A law firm can spend all the money in the world on advertising and marketing, but if its intake sytem is not working properly, all of that money can and will be wasted. How your calls are handled is as important as what your commercial looks like.
In my previous blogs, I discussed the differences between running an advertisement branded to your law firm vs. utilizing generic branded campaigns. I also covered the differences between a traditional media cash buy vs. performance driven (cost per call) advertising. Now that you are up to speed on how you want to get the message out there, let’s talk about the other half…..how inbound calls are handled.
Without question, one of the biggest challenges we see when working with law firms is how they handle their intake. It makes or breaks the campaign because at the end of the day, conversion is king. If the call center lacks the ability to convert inbound calls to cases, there is a major problem. Each time the phone rings, there is an opportunity on the other end of that call. The intake is their first interaction with your firm. How are you going to come across?
Based on years of experience in mass tort marketing, I can say that case acquisition is much better when a firm takes the calls in-house. Depending on your marketing strategy, you may need several intake specialists. Some law firms have dozens of paralegals doing intake 24/7 to ensure no lead will be missed.
Not every firm has the capacity or infrastructure to handle their own inbound call strategies. As an alternative, well-trained and specialized call centers often provide law firms with a valuable, cost effective way of handling intake. One thing to look for when engaging a call center is that they have quantifiable expertise in legal intake. You should be apprehensive about working with a center that answers calls for widgets on one call and then immediately answers calls for your mass tort or medical malpractice inquiries. They simply do not have the needed training or experience to manage cases of such high sensitivity beyond what they see in the script.
If basic lead intake info is your objective (that is, collecting name/phone/case inquiry), that scenario may work. We recommend US-based call centers for a number of reasons.
Following are 10 things to remember in preparing for intake:
Whichever method you use for your intake, it’s important to remember that your firm’s perception is on the line when that call is answered. It could be the difference between winning and losing the client.
Adam Warren is President and Co-Founder of OpenJar Concepts®, Inc. and its mass torts division The Sentinel Group™, a full service, direct response marketing and technology company in Temecula, CA, that offers lead generation campaigns on national TV, radio, print and mobile.