This is the second in a series on client intake. I will focus on some of the reasons why it makes business sense for a law firm to develop and use a client intake system as well as how a practice management system can help make the whole process much easier.
Another reason to use a practice management system for your client intake is the information you can accumulate and use to help grow your business. Therefore, after you have created and documented a client intake process, the next step is to consider what information you are collecting from your prospects and clients. Every file requires that you collect certain information from your client. There are certain obvious pieces of information such as the client’s name, address and other contact information.
What other information would you find valuable? Perhaps you would like to begin sending your clients birthday or anniversary cards. Are you collecting these dates? What about their spouse’s name or hobbies? Do you even know how that client learned about your services? There are so many pieces of information that are useful for marketing and other purposes. If your intake process requires specific information, your staff is much more likely to gather it.
Your practice management system will likely have quite a bit of pre-customization for both clients and matters. However, you will probably want to track information unique to your firm that is not pre-set in your practice management product. For this reason, a product like Time Matters or PracticeMaster that allows for additional customization can be of great benefit. Both products give you the ability to add a number of custom fields for the information you want to track.
If you would like to learn more about efficient client intake, I invite you to attend a webinar I will be giving on April 15, 2010. The webinar, entitled Best Practices: Client Intake is sponsored by LexisNexis and is free. You can register at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/833521633. I also invite you to download a white paper from my website describing how to apply some of these client intake methods in Time Matters. That white paper can be found at http://www.krausepm.com/resources/documents/ClientIntakewithTimeMatters.pdf.client intake, practicemaster, Time Matters