We are living through an unprecedented time. As I write this article, I am quarantined in my house, going on day 11. I never expected this to be the way that I would work from home. I never expected this to be the way our economy would be brought to the brink of complete collapse. However, we are here, and this will be short lived in the grand scheme of things. We will come back from this, and we will do so stronger than ever.

So much of our everyday lives have changed. Whether it’s working from home, becoming your children’s teacher, or simply keeping yourself isolated in your home, we have all significantly changed our daily lives. As a law firm, you have likely been forced to work from home, or at the least, you’ve stopped meeting with prospects or clients in person.

Many of these changes we’ve made will be short lived. They will be quickly and happily forgotten once we get over this hill. However, not all of the practices we’ve been forced to adopt are bad. Not everything is something we should rush to “put back to normal”. No. Some things might actually be changes which can improve your firm. A silver lining is indeed there.

You have likely been forced, as previously mentioned, to move all communications with your prospects/leads and clients to remote. Phone calls, emails, text messages — all are likely your new tools in servicing your contacts. With existing clients, this probably isn’t much different than usual — however, for your leads, this is likely new territory. Your intake process and signup percentage might be suffering as a result. It doesn’t have to. This is an opportunity to streamline your intake process, perfect a touchless intake, which can end up being a competitive advantage once things go back to normal.

Here are our 4 steps to a perfect, automated, touchless intake. Follow this framework and you will have a sustainable, pandemic proof intake process that will be well suited for beyond the virus as well.

  • Engage: Whether a prospect is calling your firm or filling out a form on your website, you must engage that person right away. Set up an automated text message to go to them as soon as they contact your firm — assuming you are unable to answer their call at that moment.
  • Keep attention: It is critical to continue to keep the attention of your prospect. If they are not engaging with you, they are just contacting the next lawyer on google. Follow up after your engagement text with an email that contains a form for them to fill out. Gather some critical information about their case, but more importantly, keep them engaged so they won’t call the next firm on the list.
  • Schedule: A good system will allow you to send out a link to your calendar, letting a prospect select a time for a consultation that will work for both of you. The consultation can be a phone consultation or in person, that part isn’t critical. What is critical is getting them scheduled as quickly as possible, without requiring you to do it manually.
  • Nurture: As good as you are at closing a prospect, not every one of them hires you immediately after a consultation. It is critical to your process to have a good, automated follow up flow of emails and phone calls that are designed to ease the prospect into signing with your firm.

During this pandemic, we are all forced to put new processes into place. Your intake process should be able to handle an unprecedented situation like this with ease. Give this automated intake process a try now. Use this time to perfect the process — tweaking it to suit your needs. Once we are back to business as usual, you might just find that this automated intake process is your secret weapon.