Why Case Management Software Doesn't Work for Client Intake

Why Case Management Software Doesn't Work for Client Intake

Matt Spiegel Written by Matt Spiegel
7 minute read

Legal case management software is a useful tool for helping law firms with their day-to-day operations. From managing contacts to billing and payments, it's a practical approach to managing workflows and accessing case details instead of digging through piles of paper. Usually, a case management software’s core features include:

Case Management

Case management software keeps track of all of the information you need allowing you to access it whenever and wherever you need it. You can access an overview of all of your cases in one single location from a cloud. Regardless of what computer you're on or even by using your phone, you can access each case detail you need.

 

Task Management

Lawyers can create tasks and assign them to multiple lawyers in their practice with assigned due dates for each different case. As such, they can easily view any upcoming appointments or noteworthy reminders.

 

Document Storage

Any important documents and files for each client are easily stored in one single location, accessed from anywhere at any time. From images to videos, any supporting case files are located in one place.

 

Billing and Payments

Billing and payments can be handled all within a case management software, automating the time-consuming parts of billing, helping lawyers get paid faster. It's also easy to track who's paid yet and who still needs to pay, making sure that nothing slips through the cracks in your accounting.

 

Contact Management

All contact information can be stored within case management software, making it easy to access contact details and keep you connected.

 

Basic Calendar

Any important case deadlines are kept within a built-in to help you stay on top of critical dates without having to use a separate calendar application.

 

Insights

Certain case management software helps you gain better insight into your law firm's efficiency and productivity with analytics.

Ultimately, case management software helps lawyers stay more organized with their existing clients' information. Although, at first glance, case management software alone may seem like enough technology to run your practice, it's important to remember that a case management software only handles existing client matters and not on client intake. And although your existing clients are incredibly important, so are your prospective ones. Potential leads are what continually bring in a steady stream of revenue and ultimately scale your firm.

In order to streamline your client intake process and seamlessly move leads into paying clients, making a positive impression along the way, you'll need a separate software that delivers a clear and consistent process for client intake.

What Client Intake Software Does That Case Management Software Can’t

Client intake is the process of attracting, following up with, and engaging with leads, eventually setting up a consultation, and ultimately converting them into paying clients. Throughout the process, lawyers need to collect important information from leads to determine whether their area of practice suits their needs and discuss details like fees and whether they’ve ever worked with a lawyer before.

Gathering all of this information requires a tremendous amount of manual work for lawyers if they do it on their own. So, attorneys looking for a more efficient way to attract and convert leads rely on client intake software to simplify and automate the monotonous tasks associated with client intake.

If you’re serious about growing your law practice, then you must engage leads from the moment they fill out a legal client intake form. In the absence of a systematic client intake process, leads can get lost, and opportunities slip through the cracks. Prioritizing tracking contacts throughout every step of the client journey, not just the existing client stage, will accelerate your practice and make lasting impressions that lead to repeat business and client referrals. Here’s how client intake software can help generate more business in ways that case management software can't.

Makes a Great First Impression

First impressions are critical for your conversion rate. With client intake software, you can make a lasting impression that shows potential clients you're the right lawyer to choose out of all of the competition. Since the most important thing people look for in a lawyer is responsiveness, it’s crucial that you follow up immediately. Statistics consistently show that the sooner you get back to a prospect, the greater your chances are of closing a sale. Without client intake software, it's impossible to manually get back to everyone promptly while giving your existing clients the attention they need. Statistics reveal that as many as 60% of firms fail to get back to leads inquiries within 72 hours. The result is lost opportunities and, in turn, lost revenue.

Client intake software captures information from your client intake form and inputs it directly into your case management software or CRM for lawyers, eliminating the need for tedious manual entry. Once the client's contact information is in your system, your client intake software meticulously tracks each stage of the client's journey, telling you whether they've been followed up with or not and what steps need to be taken next. Automation makes it easy to elevate the client experience from the very beginning, keeping them engaged and ensuring that no opportunity gets missed.

Automated and Customizable Follow-Ups

In the absence of client intake software, using case management software alone, there's no way of knowing where each client stands in the client journey. Client intake software puts your follow-up process on autopilot by meticulously tracking each client's transition through each distinct phase of the client journey. From client intake to active matter to former client, each phase is individually important for unique reasons, not only existing matters. Since case management only handles active matters, you need additional software to give your potential clients just as much attention through consistent follow-ups that send out the right message at the right time.

From sending an initial follow-up message with helpful information about your firm to sending a reminder to schedule a free consultation, email automation for law firms stays in touch for you without you having to do a thing.

Automated Marketing

The only way that your law firm can continue to grow is by continuously bringing in new clients. Although your primary job is to practice law, you have to put on your CEO hat and treat your firm as a business if you hope to scale your practice.

