Acquiring new clients is the lifeblood of any family law firm. Having a strong client intake and client onboarding process is essential in this regard.
What is client intake/client onboarding? Simply put, it is the steps a law firm needs to take to turn prospective clients into paying clients. It is the means of ensuring that those who are interested in your law firm’s services, and who you see as a fit for those services, are retaining your firm to perform legal work on their behalf.
Yet despite its importance, few law firms put much energy into improving their client intake and onboarding process.
A poorly developed process can result in disorganisation, wasted time, and lost revenue as potential clients slip through the cracks. It can slow lawyers and other firm staff down to not have all the relevant information about a client to hand as needed. In some cases, it could even lead to complaints of professional negligence.
A significant portion of negligence complaints arise due to a lack of efficient follow-up with a client. According to the Annual complaints summary 2019-20 from the Legal Ombudsman, poor communication (for which the ombudsman grouped the categories “failure to respond” and “failure to keep informed” into one heading) accounted for 21% of all complaints that made it to the ombudsman, just behind “delay/failure to progress” (24%) and “failure to advise” (also 24%).
By creating a systematic approach to intake, including calendaring all important dates, collecting and storing your data and files in an organised manner, centralising where emails are stored, and creating prompts for follow-up, you’ll drastically minimise the likelihood of incurring an otherwise avoidable negligence complaint.
The benefits go beyond compliance and good practice: a strong client intake process can create a better client experience, increase a law firm’s efficiency, and ultimately improve the firm’s conversion rate. This also means a better return on investment from any marketing efforts and improved client satisfaction at the same time.
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of optimising your client intake and onboarding process—and the concrete steps can take to improve today—Clio has a guide that can help. Called “How to Grow Your Firm with Legal Client Intake”, which is available to download for free here.
Or, check out this free, on-demand, client intake webinar with client relationship management expert Michael Chasin, also available from Clio.
This article was submitted to be published by Clio as part of their advertising agreement with Today’s Family Lawyer. The views expressed in this article are those of the submitter and not those of Today’s Family Lawyer.