Metrics that Matter Series: Intakes

2 February 2018

Jon Robinson

This is the second in a series of posts titled Metrics that Matter. Our previous post looked at the power of marketing metrics. It is Litify’s goal to inspire you to think about which questions are the right ones to ask and challenge you to find the answers. Metrics are often the best tool to help you reach these answers. In this post, we’ll examine intake metrics.

Conversion Rate: Lead to Sign Up

The growth of your firm lies in the hands of your intake staff. Many firms take this aspect of their business for granted. We have seen that there is no firm too small to focus on the intake process.

The most successful firms view their intake staff as the equivalent of their sales team, and consider a signed retainer as the equivalent of a closed deal.  Sales is all about keeping the ball rolling and continuously moving deals forward. Your intake department is similar in that regard. Success is driven by a carefully designed process, rigorous attention to detail, best in class tools for your team, and relentless follow up.

At the most macro level, your conversion rate measures the health of your intake center. How many leads you have received is important,  but more important than that is how many of them are putting pen to paper and joining your client base.

To E-Sign or Not to E-Sign: Retainer Return Rate by Type

With the changing landscape of technology, consumers are getting smarter and demanding that their service providers keep up with them. Potential clients will reach out to 3-5 law firms at once and the firm that is positioned to sign them the quickest, with the best customer experience usually wins the deal.

Electronic Signatures are one way technology has changed the game over the last few years. While E-Sign sacrifices the face-to-face interaction, the benefits likely outweigh the negatives. Our theory is that it is not an all or nothing question.

By arming your firm with all of the tools; electronic signature, in person meetings, and overnight mail, you position yourself to meet the needs of every potential client, regardless of their situation.

Carefully measure which methods are successful in specific situations and don’t be afraid to adapt your practice to meet the changing landscape of your client base.

Customer Highlight

“Cost per retainer sent tells me where to spend more money and where to  stop spending money in order to acquire new business most efficiently. I use the cost per retainer sent because it’s the deepest KPI (Key Performance Indicator) that we can get fast enough to be useable in the business context. Unlike many companies, ROI (Return on Investment) or ROAS (Return on Advertising Spending) doesn’t work due to the length of our revenue cycle. Cost per lead doesn’t work because it doesn’t account for lead quality.

Cost per retainer sent is a fast metric that weighs in quality (since we don’t send packets to people that aren’t potentially clients) and thus, is the best core metric for knowing how hard your dollar is working for you. Without an engine, having a pretty car is pointless.”

Know Your Cream of the Crop: Number of Calls/Sign Ups by Agent

The first contact that a potential client has with your firm is often with your intake staff. The potential client may have recently suffered an injury or is calling regarding a lost loved one. Make sure that they are received by a competent, caring voice with a proven track record that can guide them through their issues.

Make sure your intake staff is the most appreciated team in your office. Find your best performers. Track their efficiency and conversion rates closely. With the proper incentives the results will come quickly. Begin by knowing the numbers and who your closers are.

The Junkyard: TD by TD Reason

Are good cases slipping through the cracks? An intake department that is running smoothly should be deliberately turning down a large percentage of their overall lead volume. Strict criteria and decisive turndowns are crucial to streamlining the overall efficiency of your practice.

However, it is important to track why cases are being turned down. Are clients choosing another firm? Are you losing contact with them? Are clients simply turning you down? Is your marketing broken?  This data allows you to identify the areas of concern and adjust the knobs on your intake machine so that you can optimize, adjust and recover the cases that are falling by the wayside.

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