Successful legal marketing can often generate more leads than most law firms are capable of handling.

Just as law firms specialize in providing legal aid for clients who lack the capability to take on those challenges themselves, marketing agencies and in-house marketers focus on providing a high-quality marketing experience.

But marketing is only half of the equation.

Marketing brings leads in the door, but the ability to capture and convert quality leads is what separates successful law firms from the not-so-successful ones. If your firm doesn’t have a proper intake system in place to do this, you will instead successfully market for your competitors, sending leads to their front door. Leads that don’t receive an immediate response will keep shopping for alternatives.

A viable and cost-effective solution is partnering with a legal call center or lawyer answering service. Legal call centers are equipped with highly trained and experienced legal intake specialists. These professionals will pick up your calls within three rings and respond to web leads within 2-5 minutes, around the clock – even on weekends and holidays – to minimize lead loss and help you maximize your marketing investment.

This means marketers and legal call centers must work together to help law firms create a seamless experience for potential clients.

Fulfilling Expectations

The combined goal of marketing efforts and legal call center intake is to bring in quality leads and turn them into clients. The expectations that are set by marketing campaigns must be fulfilled by the legal call center during their first interaction with the lead. Take a moment to think about what your marketing efforts set potential clients up to expect.

If your marketing campaign emphasizes your law firm’s personal touch, the legal call center’s intake specialists must focus on personalizing their approach and developing a strong understanding of what each potential client needs. The legal call center can help meet client expectations with a warm, personal and empathetic approach to solving their legal situation.

If the marketing campaign emphasizes your law firm’s experience, the intake specialist needs to deliver an opening dialogue that assures your potential clients that they are in capable and knowledgeable hands. The best legal call centers continually train their intake specialists so your potential clients feel confident in your firm’s ability to take care of their legal needs.

Handing Off Prospects

In order to work effectively, both marketing and the legal call center need to understand where potential clients are in the sales funnel when they’re handed off. At different stages of the sales funnel, potential clients naturally have different needs and expectations. The marketing department or agency must be prepared to fulfill client needs, while the legal call center must be prepared to pick up where marketing leaves off.

Consider your sales funnel. In the awareness phase, for instance, customers are aware that they have a need but require more research to discover potential solutions. As they move through the funnel, they will show increasing interest in a potential solution and carry out additional research about the opportunities available. Ultimately, they will move on to make a decision. The goal is to keep potential clients in your sales funnel throughout this journey – and that includes knowing where in the funnel the hand-off between marketing and the legal call center will occur.

Prepare the handoff. Your marketing campaign may convert prospects into leads before they have reached the bottom of the sales funnel. They may be interested in the overall solutions your firm is offering, but haven’t made a final decision yet. An effective legal call center can take those leads the rest of the way through the funnel.

Make sure the legal call center has the right information. The legal call center needs to know what information potential clients have learned from the marketing campaign so they can avoid repeating information or getting ahead of the lead’s understanding.

Collaboration can lead to such a seamless experience that potential clients will assume the marketing agency (if not in-house) and intake specialists are physically in your law firm. The goal is for the two entities to act as a true extension of your firm.

Optimizing ROI

Marketing return on investment (ROI) can only be optimized when lead loss is dealt with. The return on your investment is determined by the money needed to create a new client from prospects.

The more leads you lose along the way, the more it raises the cost to acquire a new client. A great legal call center, therefore, can make the difference between positive and negative marketing ROI. Close collaboration between marketing and a legal call center is necessary to fully maximize your marketing ROI.

In the beginning, it’s important to foster this collaborative environment by setting up a meeting, or at least a phone call, to make sure the call center understands and adheres to the expectations set up by marketing (either in-house or an outsourced marketing agency). This meeting can also open up the discussion about how to create a seamless hand-off experience, which helps improve the entire client experience.

As you combine a legal call center partnership with your overall marketing efforts, you’ll find yourself in a much better position to capture and convert more quality leads and maximize ROI – all that is required is some collaboration.