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5 steps to level up your legal client intake.

Drawing eyes on your law firm and spreading positive word of mouth is the tricky part; letting leads know they’ve found the right attorney should be a snap.

With your marketing department excelling in generating interest from potential clients, sealing the deal can take your practice to the next level. After all, they’ve come to your firm–reassure them you’ve got this.

The client intake process

If you’re wondering:

“What does client intake mean in the law industry?” 

It’s simply how your firm onboards new clients. When leads contact your practice, you’ll need their personal details and information to consider their case. You might have an in-house team, 24/7 answering service, online form or a mix to support this.

Client intake can be quite time-consuming and usually unbillable. So here are some simple steps to streamline your process and maximize your working hours. 

1) First to answer

Picking up the phone is key to taking in more clients. It seems obvious, but 35% of phone calls to firms go unanswered (Clio). You miss out on a potential client every time your phone rings out. 

People in those situations need a lawyer–and fast! With a small firm, you may be unable to reach every call. That’s why using expert legal answering from LEX Reception gives leads a specialist whenever they contact your firm. 

Rather than clients reaching your voicemail, they’re connected with a real person who understands their needs. LEX uses a script and specialized screening or intake questions that are customized to suit your firm. That way, callers get someone who is available, caring and responsive. 

Every account comes with Setmore included. So, once new clients are filtered and accepted, they receive an automated confirmation email, intake form, or contract.

2) Nail your pre-screen

Lawyers want to help people–it’s why you got into the industry. But even if you want to take every case, some clients aren’t suited to your firm’s area of expertise. And you may have too much on your plate already. 

But how to decide? You don’t have a magic sorting hat, but a pre-consultation call can help you get to grips with the situation. Add pre-screens as a service to your Setmore Booking Page. And make it a virtual meeting by including a Zoom or Google Meet video link in their confirmation email. 

If they’re not a match, recommend them to someone in your legal circle and they’ll think of you next time their need fits your service. 

54% of legal professionals claim their firm captures more leads with a pre-consultation client intake form (Legal Industry Report). It’s a quick and effective screening method while adding forms to your booking process is a breeze. 

Once they’re clients, know that missed appointments can still happen. Cut down on no-shows with automated text or email reminders–and begin building your relationship. 

3) Don’t forget about fees

When taking your initial call or consultation, don’t hesitate to bring up your pricing. Clients will appreciate your honesty and it’s better to manage their expectations than leave them with a bill they can’t pay. 

Being transparent makes you more likely to add value in their mind. By emphasizing your different services, the price won’t matter to the client as long as you provide quality. 

67% would pay for legal services through flat fees (Legal Trends Report 2021). With a trusted payment technology like LawPay, clients can pay in a way that suits both your firm and them. 

Connect it with your Setmore account and clients can book and pay all at once. It’s easy and secure while ensuring your firm accepts ABA and IOLTA compliant payments. 

4) Connect with your favorite client intake legal software

Having a firm that runs smoothly and efficiently translates to your clients. A streamlined intake process lets them know you have things taken care of.

79% of legal firms say that intake software helps them use their time more efficiently while getting new clients (CallRail). Using cloud-based client intake and CRM software for legal firms eliminates the odds of duplicating your data entry.

CRM has become an essential tool for modern law firms. With it, you can easily keep hold of vital details and check in with your audience. Using software like Agile CRM consolidates all your client info into one convenient CRM. And when connected with Setmore, any time a client makes a booking, their details automatically sync in your preferred contact list. 

If Agile CRM’s not your thing, integrate your Zapier account, which will trigger ‘zaps’ anytime you make a booking. Ensure all your client details are in one place, no matter the software you use. 

5) Solidify your intake steps

To really up your client intake game, simplify your steps. Although having the latest tech makes life easier, having a defined plan has every team member on the same page.

Your structure can be as simple as:

  • Contacted
  • Follow-up
  • Intake for received 
  • Consultation booked
  • Payment made

As said above, all of these intake processes can be automated and tracked using the software above. But having a clear breakdown can help ensure you don’t miss a beat. 

More clients, more growth.

Client intake may not be something you’re paid directly for, but it’s an investment in growing your firm. Improvements using these (or any) steps will better position your practice to thrive. 

Happy scheduling!

Brianna Quiroga is a Senior Account Executive at LEX Reception. She has over 12 years of experience in legal answering and understands how to support law firms to be more efficient and free up their time.
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