Successful businesses, and law firms especially, depend almost entirely on people. No matter how good an Artificial Intelligence or computer program is, nothing really beats the versatility and potential of a real person. Having a well-trained team of intake specialists can make or break your firm’s success. Intake specialists are individuals who take the duty of finding and screening new clients, which can help relieve pressure off of the lawyers/paralegals.
Coupling a good marketing plan with a skilled group of intake specialists can help your law firm churn out prospective clients much faster than you could otherwise. If you put all the intake responsibility on the lawyers and paralegals, it can make it hard to give your potential client the right time and dedication necessary to find out all the details.
The intake specialist’s primary job is to get all the facts in a situation, whereas the lawyer’s job is to give legal counsel and representation. If a lawyer has to do an intake call, it can be easy for them to simply think “I could be doing better things”, and not really dig deep. That’s different for intake specialists. They specialize in really digging deep, and getting lots of details. You don’t want to risk any potentially good client slipping through your fingers just because you’re too busy, or because you may forget to ask a few specific questions.
Having intake specialists also helps you cast a much wider net when you’re advertising. You can afford to have some less-than-great potential clients call/come in, when an intake specialist can talk to them and screen their potential case. Think of it like mining. You want to get the gold to the lawyers, but that means you’ll almost definitely have to deal with some plain slag rocks before you get to it. Leave the heavy lifting to the intake specialists, and you’ll see an increase in potential new clients.
Beyond the increased quantity of clients, you’ll almost certainly see a sharp spike in client quality as well. If a client reaches you, the attorney/paralegal, after going through an intake process, you can be much more confident that they have the right case type for your firm. So not only are you getting higher quantity, you also get better quality. It’s like having your cake and eating it too.
Think of it as the same reasons you probably have dedicated receptionists: a more even distribution of the workload helps everyone do their job better. You can spend time training your intake specialists in specific fields and tasks, and fine tune everything from that same perspective. Having intake specialists gives you all the power in the clients that you receive. The benefits of having intake specialists certainly outweigh the cost of having to hire and train all new team members.
One of the most valuable benefits of intake specialists is simply the added level of customer care. They’re always there when needed, and it gives a lot of additional accessibility to your law firm when potential clients aren’t scrambling to get a chance to talk to someone who actually knows what they’re talking about. It also helps your potential clients feel like they’re just as valuable to you as your current clients, which is a difficult balance to find. If you’re willing to get an intake specialist(or two or three), you’ll see a noticeable increase in overall success finding and retaining new clients, therefore growing your law firm’s presence more than ever before.
Last but definitely not least, legal intake specialists take charge of following up and reaching out to clients that are either hard to get ahold of, or simply miss appointments. Let’s face it, it’s hard to have a good follow-up routine with clients that you struggle to get ahold of. Your intake specialists will take charge of those responsibilities and become a serious driving force in keeping all of your clients together for you, but you’d best start practicing similar principles now, because chances are your intake specialists will be just as attentive and persistent to get things done with you, and when each party puts in their share of the work, you’ll end up with your firm running like a well-oiled machine.