The practice of law is changing, and it’s changing quickly. Many factors have contributed to this, including globalization, rapid technological advancements, and the proliferation of online legal services that provide legal consumers with access to basic legal documents such as wills.
Just as the practice of has been affected by all of these changes, so too have the expectations of 21st century legal consumers. These days your clients expect 24/7 accessibility to case-related information, regardless of whether you’re in the office.
Law firms hoping to survive and thrive in 2018 need to meet evolving client expectations. This means providing your clients with tools that make it easy for them to instantly obtain information about their cases, whether from their client files or by communicating with you or another knowledgable person at your firm. Gone are the days of 9-5 office hours. Instead, legal consumers prefer to have the ability to obtain – and provide – information on their own schedule from the comfort of their own home or office.
In other words, top-notch client service, with built in convenience and accessibility to information, is the key to success in today’s competitive legal landscape. Here’s how to provide exactly what your clients – and potential clients – expect from a modern law firm, even when you’re on the road.
Receive and respond to messages from clients
Clients appreciate an open line of communication. And because your client’s case-related information is confidential, it’s important to provide secure methods of communication. It used to be that email would suffice, but as the times change, so too do preferred methods of communication.
In 2018, as technology and ethical standards evolve, the best way to communicate securely and efficiently with your firm’s clients no matter where you are is through a client portal. Using a client portal, your clients can securely message you from any computer or internet-enabled device. You can then respond to that message at your convenience, all the while knowing that your client’s confidential case-related information is protected and secure.
Access case-related information
Another important element of top-notch client service is access to information. Your clients want to know what’s going on with their case. It used to be that clients would have to call your office to get information, such as obtaining the date of their next court appearance or how much was owed on an invoice.
But nowadays clients can do that themselves using an online client portal. No matter where they are or what time of day it is, they can login and immediately obtain the answers to many of the most common questions. This means your administrative staff will no longer have to handle many routine phone calls since your clients will be able to self help and obtain that information themselves.
Mobile access to documents
When you’re on the go, the ability to access your firm’s documents from your mobile device can be the key to providing the best client service possible. For starters, you’ll be able to more easily answer your client’s questions if you can pull up and review case-related documents using your mobile device and you firm’s law practice management software.
Another benefit of mobile access to documents is that you can easily view documents on the go while appearing in court or attending a deposition. No need to call the office for information or to ask that the document be emailed or faxed. Instead, you can immediately view the document. That way you’ll always be prepared and able to provide the best possible representation for your clients.
Use a scanner app
Finally, when you’re on the road, you’ll sometimes need to share a document that you’ve just received from the court or opposing counsel. That’s where mobile scanner apps come in. Using your smartphone or tablet, you can scan a document and upload it as a PDF. Then you can easily share the document using any number of methods. My scanner app of choice is Scanner Pro, but there are plenty of others available as well.
These are just a few ideas for ways to provide the best possible client service when you’re away from the office. For even more tips on providing exceptional client representation, download this FREE ebook today: “Clients: A Process for Getting and Keeping Them.”