The 4 Stages of an Effective Client Intake Process

Improving your intake process, or sales process, you can increase your conversion rate and ROI from marketing.

Let’s delve in. Here are the four stages of an effective client intake process.

Stage 1: acquiring and nurturing leads

We already talked about how to acquire and nurture leads in our lead management post. Click here to read.

Stage 2: Scheduling a consultation

The next major step in the intake process is to schedule an initial consultation. This meeting is a “sales” meeting where you get to learn more about the legal matter and you get a better understanding of whether or not this client is a good fit. If they are, hopefully you’ll secure the business.

Best practices for initial consultations:

1)      Screen clients beforehand with a  brief questionnaire

a.       This is a good way to filter out leads that will not lead to business. Questionaire should be 10-15 questions long. You can gather some basic data about the prospect including employment status and income. Also, some details about their legal challenge.

b.       This allows you to review the merits of the claim and to also ensure that they can afford your services before you meet them for an initial consultation.

c.       For this stage of the process, use an online intake form.

2)      Send a confirmation email & reminder

a.       To reduce the possibility of a lead not showing up for their consultation, send out a confirmation notification via email or SMS.

b.       You can automate this appointment reminder step through various tools available – Lexicata has such a tool.

Stage 3: Collecting Information

Best Practices

1)      Se standardized questionnaires to ensure accuracy and consistency

a.       each questionnaire should include all the important details about both the client and their legal matter.

2)      Capture important data in a database by using custom fields

a.       Use automation to capture data into custom fields so it is collection and stored in a structure format, eliminating the need to do any manual data entry

Stage 4: Drafting & Signing the fee agreement

At this stage, you want to make the sign-up flow as easy as possible for both the client and your firm. There are a few things you can do to streamline this process.

Best Practices

1)      Use automation to streamline drafting and reduce errors

a.       Software programs allow you to automate this profess which replaces all the information in your free agreement templates with relevant information for a specific client automatically.

2)      Use e-signatures to eliminate paperwork & create a seamless process for clients

a.       You can streamline this process of getting the agreements signed by clients by using e-signature software. Clients can simply draw or type their signature from this phone and submit it at the click of a button.

3)      Open a matter to track upcoming tasks and deadlines

a.       Now we enter the stage of case management. The most important thing to focus on at this stage of the process is key events or deadlines which relate to the clients’ case.

Summary

We’ve now covered lead management and intake management. Next up, we will be discussing case management.

Defining the key stages of this process allows us to identify inefficiencies in the way we operate our firms or practices.

At each stage, it is prudent to think about how one can streamline the process and save time for yourself or your staff. Not only will it let you focus on value-added work but it will improve the client experience and maximize your conversion rates and revenues.

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