If you already have an existing client intake form then the next step is to improve or work on it; think of it like a resume, when you go from one job to the next you update your resume to include details about the skills and experiences that you had picked up while on the job.
A client intake form is more or less the same; if you start off as a smaller scale law firm the likelihood that you want to grow as a firm is high. If you do, the type of clients that you would be taking on as a bigger firm changes, subtly or dramatically, from when you were a smaller firm.
As a result, your client intake form also needs to change.
As a firm, you want to:
Segment Your Client Intake Form
Narrow in on the particular area of Intellectual Property that the client is getting into. The form should be straight to the point but the information being asked for has to be specific to that particular area of IP law.
As we have stated in a previous blog, as an Intellectual Property firm, your Client Intake Form should have various forms that cater to relevant areas of intellectual property: trade secrets, patents, copyrights and trademarks.
Check and edit the forms at least once or twice a week; questions and information needed by the firm may change on occasion so this is necessary to follow up. With Terrifio, your client intake forms can be easily customized and updated as often as you need.
Schedule Follow-up Appointments
Ensure you have follow-up appointments with the clients to ensure that they were satisfied with the original outreach – with the form, questions and the subsequent follow-ups by the firm. It is not enough to have the client reach out via your website or Client Intake Form and assume that no further interaction is needed after that.
The potential criticism will aid you in understanding and improving your Client Intake Form and your Client Intake Process. As our other articles have emphasised, client-firm relationships are imperative to maintain. Communication between a firm and its clients, in any capacity, ensures this.
Explore a Legal Intake Specialist
If you have not already elected a Legal Intake specialist (individual or team) then you should consider doing so; they are trained specifically to help firms with the Client Intake Processes and maximize their client base.
It eliminates the firm’s need to think about following up with the Client Intake Checklist as there is someone in charge of handling, working and collaborating with clients and other firm members in the Client Intake Process.
Stay up to Date With Client Intake Trends
Make sure you are up to date with the Client Intake processes; ensure that the Legal Intake specialist(s) you hire are constantly researching possible applications that can be used for your Client Intake process (such as new platforms for e-signatures or integrating applications that may smoothen the Client Intake Process for clients who may not have access to a laptop and use their forms instead).
Ray Gross suggests implementing a twenty-four-hour confirmation policy.
Simply put, ensure you confirm your call with a client twenty-four hours before the call is meant to take place. Gross suggests assessing the client’s mood during the confirmation to engage them and how they are feeling about the meeting. Whether they are disinterested, excited, cold, nervous – and interact with them accordingly.
This reiterates Client Intake Processes and Forms attempting to achieve – bettering the relationship between clients and firms. This is done so by emphasizing the importance of hands-on communication between both parties.
In Gross’ words, “Progress, Not Perfection.” For firms that are not used to technological integrations, the Client Intake Process may seem overwhelming or difficult to implement. Firms should aid their employees to get familiar and comfortable with the process rather than launching a “perfect” integrated system.
Technology is forever evolving; law firms should keep up with these changes and integrate them into their working routine.