to spam their email, but it’s a good idea to contact them every few days to check in with them. You can easily automate your emails to ask the client for more information or to contact you.
This allows your team to focus on their own goals and projects.
The important step is to at least try and make contact instead of just leaving the client alone. Sometimes they just require a little encouragement to move to the next step in the process.
Remove Physical Paperwork
Physical paper questionnaires are outdated and seem unprofessional. Sending physical paperwork to clients slows down the process. It’s easy for paperwork to become lost or damaged either during delivery or when in the hands of the client. It might also be difficult for them to send the paperwork back. Another problem with physical paperwork is that it involves handwriting. Not everyone has handwriting that is easy to read. If you’re unable to make out something that was written, then the paperwork will have to be re-submitted and the client will have to fill out the entire thing again.
Errors with data transcription are also common. When transferring data from the forms to an online database, mistakes can be made. Those mistakes could end up being a serious problem later. Manual data entry is also sluggish. It only makes the process take even longer. Your client will not be overly impressed by how long it takes for them to be accepted as an official client in the firm.
To make the intake more efficient, you need to digitize them into online forms. The best method to do that is to create an online questionnaire. Here are some more key benefits that online questionnaires provide over paper and PDFs:
- You will save money on paper and ink.
- Clients can easily fill out the questionnaire online. No smudged handwriting or hard to read handwriting is involved.
- Paperwork can be in your hands immediately after a client submits the questionnaire. The same goes for sending the intake form to the client initially. The entire process could potentially be done in a single day.
- It also removes data entry. All of the data is transferred immediately because it was completed online. Besides taking less time, it also removes human error of needing to manually transfer data.
- The data can also be easily transported to spreadsheets and other important documents immediately. This becomes more efficient and time-saving.
Utilize the Power of e-Signatures
Nowadays, you no longer need to send forms to people in order to receive their signatures. e-Signatures can work just as well. Whenever you need something signed by your client, you should utilize e-Signatures. There are various professional sites that allow for notarizing the signature to make it official.
All clients have to do is either type or draw their signature onto the line. The signature is then considered legal and binding. Those papers can then be sent to the other party, the court, or whoever else needs the paperwork. It’s also possible to make copies of the document immediately.
Allowing your clients to perform an e-Signature for their client intake form makes the process faster and simpler. Action can be taken immediately which saves their time and yours. It also saves your client from having to download or print anything. This is a great option for those who don’t have a printer at home or only basic internet. It fits everyone’s needs.
Finally, it saves your firm time from having to repeatedly make calls and check-in with the client to see if they had signed their paperwork yet. Instead, your team can focus on preparing their cases and representing the client.
Start Making Your Client Intake More Efficient
Clients are nervous about asking for legal help. The efficiency of your intake process can determine whether or not they choose to work with your firm. By following these tips, you can streamline your client intake process and bring in clients.
Looking For Qualified Plaintiffs?
At Broughton Partners, our intake identification and screening process will find the right potential plaintiffs for your law firm. We have an in-house 24/7 call center standing by to collect and review leads. Our client intake process uses your law firm’s specific case criteria to determine their eligibility to file a lawsuit.
Get qualified plaintiffs by contacting our team today. Call (800) 949-8904 or fill out an online contact form below.