Client intake software helps you reach your prospects through marketing automation for law firms, personalized and scheduled to your choosing. Drip email marketing keeps your prospects engaged to keep your firm top of mind. Automated marketing gives you the tools to grow your practice with the hands-off approach that allows you to turn your energy towards your clients while software attracts more leaves.

Whether sending out an automated email for new clients or a newsletter to prior clients to encourage repeat business, automated marketing nurtures and engages contacts beyond the active matter stage of the client journey. Audience segmentation software gives you the power to group your contacts into separate email campaigns based on their unique characteristics for a more targeted and tailored approach.

Custom Forms

Lawyers are no stranger to redundant tasks— yet they're a necessary component of running a practice. A substantial amount of lawyers' week is spent gathering client information during the intake process, which can quickly eat up time when executed manually. Instead of relying on manual methods to enter clients' information, dynamic smart form builders built and robust integrations into client intake software make it easy to get the information you need from your client and input it directly into your CRM for attorneys and case management software.

Attorney intake software allows you to customize your forms with only the relevant questions you need from your clients, save them and you time. Potential clients can easily submit their answers, optimizing and streamlining your intake process and speeding up the transition to the next phase of the client journey. Features like legal document automation make it possible to take on more business at once and efficiently manage it without feeling overwhelmed by the administrative work that comes with more clients.

Automated Scheduling

Although case management software comes with a basic calendar feature, it doesn't allow your clients to self-schedule. Running a practice with case management software alone means lawyers lose time on lengthy email back and forth and phone tag with leads and clients trying to find the best time for a consultation.

Automated appointment scheduling is as easy as sending a link to your clients for your calendar, which allows them to choose a time based on only the dates you want them to see. Clients can easily set their own appointments and even cancel them themselves, saving you even more time on administrative work. Because of the added convenience of being able to schedule themselves, clients are thrilled by the modern approach with direct access to their lawyer.

Sends out Reminders

Client no-shows are a serious problem for lawyers, with statistics showing that over 25% of initial consultations result in a no-show or cancellation. Not only is a client no-show a missed opportunity and a waste of time, but it's also an expense. Time is money when it comes to running a firm, and every minute wasted is time you could be spending on a pressing matter.

If you have a significant client no-show rate, then one of the reasons why this may be happening is a lack of follow-ups. Although a zero no-show rate is highly unrealistic, automatic appointment reminders can lower your no-show rate significantly. Law firm client intake software sends out automated appointment reminders either by email or SMS for law firms, greatly reducing the chance of a no-show.

When you make a personal connection with your clients, they are much less likely to cancel or fail to show up at all. Automated marketing and follow-ups stay top of mind with your leads and clients. Furthermore, it can save you hours you would have spent emailing and calling your contacts to remind them about their appointment or having to pay a front desk receptionist to do it for you.

Offers E-Signature for Legal Documents

Most clients are eager to get their case rolling as quickly as possible. Before you can get started on your client's case, you need to draft up important documentation and agreements and get them signed. In a traditional law firm, lawyers ask their clients to print, sign and scan or mail the documents back to them, which can take a considerable amount of time depending on the client's schedule. Legal client intake software offers an electronic signature for legal documents that gets anything signed within minutes. From fee agreements to contracts, clients can sign from anywhere anytime— even from their phones.

A client e-signature tool like Lawmatics offers, eliminates bottlenecks in your practice and gets the ball rolling on your clients' cases significantly faster. You can easily see within your software which clients have opened, signed, and approved their paperwork and keep a complete paper trail going without having to bother with printers or piles of documents to sift through. You can easily store everything in the cloud, making it simple to access important documents from anywhere, anytime.

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Prioritize every stage of the client journey with Lawmatics

The client journey starts the minutes that someone contacts your firm. Using case management software alone can leave a lot of firms failing to make a good first impression. Since case management software only handles the active matter stage of the client journey, you may be missing a significant amount of opportunities. Attorney intake software prioritizes every stage of the client journey because each one is an opportunity for more business, even a former client.

Carrying out a client's case to end doesn't mean that it's time to hang up your hot and say goodbye. Since 75% of law firm business comes from referrals, you shouldn't stop the attorney-client communication even when a case is closed. Client intake software keeps contacts top of mind through engagement cadences like email drip campaigns and even friendly birthday messages. Showing your clients in each stage of the client journey that you remember and value them encourages customer loyalty.

Are you ready to see how Lawmatics client intake software can help you increase your business, delight your clients in the stage of the client journey and earn a five-star reputation and plenty of client referrals? Sign up for a free demo today!

Matt Spiegel
Matt Spiegel

As Co-Founder and CEO, Matt leads the vision at Lawmatics. Matt is a serial entrepreneur and attorney who practiced criminal defense for 6 years. In 2010 he founded popular cloud based legal practice management solution MyCase. After founding ExpoGuru, an event marketing management software, and becoming the CEO of Cammy, a global consumer tech company, he returned to the legal software industry with the Lawmatics platform in 2017.