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Gimbal's Tip of the Week

The Lean Law Firm Blog

E173: Want to boost revenue? Look at intake through your clients' eyes

process improvement Mar 15, 2023
welcome door

We’ve talked a lot lately about the intake process. It’s the first touch point potential clients have with your firm. Think of it like your front door. Unless your front door is open and welcoming (with that all-important screen door you won’t have clients - and without clients, you will fail.

This week’s tip: think about your intake process from your client’s perspective. How can you make it more open and welcoming, so that people willingly walk through it and engage you?

Here are the three most important things you can do to improve your intake process:

     1. Train everyone who interacts with potential clients during your intake process.

We’ve already talked about having an intake specialist who isn’t your receptionist [ ]. Still, other people are certain to interact with potential clients even if you’ve outsourced a lot of the intaking process. All staff members, including receptionists, paralegals, legal assistants, and attorneys, must know the process and their role within it. You want them to be able to handle client inquiries effectively and efficiently.

And when (not if!) a potential client comes in without following your standard process, you need to ensure that everyone knows what to do. Do they refer the caller to the intake specialist? Do they open the standard intake form and complete it? It’s your business, you can decide how to handle the inevitable “abnormal” intakes. But once you’ve decided, you need to ensure everyone else knows how to handle them, too.

      2. Treat all potential clients as if they’re already clients.

Ideally, you want to convert every qualified potential client into a paying client. One way to do this is to design your process so that potential clients feel like they’re getting help and value from the very moment they contact you. You want to create a feeling of reciprocity and commitment.

  • Include something of value (FAQs, an instructional video, a PDF) in the automatic text or email they get immediately after they hang up the phone or hit “submit” on their form.
  • Give them some homework
  • Get them to fill in a form or upload a document

These things increase “stickiness” and make them feel like they’re already clients. The result: they’ll be less likely to look elsewhere.

     3. Document your process.

Finally, once you’ve determined your winning formula, write it down! Figure out what works and then stick to it. Having a clear and well-documented intake process ensures that all new clients are handled consistently, and that important information is not missed. Your written process will improve your efficiency, reduce the risk of errors, and enable you to delegate and outsource many tasks. It will also ensure everyone experiences a warm welcome that makes them even more likely to turn from potential clients to paying clients.

Your action item: look at your intake process and ask yourself what you can do to make potential clients feel like they’re already clients.



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