The Golden Rules of Phone Intake
In this section, you’ll learn how to:
- Win over clients by phone
- Avoid common mistakes costing you clients
- Improve your law firm’s customer relationship management practices
Why Phone Intake Matters
Plenty of law firms do everything right. They select the right keywords, optimize their advertising campaigns, publish incredibly valuable articles, use video testimonials to generate interest, and yet…
They don’t get as many clients as they should have.
Often, it’s their phone intake process that is costing them clients.
Your phone intake is as much a part of your marketing strategy as your ads are.
You have to optimize it.
Phone Intake Best Practices
1. Your receptionist is your sales representative
The person handling calls from potential clients is one of the most important people in your law firm. They should be treated accordingly. Where you set the right foundations with your advertising, your receptionist should “seal the deal.”
2. A warm greeting goes a long way
If the person in charge of handling calls from prospective clients sounds lifeless and disinterested, your clients will be immediately put off. Make sure your receptionist greets everyone warmly and professionally.
You can also assemble phone etiquette guidelines:
- Friendly and professional opening statements
- Word choice: e.g. “fees” instead of “prices”
- Follow-up procedures
3. Respond as soon as possible
When a prospective client calls, they want to talk to a person immediately. Make sure you answer the call before the third ring.
4. Humans, not machines
Don’t discourage your clients from hiring you by directing them to a machine or voicemail. If you must direct them to voicemail, make your greeting personable, and invite them to leave their contact information.
5. Basic case information
While your receptionist isn’t a legal expert, they can still jot down basic case information. Make sure they show empathy and understanding of the caller’s situation.
6. Phone scripts
Since the person handling the calls is essentially your law firm’s sales representative, you can even consider creating phone scripts they can follow.
The script can contain guidelines about:
- Basic information that needs to be obtained
- Opening statements
- Everything else you find important
Of course, let your representative speak in their own voice. However, provide them with guidelines to help them do their job better.
7. Empathy and clarity
Your potential clients require your phone representative to provide them with both empathy and clarity.
Instruct them to listen to the caller, pose relevant questions, and show understanding. Often, your clients expect an emotional response before an informational one.
Additionally, make sure that any discussion about fees is clear. Often, phone representatives avoid giving a definitive answer that the callers need. After all, it’s hard to explain fees when they don’t have all the details.
But instead of offering vague answers or avoiding the question altogether, it’s much better to talk about ranges and averages.
8. Track call conversions
Finally, in order to understand what to optimize, you should track call conversions. How many leads have called, only to never book a consultation?
It could be a good sign that your phone intake needs work.
You can also record phone conversations. It’s a good idea if you’re scheduling a lot of appointments by phone. There is always room to grow and if you have all the necessary information, you’ll know exactly what to improve. We recommend the CallTrackingMetrics.
If you’ve attracted your clients with advertising, make sure that the human touch convinces them that your attorneys are the best people for the job.