At Vista we have audited the intake processes, systems, and personnel of firms all over the country. Intake is one of the few things at your firm where you can fix something today and see big results tomorrow. We enjoy analyzing the process step by step and finding inefficiencies that increase our clients’ signups without increasing their spend. There are several common things that we see firms struggle with, but there is one that very few pay attention to, yet it costs them thousands of dollars (sometimes hundreds of thousands) a year in lost revenue.
What is it? The mistake many firms make is not tracking or improperly tracking whether a decision has been made to sign up or reject every single lead that comes through the firm. This is the situation where someone calls your firm, you take down their information and for whatever reason, no one proactively decides whether this is a case you are going to attempt to sign up or reject. That may sound improbable, and you may be saying that this doesn’t happen at your firm, but on average this can cause a 5%-10% decrease in signups if you are not handling this process properly.
For the firms that we work with, we typically create a “No Decision” report that is monitored throughout the day. The systems for intake are set up so that someone has to flag the file in the case management system as an accept, reject, or no contact (we will talk about these next week). If the field is left blank, it shows up on the “No Decision” report and gets remedied immediately.
For firms that do track this decision in some form or fashion, we also see some that track it improperly. The most common error is that firms write over this information with different information so that they cannot accurately run reports. An example of this is when a firm has a case that they don’t make a decision on, so they flag it as “pending decision” or some similar status. What then happens is that the firm never goes back to finalize that decision or it gets moved to a different status such as “reject” by default, without a decision being made. The way to alleviate this is to have a field in your case management system that is dedicated to tracking the decision that was made regarding accepting the case in house or rejecting it. I realize that there is a third option, which is referring it out, but that is a separate process.
If you would like Vista to audit your intake department, don’t hesitate to contact us. We will take a look at your systems, processes, and reporting, and give you details on how to make improvements.