Thank you to Not Your Average Law Job™'s friend and supporter Gimbal – Lean Practice Management Advisors for supplying this article. If you’re an entrepreneurial lawyer frustrated when things take longer or seem more difficult than they should be, the legal professionals at Gimbal can help you improve your practice’s operational efficiency.
When was the last time you evaluated your intake process? If you’re coming up blank, then now’s a great time to take a closer look.
In a previous article for Not Your Average Law Job, we talked about the 8 classic forms of waste in a law practice. Of those, Non-utilized talent is the greatest source of waste for most firms, and it often starts at intake.
Who’s doing YOUR intake?
The starting point for an efficient intake is ensuring you’ve got the right person doing it.
If you are doing your own intake, or you’re using someone whose knowledge or skills would better serve your practice if they were doing something else, then you’re wasting valuable resources. That’s the waste of non-utilized talent.
And consider that the best person for some of your intake tasks may not be a person at all. Many parts of the intake process can be automated. Think about using:
- automated emails that send out forms and requests for information
- DIY scheduling tools so clients can immediately schedule their first meeting with you
- reminders about upcoming meetings
- automatic transfer of client information into your time and billing software
- automated generation of document sets using the information from your intake form
Once you’re sure you’ve got the right person in place, ask yourself:
- Do they know enough about your practice to answer questions from potential clients?
- Do they have any sales training (because after all, intake is often sales)?
- Does their communication style work for your clients?
- Are they personable and confident?
All of these may seem obvious to you, but evidence suggests that the person who answers the phone at most law firms doesn’t pass this test. In fact, according to a survey by Clio, very few law firms are able to provide the answers clients need when they first call. By providing sales training and an intake script, including answers to the most frequently asked questions, you will help your intake specialist convert potential clients into paying clients.
A great client experience begins at intake. Set aside time this month to review your intake process to ensure it’s delivering value to your clients and to your firm.
David (President and Co-founder at Gimbal)