Collection rate, client satisfaction, and staffing ratio are all key metrics for determining law firm effectiveness today, but are you monitoring the metrics that lead towards signing more cases? You may know how many leads you’ve acquired and even your cost per lead, but are you measuring your intake process and your firm’s ability to influence and convert more leads into cases?
More than half of the firms surveyed in the joint study conducted by the Legal Marketing Association and Bloomberg Law report their marketing budgets have increased by more than 10% in the past couple of years. However, data shows that the intake process might be inhibiting growth more than marketing spend.
Thirty-five percent of the time, phone calls from prospective clients are not even answered. When they are answered, they’re not necessarily well-executed. The Rainmaker Institute recently secret shopped 315 consumer law firms and found the following:
- 61% of the firms never asked for the caller’s name
- 72% never asked for the caller’s phone number
- 96% did not ask for the caller’s email address
The good news is it’s simple to improve your client intake process. Doing so not only captures more of the opportunities you’re already paying for, but it also makes a client more likely to want to do business with you (and refer more business). Read on for five simple ways to sign more cases in 2019.
1. Answer Quickly and At All Times
Eighty percent of people hang up without leaving a message when sent to voicemail and 85% of those same people don’t bother calling again. Consider having your phones covered 24/7—whether it’s during lunch hours, “the Monday rush,” or after hours. If not, you’re likely missing opportunities and they aren’t leaving messages or calling back. Also, answer quickly to let your callers know they’re a top priority. It’s best to answer calls within three rings.
2. Consider Your Call Flow and Script
It may seem obvious, but your call flow does matter to the experience you’re providing your leads. Have a defined call flow for all call scenarios and ensure that you are sending your callers to the right place the first time so they don’t have to repeat themselves. Also, it’s important to create a phone script with the goal in mind of signing more cases. Use qualifying questions that lead towards booking appointments and always verify caller information to avoid spelling mistakes. Lastly, close with a realistic time for follow up. If you tell your leads they’ll get a call back that day and the reality is it will be three days, you’ll likely lose the lead altogether.
3. Follow Up Quickly and Often
The quicker the follow-up, the more likely the lead will convert. This goes for web and phone prospects. Specifically for web leads, your chances of qualifying a lead drops by 400% when your response time slows from just five to 10 minutes! Also, have a process for your team for lead follow up, not only should it be done quickly but studies show that a lead should be contacted six or more times in order to convert.
4. Delegate Lead Management
Designate lead management to a specific set of employees or an outsourced service. It’s not efficient to have attorneys or paralegals answering calls or following up with leads. This may require an investment up front, but consider the ROI of capturing 100% of your opportunities.
5. Show Empathy and Compassion
It’s very important to remember that your prospects are likely calling you during a trying time. Any person answering your phone should be empathetic and show compassion. Doing so will help build rapport that not only brightens their situation but makes them more likely to trust their case to be handled by your firm.
2019 is the year to improve your lead management process and start filling your calendar. Don’t commit to increasing your marketing budget before you have these items in place and don’t be a statistic. Martindale found in their study that 26% of law firms do not track their leads at all! Dedicating resources towards client intake, creating an optimized call flow and script, following up quickly, and showing empathy are all ways to provide a great experience and turn those prospects into clients.