Shopper Anonymous recently completed research on how proactive and successful law firms are in following up on incoming enquiries (in person, telephone and online) for common work types such as property, wills and commercial business. The results don’t make good reading with only 10% of telephone and 12% of website enquiries receiving a further follow-up after an initial response.
These findings match our observations too – law firms struggle to manage their "sales opportunities" and often if they don’t get an immediate response back from the potential client following an enquiry, they tend to dismiss or forget about the opportunity.
As one of our larger firms said, "If we can convert only an extra 10% of our enquiries into sales we will add many thousands of pounds to our bottom line."
To make it easier for law firms to manage and monitor incoming enquiries, we have recently adapted our Visualfiles Case Management system to incorporate functionality that also makes it a complete Prospect Management solution. Visualfiles can now provide end to end management of all incoming enquiries and allows firms to convert prospects into clients and enquiries into profits.
By applying the principles of Case Management to incoming leads, firms can establish processes for Prospect management. This could be to better capture of data or automate emails, documents and texts to acknowledge an enquiry. The system could automatically allocate an enquiry to the right person to pursue and capture responses, using workflow. Similarly, Management Information functionality could be used to track the success/failure of incoming enquiries, better understand why work is won and lost, monitor trends in the market, and so on.
Therefore, there are many benefits to combining Prospect Management with Case management:
- By routing the enquiry to the right person/team, firms can ensure all enquiries are managed in a timely and professional manner
- By accurately capturing the details of incoming enquiries, firms can re-use the data when the enquiry converts to a client, saving time and improving data quality
- By using time recording, firms can track the time taken by managing incoming enquiries
- By capturing all of the activities and correspondence relating to incoming enquiries, firms can audit and track processes and improve them where needed
- By applying workflow, firms can ensure that they convert as many incoming enquiries as possible into new clients and matters
With an average case at a typical firm being worth £3,000 – 4,000, converting just four more cases each month would have "a big impact on the bottom line". The legal market is becoming increasingly competitive, and with more legal work going to non-lawyer sources, firms can’t continue to give away work by ignoring incoming enquiries. It’s an easy win and we now have a simple solution to help law firms win more business.