The right answer is instantly, with a productive and useful auto responder that lets them know their contact form has been received and gives them a reason—a form, a survey, something—that moves their “conversation” with you along. And the other answer is, within five minutes they should get a phone call, unless you are using an automated intake system.
And in case you are wondering, yes, you did once have a bigger window in which to respond. Before the entire world lived online, a reasonable person searching for an estate planning law firm would find your website, fill out a form, and if the firm responded within a day or two, everyone was happy. That’s no longer the case.
Today this is an entire science of marketing called “Lead Response Management.” There are a multitude of studies and reports on lead response management, but let’s just cut to the chase. Your office has to respond faster now than ever before to leads that come in from the website. If you respond within five minutes, you have a 90% chance of making an appointment with the person. Wait 30 minutes, and the numbers take a dive. Wait more than a day, and you’re out.
What can you do to ensure that you aren’t losing leads?
Automate as much of the process as possible. We devoted a great deal of time to creating the E2 CRM and CLIPSM system in order to make this a seamless part of your estate planning law practice.
Assign one person to be responsible for processing web leads. Make someone in your organization, whether a paralegal, assistant or associate, responsible for handling all incoming web leads, including making phone calls to prospects within a set time frame. If it is not someone’s priority, it will not get the attention it needs.
Create a step-by-step process. If your intake has been automated, you don’t have to do this. But if not, establish a formal process to ensure that leads are responded to fast, that information is entered into your system accurately and that follow-up takes place in a timely manner.
Measure and test your intake process. We know you have a J.D. and not an MBA. But you also have a for-profit professional service firm to run, and that means measuring and testing processes. If you implement a new process for intake and you have more clients, that’s great. But you need to know why it is working. Perhaps there are other areas that can be improved. While we hope that you are seriously considering adopting the use of the E2 CRM, but if you are not, at the very least create a means of measuring what is happening in your office from the moment someone clicks on your website to the minute they are sitting in the office signing a retainer agreement.