by CaseActive Team

A crucial component of your engagement with every customer is the client onboarding process.

Here is where you establish credibility and make your initial impression. Here, you evaluate the merits of their case and formulate possible lines of action. Your sales process, where you turn a prospect into a paying customer, is probably the most important part for a firm.

1. Break client onboarding into well-defined steps:

Maintaining order without a well-organized onboarding process is difficult. How do you know who needs follow-up, appointments, or retainers?

Disorganization may cause unnecessary process delays. It may also cause potential clients to miss out, losing your business money. To avoid these challenges, break your onboarding process into clear segments.

Consider establishing several phases of the onboarding process and monitoring each prospect by stage, regardless of whether you manage your potential clients using an Excel sheet or a case management system like CaseActive. You may choose to categorize your prospects as follows, for example

  • Yet to be Contacted
  • Follow Up Required
  • Intake Form Pending
  • Retainer Pending
  • Awaiting Payment

This will let you see much more clearly which of your current or future clients require your full focus right now, as well as any possible obstacles.

2. Always send appointment reminders:

It’s a fact that people skip appointments, and those who don’t yet establish a solid rapport with you are more likely to do so. These events take place. Nevertheless, persistent customer cancellations lead to needless aggravation and eat up important time during your workday.

Before every appointment, remind yourself by text or email, or give the person you’re meeting with a call to be sure. This will help you from getting frustrated. While sending reminders can seem like an extra hassle, the chance of canceled or missed appointments can be significantly decreased.

You may utilize appointment scheduling software to create these reminders automatically if you truly want to simplify things. For instance, you may add the appointment to your CaseActive, Outlook, or Google calendar using the scheduling function that is included within the program. After that, CaseActive automatically sends your clients an appointment reminder.

3. Use checklists to stay organized:

Managing a legal firm might feel difficult with so many chores to accomplish every day and deadlines to remember. The secret to long-term success is to maintain organization and to put in place clear procedures from the start.

Checklists for client onboarding are a great approach to organizing your company’s procedures. They will assist you in making sure that all pertinent data is gathered, that no procedures are skipped, and that no deadlines are missed.

By doing this, you’ll not only improve the effectiveness of your operations but also lower the possibility of expensive errors that can result in a malpractice lawsuit. Above all, having well-organized procedures will provide you with the base you need to expand your operations and recruit additional employees as your business grows.

4. Use online forms:

Client onboarding requires lots of data. Most legal practices must manually enter this data into a database or case management system.

Data entry is repetitive, time-consuming, and error-prone, putting you at danger of malpractice. Minimizing or eliminating data entry can save hours and money. It will also prevent errors.

By using online intake forms rather of paper or PDF ones, you may significantly lessen the workload associated with data entry. Using CaseActive’s online intake software, online forms may be connected directly to the platform. After clients complete their online forms, you can easily enter the information into your case management system with a few clicks.

5. Automate the drafting of agreements:

One of the requirements for the client onboarding process is drafting an engagement agreement. However, the drafting phase is often completed quickly with little time dedicated to revisions because it takes place before to retention, when you are unable to bill for hours worked. Consequently, there may be more errors as a result of this rush.

Whether they are little typos that give you a less-than-professional appearance or significant mistakes that put you in needless danger, these mistakes are bad for obvious reasons. In any case, you should get rid of any operations that are prone to errors as quickly as you can from your workflow.

You may use document automation software to generate standardized templates that cover a range of scenarios and topic kinds. Then, you can use the program to automatically enter the relevant data into these templates. Automation will help you save a ton of time and reduce errors and oversights to the absolute minimum.

6. E-signatures to streamline Client retention: 

A prospective customer needs to open an email, download a PDF, print it, sign it, scan it, and send it back before they can begin working with you. There are a lot of processes involved, and a lot might go wrong in the process.

Make sure your ink-empty printer doesn’t cost you a job!

Your objective when it comes to acquiring new consumers should always be to minimize the obstacles (or justifications) in the road. Offering electronic signatures for fee agreements and other papers is one of the finest methods to expedite your onboarding process.

For instance, you may quickly automate a document, attach it to an email, and send it out for e-signature using CaseActive’s e-signature tool. The customer doesn’t need to download, print, or scan your documents—they may sign them digitally from any device. This can help you avoid what could otherwise be a possible roadblock to getting employed, saving you hours of precious time.

7. Employ drip emails to educate and engage your prospective clients:

Depending on the field in which you work, your clients may be seeking legal counsel because they are facing frightening or challenging circumstances. For them, making the decision to employ a lawyer and give up the necessary funds might be frightening. Naturally, your chances of converting prospective customers into paying customers increase with the amount you can do to allay their worries.

Drip email marketing is one approach to address the issues of your target clientele. To keep a prospect interested and engaged, you can utilize CaseActive templates to schedule a sequence of automatic emails to be sent out at specific intervals.

You may, for instance, give them a series of frequently asked questions about their legal issue, educational materials to assist them comprehend the dangers they face and the advantages of working with a lawyer, or just a brief note to see if they’re prepared to proceed. Building trust with prospective customers via education about their circumstances can keep them interested and increase the chance that they will choose to work with you.

8. Track the source of every potential client:

Choosing the appropriate marketing channels is frequently the first step towards expanding any kind of business, including a legal practice. Put otherwise, where can you regularly promote to get clients? More importantly, where else can you work for less money than you typically get paid by each customer?

It will take some experimenting and trial and error to choose the appropriate routes. You have to keep track of the source of each and every possible customer you come across during the process. If not, it’s almost hard to decide which routes are most effective with knowledge.

Make it a practice to inquire about prospective clients’ sources of information and record their answers in a database. To obtain a clear image of which marketing initiatives are producing the best outcomes, you need to constantly analyze the data.

9. Research new clients to calculate your conversion rate:

Without a quantifiable means of gauging the outcomes, how will you know whether any of your attempts at improvement are yielding results? It is precisely for this reason that key performance indicators, or KPIs, were created.

The conversion rate of a legal business is among the most crucial KPIs to monitor. Put another, what proportion of potential customers really choose to work with your company? Monitor your conversion rate and the source of your potential customers’ leads at the same time.

Your conversion rate is not a perfect indicator of how well you’re doing at marketing and client onboarding because there might be valid reasons why a prospect decides not to employ you (e.g., they could not be a good fit or they might not be able to afford your services). Nevertheless, if you set a baseline conversion rate for a specific time frame and keep measuring it, you’ll start to see some trends that will provide you with an objective assessment of your performance. Your goal should ideally be to maximize your conversion rate and observe a gradual rising trend.

10. Use all of these points to create a consistent, repeatable client onboarding process:

Building a profitable legal firm ultimately boils down to how you run your business. You will be able to hire more people and gradually grow your workload if you have robust process optimization and bottleneck removal procedures in place. To position yourself for success, you must start by laying a strong foundation.

Because the onboarding process is beyond the purview of the client’s counsel and you are not compensated for the time you spend on it, it is a particularly crucial area to optimize. You can cut down on wasted time, provide customers a better experience, and boost conversion rates by organizing, automating, and simplifying this process.

To put it briefly, if you take the time to enhance your client onboarding procedure, your practice will be in a far better position to expand and prosper.

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