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Tracking leads boosts client conversion

Tracking intake calls is a proven method of helping law firms convert more prospects into clients, says Tom Ball of Alert Communications

The legal intake call centre recently branched out into Canada from its U.S. base, where it already serves more than 1,000 law firms, and Ball, the company’s director of sales and marketing, tells AdvocateDaily.com that Alert’s “smart lead" tracking system is a big reason why its services are so popular.

“When a lead comes in by phone, we answer it within an average of 11 seconds, and a record is immediately created in the system,” he says.

From there, Ball explains that the system automatically recognizes what stage every lead attached to a particular law firm is at, and instantly interfaces with its next available call centre specialist.

That allows other leads arriving via firm websites and text messages to become the subject of an immediate outbound call and email, no matter what time of day they come in, he says.

While top-performing law firms handling intake in-house can expect lead capture of around 75 to 85 per cent, Ball says Alert’s round-the-clock call centre allows them to quickly turn that figure into virtually 100 per cent, at a fraction of the cost it would take firms to cover off-hours, including nights, weekends and holidays.

“Our system keeps track of all the actions that have happened on a particular lead, whether it’s a text or a phone call on a call-back number, and all the leads stay with the law firm,” he says. “When you look back, you can see when and how a person was contacted, and what the result was."

In fact, for clients that want a higher level of co-ordination, Ball says Alert representatives will key the information directly into the law firm’s own customer relationship management systems. Call centre workers can also send out firms’ fee agreements by email or text, he adds.

By providing immediate answers to phone callers and web enquiries from staff ready to sign them up and set up in-person meetings, Ball says law firms can stop clients from shopping around for representation. And the wealth of data in its smart lead system also allows Alert to measure the effectiveness of particular actions.

“Our statistics, which come from millions of intakes for thousands of lawyers, show that you’ll reach a lead on the first call about 42 per cent of the time. But when you call and email them a second or third time, the conversion rate jumps to 83 per cent,” Ball says.

While Alert works mainly with personal injury law firms, Ball says the company can handle calls on behalf of law firms specializing in any practice area. Its call centre staff can also offer service in Spanish for those who want it.

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