Personal injury leads that are worth thousands of dollars one minute can become completely worthless if your competitors respond to them more quickly than you do. Thinking through ways to improve legal intake can enhance your response times and lead to more clients.
One consideration is to provide prospects with a variety of mediums – from a website form to an email address to a phone number – that they can use to make contact and receive an immediate response. A firm with multiple office locations and telephone numbers should provide a centralized, toll-free hotline available round-the-clock so prospects know exactly what number to call when they need help. And prospects should always have the option to speak with someone “live” rather than being dumped into voice mail.
Increasing the number of paths prospects have to make contact is just one of the opportunities available to improve your legal intake process. Creating efficiencies across operations – from marketing to lead qualification – can also yield results.
Aiming your marketing strategy at improving the quality, not just the quantity, of incoming calls will reduce the amount of time your staff spends on unqualified leads. Focuing on sheer volume wastes not only valuable time, but also precious marketing dollars.
Better communication between your departments can also have an important impact. It is vital for your marketing department to provide the legal intake team with advance notice about marketing initiatives and advertising schedules. Will enough staff be available to handle the responses to an email blast to 10,000 prospects? Will they have the case criteria they need to quickly qualify prospects?
A relatively small amount of time invested in strategic planning will ensure your budget attracts quality leads that your legal intake staff can convert into quality clients.
A consistent lead qualification process allows your firm to track and analyze your intake process and your marketing campaign performance. If every lead is handled differently, it is impossible to institute best practices or measure the effects of improvements. Review your process for qualifying leads. Could you be asking better qualifing questions? Are you asking the most important qualifying questions first? Have you eliminated medical and legal jargon that prospects won’t understand or that might lead to inaccurate responses? The goal is to create a system that helps your legal intake staff quickly prioritize leads and spend their valuable time on qualified prospects.
Your legal intake staff may also receive a number of different – and perhaps unexpected – requests during a marketing campaign. These can range from questions from prospects about their medical condition to how to fill out legal and insurance documents. A potential client might also have questions about how your process works, how long their case may take, and what will happen after their call. You need to prepare your legal intake specialists on how to efficiently manage these types of inquiries and how to set accurate expectations with callers.
Planning ahead for ways to improve legal intake will help you speed up response times and reach your ultimate goal of closing on more qualified leads.
This blog was written by Laurie Leonard, the President of SUITE 1000, a U.S. based national telephone answering service, inbound call center and outsourced call center service. Her company has specialized in handling legal intake, sales leads, email lead response, appointment scheduling, customer service and help desk calls for over 20 years.