For any law firm, capturing every lead and converting prospects into clients is critical to growth. Firms must be able to “stop the shopping” and prevent leads from moving on to the competition in search of a better client experience. And with leads coming in through email, website forms, text and phone, it’s essential to optimize the intake process to efficiently turn them into paying clients.

Excellent client intake for law firms starts with a trained, dedicated staff member who focuses entirely on lead conversion. It also requires great responsiveness, with leads getting live and fast responses. Lead tracking and follow-up are also critical to prevent leads from getting lost throughout the process.

Although it takes time, money, and other resources to do so, optimizing your intake process provides a range of benefits that can drive business and grow your law firm.

Increased Conversions

An improved intake process will increase client conversions. When a prospect reaches out to your law firm in search of services, chances are they are shopping around for a firm that will be responsive to their needs.

Unfortunately, law firms often fall short in their responsiveness. Law Technology Today reports that 42% of the time law firms take three or more days to reply when a lead fills in a web-generated form or leaves a voicemail. The American Law Association indicates that most leads hire their lawyer within one week of starting the search, which means waiting three days can limit your ability to convert that lead into a client.

If you can show that you are responsive and attentive to prospects’ needs, they are more likely to sign on as a client. Beyond responsiveness, integrating lead tracking, a solid follow-up strategy and contract delivery services can also help to successfully convert more leads into clients.

Improved Return on Investment

Leads are costly. The National Law Review indicates individual leads for a personal injury law firm can cost between $50 and $100. However, the cost to purchase enough leads to translate one into a new client can rise well over $4,000, depending on the lead purchase and intake process. Optimizing your lead intake process helps convert more of those leads into clients, reducing the chance that they will turn to the competition and increasing your marketing efficiency per conversion. The end result is a higher return on investment.

Improved Retention

A seamless intake process creates a positive experience for clients. This typically involves good communication and personal attention for each client, and these are factors that improve client satisfaction. Clients who are happy with the service they received will become loyal to your firm, returning in the future when they need additional legal services.

Positive Referrals

Happy, satisfied clients not only bring repeat business, but they also refer their friends to the firm when they also need legal services. Positive referrals are a form of free advertising that generates even more leads that can be funneled into the intake process and converted into clients. With a solid intake process, you can inspire clients to make positive referrals early on in the client-firm relationship.

A superior intake process is what sets a law firm apart and gives them a high return on investment for their leads. It does require energy and money to set up and establish a seamless intake process, but the future potential benefits cannot be ignored. How effective is your firm’s intake? As you consider how to improve your law firm’s client intake, remember these benefits and know that the job is worth doing.