This blog post was written by Jake Kozonis and Tracy Stevens from the MyCase Product and Design team based in San Diego, CA. Jake, Tracy, and the entire MyCase Product/Design and Engineering teams are constantly listening to customers and working on new features to make MyCase legal practice management software even better.
Thousands of MyCase customers are already realizing the benefits of accepting online payments, including credit cards and eChecks (ACH), through our integrated payments system:
- No expensive printing or mailing costs
- Payment information is recorded automatically in MyCase
- Client payment (and overdue invoice) information is always up-to-date and easily accessible
- Payment reminders result in faster payments and reduce the need for labor-intensive follow-up
We recently reached out to several of our MyCase Payments “power users” to find out their secrets for payments success. Whether you’re new to MyCase Payments or just wanting to accelerate the number of clients you have paying you online, these tips will help you get paid faster and with less effort.
Immediately Begin Talking With Your Clients About the Client Portal
The top recommendation we consistently hear from our most successful MyCase Payments customers is to introduce information about the Client Portal as early as possible in the retainer process.
Since the MyCase Client Portal is a prerequisite for taking online payments, setting clients’ expectations early and emphasizing that your communication and payments will be happening through the portal is critical for success. While this might be a change for your firm, the customers we talked to were pleasantly surprised that there were very few questions or resistance from clients when this was laid out clearly upfront.
Firms take a variety of approaches regarding how the portal is positioned to their clients. Here are a few tips from other MyCase customers:
- Use the Client Portal to position yourself as a “tech-savvy” firm that leverages technology to provide a better and more secure customer experience.
- Provide your clients with an incentive, like a small discount on your fee, to get them to use the portal. Try calculating the time and cost you’d save by not mailing an invoice, and determine the discount from there.
- Your approach will depend on your clientele and how you want to position the Client Portal to them. But whatever you choose, you can build trust with your clients by letting them know that thousands of law firms across the country have adopted the MyCase Client Portal as part of their practice and that their clients appreciate the time-savings and access to information that the portal provides them.
Create Instructions to Remind and Educate Clients About the Portal
Several customers told us that they leveraged the Guide to Your Online Client Portal from the MyCase Knowledge Center to create their own instructions for their clients — often taking the content right out of that document and putting it on their firm’s engagement letter or on their website. This documentation could then be printed and given to clients during the initial in-person consultation, sent as a PDF as part of an intake package, or used on the firm’s website.
If you are a current MyCase customer and would like help creating this documentation with your firm’s logo, please email one of our Payment Support Specialists at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help you put your best Client Portal foot forward with your clients.
Another thing some firms have done is to create a dedicated client portal information page on their website to educate prospective and current clients on how the firm communicates and shares invoices and documents. To learn more and to see an example, check out this blog post.
Eliminate Other Payment Options
One way to encourage payments through the Client Portal is to stop offering other payment options. Although it sounds simplistic, many of the MyCase customers we spoke to explained that they made a point to emphasize to their clients that MyCase Payments via the firm’s Client Portal was the preferred payment method, thus avoiding opening the door for other options.
Some removed the payment link from their prior payment provider from their firm website. Others informed clients directly that they would no longer be taking payments over the phone, but were instead offering the ability for clients to pay 24/7 through the portal. Some firms even put the Client Portal payment information into their retainer agreements to get clients to agree to that requirement in advance. In each case, our customers cited the need to cut down on administrative time for taking payments.
Of course, there are circumstances that require exceptions and all customers we talked to accommodated those as needed. But for the most part, the quicker and more definitively they made these changes, the faster they started receiving all of the benefits of the MyCase payments solution—which means they got paid faster and spent less time and effort in the process!
What’s Next for MyCase Payments?
We have many more enhancements planned for our payments platform that will provide even more value to our Payments customers in the months to come. Our next major release will be a new way to handle retainers and trust payments.
We’re always looking for early feedback and would love to add you to our customer feedback list. If you’re interested, please contact Jake at email@example.com.
Not a MyCase customer? Try MyCase for free (no credit card required) and see why thousands of attorneys trust MyCase to manage their law firms more efficiently.