After the Click, Pt. 2: Determining Who at Your Firm Should Be Talking to Potential Clients
In part one of our “After the Click” series, we discussed how crucial it is for a law firm to optimize its intake process. When a potential client contacts your practice for the first time, whoever fields their call will play an important role in determining whether your firm will ultimately land the client.
However, an intake specialist is just one part of the client acquisition process, and a law firm must ensure that each person who speaks to a potential client delivers the highest level of service.
After the Intake
Clients can usually tell if your staff is scrambling to find someone to talk to them. Excessive hold times are one of the most common complaints clients have, and if everyone on your staff is away at lunch, at a meeting, or otherwise unavailable, it sends a negative message to the caller about what level of service they can expect.
Once a member of your firm has obtained information from a caller regarding their potential case, that employee should have a clearly defined strategy for routing the call and have confidence that someone up the chain of command will be available to answer.
For medium-sized or large firms, you should implement an attorney rotation based on case type or severity, with junior-level associates taking the more common types of cases and senior lawyers handling the more complex and potentially larger cases. Your intake team should have a shared schedule of which attorney is next in the rotation, to limit the chances that an associate will be doubled up.
For small firms and solo practices, a paralegal or legal assistant should be fully trained on how to handle calls from potential clients if an attorney is unavailable.
Who Is Your Closer?
Ideally, the people speaking to potential clients should be those trained and great at signing new clients. The worst thing you can do is put all these processes in place and then hand the potential client to an associate who is inexperienced when it comes to closing. Put your best sales-minded attorneys or staff in this role and track performance closely to determine their effectiveness. Consider it to be like a batting average–you wouldn’t want your worst hitters at the plate when the game is on the line!
What to Do After Hours
There are many third-party call centers and intake services that can field your phone calls outside of business hours, but if you prefer to keep operations in-house, designate a member of your legal team to monitor and respond to potential clients. Having one person own this responsibility will ensure consistency and accountability so you don’t miss opportunities.
These types of assignments can be set up in a rotation, and if your legal team has a number of new attorneys, this is a great opportunity for them to gain more experience and responsibility.
We Turn Visitors Into Clients
Customer experience is a vital component to any law office, as stiff competition in the legal industry means that a client has an endless number of other options available to them. Why would they settle for poor service when they could just as easily find another attorney willing to treat them with the respect they deserve?
When a website visitor decides to contact a law firm, they expect to be assisted by an able professional, not some frustrating automated system.
Be sure to check back here for future installments in our After the Click series.
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