Legal intake isn’t easy. Especially not for small firms trying to balance marketing their services, answering their phones, and working on existing cases.

Our receptionists are legal intake professionals, and understand how important it is for firms to get their intake process right.

Without further ado, here are our best tips for legal intake to help you capture and impress every new lead.

Call back within an hour

How long does it take you to follow up with a new inquiry? Every minute matters, as studies show that calling a new lead within an hour makes it 7x more likely to qualify them compared to those called after an hour has passed. 

Avoid distractions

Intake is a chance for you to make a good impression. If there’s one thing that callers hate, it’s speaking to someone who sounds distracted. If you work in a busy office, or you’re in the middle of working on a case, it isn’t always easy to avoid. Whether you need to take the phone into a quiet space or pass it to another person on your team, it’s important to focus on the intake. 

Active listening

The intake call isn’t just about finding answers, it’s also about building trust with a potential client. This means it’s vital that you sound engaged.

Active listening is a practice used by legal intake professionals to make sure that you really hear what the client is saying. It will help you respond with empathy and mirror their tone. 

Ask for permission

Intake isn’t quick. You know this, but your potential clients might not, which is why it’s so important to ask their permission before you begin. Within the first minute of the call, you need to do two things. Get their contact details in case of disconnections, and tell them how long intake is likely to take. 

People might not have the time right then to go through the whole intake process. It’s better to arrange a call at a time that works for the potential client than have the process cut short by their schedule and have half-answered questions. 

Specific questions

Collecting the right information to assess a case isn’t easy. To keep the call on track, we recommend having a list of specific questions to ask a potential client. These will help you to identify whether this client is a good fit for your firm, and make sure that you have the correct information to progress with the case.

A curated list of questions helps to save you and your potential client time, something that everyone appreciates. 

Get a commitment

You don’t want your leads to continue to shop around after you’ve spoken to them. The best method is to organize a callback or meeting with them on the intake call. Use a booking tool like Setmore to schedule appointments and set automated reminders for your client and team. Once a potential client has a commitment to meet with your firm, they will feel more loyal towards you.

Avoid overpromising

People calling law firms will be naturally impatient. They may tell you that their issue is urgent, or ask for a specific date to receive an answer by. However, unless you are speaking for your own case, try not to promise more than your team can deliver. Avoid language like ‘as soon as possible’, or ‘shortly’. These are too vague and can be understood differently by different people. 

Instead, tell them that you will explain the urgency of their case and their attorney will call them back. By doing this, you reassure the client that you understand their concerns while avoiding making promises on someone else’s behalf. 

Do you need help delivering excellent legal intake? Our receptionists are legal intake professionals and can confidently quality and convert your leads for you. Get in touch to find out how we can help.