Mystery shopping is the hidden key to client intake and organizational success


MARCH, 2018

Lawyer Marketing Insider
Hot Legal Marketing Trends

Tina Johnston

Product Portfolio Manager, FindLaw

Chances are you lost a potential client in the past week

It’s not because your website failed to attract visitors or that a lone, negative online review dissuaded an inquiring consumer. Rather, it’s because that attorney-seeker slipped through your fingers at the point of initial contact. The problem lies with your disjointed intake process, and your firm is not alone.

Intake encompasses all of the processes a firm uses to collect, organize and manage leads, with the goal of converting them into clients. It’s an essential function of any successful legal business. But doing it wrong can make your firm look unprofessional to potential clients looking to hire you. The trick to fixing your firm’s client intake process is first to see what’s actually wrong with it. And the most effective way to do that is with a “mystery shopper” to assess your intake process.

Sometimes, that’s as simple as asking a friend to call your firm posing as a potential client and then reporting back to you what they experienced. Some attorneys even do this themselves.

But to get a true assessment of your firm, it helps to enlist the aid of professional mystery shoppers. What are they? For law firms, these evaluators are trained to seek out intake deficiencies and paint a true picture of what your firm’s client experience is like.

“There was no communication and I think he was too busy… I was a minor thing for him. So I would not go back. For anything.”

– Bankruptcy Prospect

What each mystery shopper looks at differs somewhat, but in order to get a good sense of how your firm appears to clients, a mystery shopper typically looks at:

  • The mannerisms of whomever answers the phone (or whether someone answers it at all – many law firms let calls go straight to voicemail, which clients do not appreciate).
  • Whether information about the potential client’s legal issue is collected in an efficient manner, or whether it’s gathered haphazardly and so has to be requested more than once.
  • The degree to which the potential client feels listened to and responded to. That is to say, is he or she being treated as unique, or just a unit of business?

The mystery shopper will then provide you a report with a full analysis of your firm’s intake process, including detailed recommendations for improvement.

Looking at your firm objectively isn’t easy. But if you can be honest and fair with its intake process and try to gain an outsider’s perspective, it can help turn those calls into paying clients.

Curious to see how your firm rates? Make sure to request a free Mystery Shopper evaluation from FindLaw before the offer ends on 3/28/18.

Free Mystery Shopper Giveaway

Make sure you’re not leaving money on the table! Request a free mystery shopper evaluation now. Offer ends 3/28/18.

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