Most people, and especially lawyers, are naturally resistant to change. It’s understandable because change can be scary. It often disrupts the routines and habits that you’ve become so accustomed to. However, when it comes to building a successful business (e.g. a law practice), it’s important to embrace change so you can constantly adapt, keep up with the latest trends, and grow your business. Read on to find out exactly how technology can benefit your law practice.
The rise of technology has led to rapid change in the way we communicate, live, and conduct business. As you know, the market for legal services has undergone drastic change in recent times, and it’s only just beginning. In order to keep you law practice afloat, you’ve got to keep up with the trends and use technology to your advantage as opposed to resisting it. Here are some of the key ways that technology can benefit your law practice.
Save Time and Money
How much of your work week do you spend on mindless admin tasks for your firm like billing and time tracking? I’m venturing to guess you spend at least 5-10 hours per week. Or maybe you had to hire an assistant, secretary or office manager to help out. Or maybe it’s both.
Either way, the result is that a substantial amount of time and overhead goes to administrative tasks that do not directly increase your bottom line. If you could bypass spending time on these tasks or hiring an assistant, think about how much more money you could make in a year. The good news is, technology can solve many of these problems.
There are a number of good softwares and services that can streamline routine tasks and in some cases even eliminate the need for support staff. Here are some good ones to consider:
- Clio, MyCase, Abacus – case management, billing, and time tracking
- Avvo Ignite – lead management and CRM
- LawLytics – website development/hosting and CMS (content management system)
- Lexicata – streamlined client intake process
- FreshBooks, QuickBooks – accounting and bookkeeping
Create a Better Experience for Clients
Many lawyers treat their law firms like a legal practice and not like a business. Unfortunately, that’s just not going to cut it these days. While doing the best legal work that you can is great, oddly enough, it is not necessarily the best way to be successful in this industry. Many lawyers need to take a lesson from LegalZoom on pricing, customer service, and satisfaction.
It’s more important than ever t0 make client satisfaction a top priority. People have so many free resources and alternative legal service offerings at their disposal these days. They won’t hesitate to find another option if you aren’t cutting it. Even though not all lawyers may be charming, witty, and suave, anyone can be attentive, kind, and accommodating.
Customer service takes time and effort, and that’s why a lot of lawyers fall short in this category. However, once again that’s where technology can really help you! Here are some great technology services that can improve your customer service and client satisfaction:
- MadMimi, MailChimp – email marketing; keep clients engaged with you and your firm and create a sense of personal touch
- Zopim or Olark – live chat for your website; proven method of increasing customer satisfaction as well as converting more website visitors into clients
- Lexicata – seamless engagement letters intake forms; make it easy on clients to formalize an engagement with you
Knowledge is Power
Aside from technology helping to save time, reduce your overhead, and benefit your clients’ experiences, technology can also give you the information necessary to make better business decisions for your firm. Imagine if you knew what your clients were thinking or doing at any time. Well, technology can help you do just that.
You can use analytics software to find out how many people are coming to your website, what they do on your site, and most importantly, how they ended up there. You can leverage this powerful information into tailoring your website experience to your visitors’ needs, which will help convert more visitors into paying clients.
Furthermore, you should be seeking feedback and reviews from all of your clients. You should keep an active profile on as many lawyer review websites as possible and constantly monitor them. This will not only improve your online image in the eyes of prospective clients, but will give you more insight into how well you are delivering your services and how you can improve them.
In summary, the knowledge you can acquire from the use of technology will not only help you optimize your marketing and run a better practice, but it will inherently increase your ability to provide stellar customer service.
- Google Analytics – one of the most powerful, free website analytics services; learn about how much web traffic you get, what visitors to your website do when they get there, and where they come from
- Optimizely – A/B testing software for improving website conversion; test out different content and design schemes on your web pages to optimize the experience and increase conversions into email signups and ultimately paying clients
- Yelp, Avvo, LawKick – lawyer reviews websites; ask all of your clients to review you on at least one of these sites and actively monitor your reputation to ensure that your services and level of customer satisfaction are top quality
It’s clear that technology is revolutionizing many aspects of the world around us and forever changing the way we carry on our businesses. And yet, all too often, the knee-jerk reaction to a sales call for a new software like these is “I don’t need this.” Try to avoid such a reaction. Stay open to the power of technology and constantly strive to learn more about how technology can benefit your law practice.
Consider it like owning a car. Yes, you’re right that you don’t NEED a car; a bicycle or public transportation will get you where you need to go. But if you can afford the cost, your life will be significantly easier, more efficient, and more enjoyable.
Oftentimes, implementing softwares and technologies like those mentioned here will more than pay for themselves. Consider them investments geared towards building a viable, scalable legal practice, not expenses.
What tips do you have about how you can leverage technology to grow a law practice? Add them in the comments below!