Successful marketing of a personal injury law firm is largely dependent on not only a timely response to an inquiry, but a professional and competent one. It is extremely important to the success of your law firm that your procedures are well-honed, whether it’s for how your receptionist answers the telephone, how your investigator handles a personal visit, or how you conduct yourself on a website live chat.
Evaluating your legal intake procedures
The very first person your potential client is likely to speak to is your receptionist. How he or she handles herself on the phone gives the caller or the walk-in their very first impression of the entire law firm. Is your receptionist friendly, informative, competent and patient? What exactly is it like when someone calls your law firm seeking advice and help?
How fast do your attorneys and support staff return calls or respond to emails?
Do you have someone tracking the leads you get from your various marketing efforts?
The important connecting thread here is to provide excellent customer service while maximizing your marketing dollar expenditures.
Training a dedicated staff
The attorneys in your practice are hopefully very busy with all the aspects of trying to settle or try personal injury cases. Therefore, you don’t want them to have to handle the initial client intake processing. Hiring someone to do this job will help your business stay organized and efficient.
When hiring someone to assist specifically with legal intake, i.e., phone calls, email, web-inquiries, you need to train them to ask the necessary questions to get the information your legal team needs to know. It’s important that they be able to vet prospective clients.
Your intake person or persons, need to know basic legal terminology, understand HIPAA and attorney/client privilege. They need to understand the basics of personal injury law and what you do. This will enable them not only to vet callers, but to speak to current clients and field questions themselves, or know to whom to transfer the call.
The importance of responsiveness
The importance of responsiveness cannot be overstated. The fastest way to lose a potential client is to fail to respond to them quickly. People who are injured don’t want to wait to talk to someone. If they can’t talk to someone who can help them in your firm right away, they will go elsewhere.
Telephone calls should not ring more than necessary. Try to set up a system when, if the phone rings more than three times, someone else can answer it. Keep hold time to a minimum and always be sure staff repeats any callback number.
Email leads or website inquiries should receive the same type of attention. Make sure your intake people follow up quickly so that potential clients know their case is important to you and your firm.
You might want to invest in an after-hours call service so that a lead is never missed and a potential client never rebuffed.
Intake and tracking leads
To gain insight into your marketing success and to track your leads, each caller should be asked where he or she heard of your law firm. Was it from a TV ad, a billboard, word of mouth, your website, an email, etc.? Setting up a management tracking system will give you unparalleled understanding of your marketing efforts.
A good intake tracking system will show you what is working and what is not and could save you money by not investing further in marketing efforts that show no gain. A good system will help you stay more efficient and show you how to spend your money more wisely.
It’s worth it to invest in intake
If your personal injury law firm is spending money on marketing and not investing in intake, you could be wasting money and not providing optimum services.
The most important qualities of a personal injury firm are their responsiveness and their compassion. Potential clients are injured and they need to feel their needs are going to be met by a caring and professional staff. You want to provide the highest level of service to them. That means staying organized and efficient with highly polished legal intake procedures.
Group Matrix Blog – April 11, 2018 – by Sharon Bowles