Providing an excellent experience for your potential clients is often the difference between a lead resorting to calling one of your competitors and developing a long-term relationship with your firm. You should use technology to improve their experience so your leads feel cared for from the very first point of contact.

Below are three ways technology can improve the client experience.

1. Ensure clients speak to a person on the first attempt.

When a prospect calls your firm, they usually want to speak with a professional immediately. If the individual is not able to reach a knowledgeable staff member who can assist them, they are likely to call a competitor. For this reason, a responsive intake process is essential to capturing and converting leads.

To build an efficient intake process, it is critical to answer calls (and respond to web leads, emails, chats, and texts) at all times. Surprisingly, about one out of three callers does not get to speak with a real person during their first call to a law firm. One way to solve this issue is to partner with a technology-savvy legal call center. A legal call center is staffed by trained and qualified professionals who ensure each of your potential clients reach a person who can help, day or night, on the first attempt.

2. Use a CRM/CMS to collect data from initial contact – then follow up quickly.

Not only should you respond right away when a potential client first reaches out to your firm, you must also collect and record all of the relevant information during that first communication. The best way to do this is with a Client Relationship Manager (CRM) or Case Management System (CMS). Knowing the potential client’s name, contact information and reason for calling are all important factors when following up with them in the future.

Following up quickly is key. According to a study from the American Bar Association (ABA), it takes law firms three or more days to reply to web forms or voicemails as often as 42 percent of the time. This delayed response time can be harmful when trying to build a relationship, as potential clients will feel ignored. During this time, they are much more likely to look for other representation. By utilizing CRM/CMS to collect data and expedite follow-up, your firm remains in contact with prospective clients who will appreciate the immediate response.

3. Provide calendar scheduling from the initial point of contact.

When you first communicate with new or potential clients, scheduling appointments creates clear next steps for them. Locking down an appointment time immediately reassures them you are ready, willing and able to help with their legal needs – and they do not have to look elsewhere for assistance.

Online calendar applications/programs provide a means for scheduling appointments with ease, and it doesn’t just benefit your clients. Calendar scheduling is more than just placing dates on a calendar. As an attorney, you must have the ability to share certain dates with all parties involved and track who has/hasn’t accepted. In addition, it’s important to consider court dates and limitation dates based on the happening of various events. All of these situations need to be tracked and automated, and calendar scheduling is the perfect solution.

If you choose to partner with a legal intake call center, make sure they offer appointment scheduling technology to do most of the things above, if not all. This way the call center will help improve your overall law firm client experience, on your behalf.

4. Provide a convenient way to sign on first contact.

Equally as important is getting retainer contracts signed as soon as possible. Once you have provided a timely response to potential clients, be prepared to help them easily and conveniently close the deal. Ultimately, you want to get a contract delivered to and signed by the client on the initial call. Doing so prevents them from shopping around to other law firms and losing interest in your services. It also improves their experience with your firm.

You can use e-sign technology to send contract retainers via text or email to seal the deal and formalize the lawyer-client relationship at first contact. By having documents digitally transmitted, it is convenient for both you and the prospective client. Not to mention, e-sign is safe, secure and cost-effective.

To ensure the success of your law firm, focus on creating an excellent client experience. Technology can help create client experiences that make it easy to do business with your firm, resulting in long-term relationships.