Law firms are increasingly conscious of the importance of marketing. A strong marketing strategy will help raise awareness of your practice, build your reputation, and attract leads that will convert.
And that’s the key term. Convert. While all your marketing efforts help you attract attention and get new leads, your marketing needs to be matched by a well-considered intake process to turn curious leads into decisive clients.
We have identified three questions from our legal intake experience that will help you understand your customer journey. Armed with these answers, you can optimize your intake process to make the most of your marketing success.
How will your leads contact you?
Do you know what channels your target audience will use to contact you? If a potential client cannot contact you and receive a response swiftly, you will lose their account before they have entered your funnel.
For example, 74% of customers say that a phone call is their preferred method of contacting an attorney – and these calls will come in 24/7. If they reach a voicemail, 80% of customers won’t leave a message. This means that before you launch your marketing campaign, you need a plan to make sure your leads always reach a warm, human voice who can build that relationship and take the appropriate details. Some firms prefer to have an in-house receptionist with overflow support from an answering service. Others like the consistency of using a 24/7 virtual receptionist – but dependable coverage is a must.
Once you have your phone calls covered, it’s time to cover the other 26%. Consider adding a contact form to your website or offering a contact email. You could even add a chat box to your website to provide quick answers to questions. Whichever channels you choose, ensure that you implement a process for them to be checked regularly. 43% of law firms take more than 3 days to follow up with web forms, and email inquiries – by which point their leads have gone cold. If you commit to daily follow-ups, you’ll stand out from the competition.
Who answers their inquiry?
First impressions matter and the first point of contact with your firm will set the tone for your following interactions. Law firm answering is a particular challenge because callers can be more stressed or sensitive due to the nature of their call.
The impact of reaching a live receptionist cannot be understated. Your callers want to know two things: that you are really listening and trying to understand their particular situation. If they fail to reach a live person, or the person on the other end sounds distracted, this gives them the clear message that their case is not your priority. On the other hand, if they get through to a warm receptionist who asks questions, repeats their answers to demonstrate their understanding, and mirrors their tone, you have already started to build a positive relationship with this lead.
What data do you need from a lead?
No matter how targeted your marketing campaign, there will always be some leads who do not fit your firm. That’s why lead qualification is an essential part of your marketing strategy. You need a fast and efficient way to identify which callers you can help.
Create a list of questions that give you the data you need to understand if the caller has a relevant case. Then order these to cast a progressively narrower net, sifting out leads who don’t have a case or have mistaken the practice area you serve. Once completed, you have the first draft of your call flow. Over time, you can refine this to the shortest, most straightforward intake questions that provide the right information for your staff to qualify each lead. A clear call flow also reduces the amount of time attorneys spend on the phone, meaning more time for your cases.
There is a great deal of data you may want to collect from your leads, but the bare minimum should be their name and a contact number. You’ll need to get this within the first 30 seconds of a call. This is your insurance against disconnections and technical failure. Once you have their contact information, you can reach out again and track for future conversations.
Guest Blog Post
Manni Sandoval is a Bilingual Account Executive at LEX Reception. LEX is a close-knit team of virtual receptionists specializing in call answering and intake for solo attorneys and law firms. To find out more about LEX, you can look at their website or book a call with Manni for a full introduction at LEXreception.com