This is a world of ever-changing technology, and it seems that each day brings new advancements or ideas. Because of this newness, there are many people who are looking to improve their business practices in order to keep up with changes. One aspect of doing business that has changed is client-lawyer communication and colleague communication. Meeting face-to-face is no longer the only way to communicate with clients, and lawyers are finding that they can increase their client communication by making use of new technologies. Here are the top effective methods of communication for law firms.
Case Management Software
Many law firms utilize some form of case management software to store data, notes, and other important information about each client’s case. While this type of software may seem impersonal compared to face-to-face meetings, it can make communication more efficient. The software is set up with many features available, like a user-friendly interface that allows the lawyers to input information at any time, and organize it in a way that makes sense for their firm’s workflow. This type of software also allows clients to see what is going on with their case, even if they are not nearby or able to talk in person.
There are different types of software available for this purpose when choosing the best one for you and your firm. Keep in mind that some types of cases and firms work better with other software; like cloud-based systems, as opposed to locally installed programs.
Email is one of the most effective forms that lawyers use to communicate with clients, and it is also used for many other aspects of business communication. Emails are often casual ways to keep in contact with clients, colleagues, companies, and anyone else involved in the legal world. Even though email is not always an appropriate method for communicating with clients, it is still used for communication.
To use it properly, knowing email etiquette is important. Emails are not letters, so these rules do not apply the same way. These etiquette rules include:
- Use the subject line to inform the reader of the email’s content
- Keep the tone professional
- Don’t hit send until you proofread your email for any errors or typos
- Be concise with an email, since it is not as formal as a letter.
- Do not use emoticons or abbreviations (if you can avoid them) to express your feelings. Overuse of emoticons and abbreviations can make the email harder to understand. Overuse of these aspects can also turn away some clients, as they may feel you are not serious enough with them if you use these features too much.
- Do not immediately ask a question or pose a problem in your first email. It is better to introduce a topic first, and then pose a question or problem in a follow-up email.
Video Conferencing Software
Video conferencing software allows for meetings without the need to be in the same room or country as another person. The interface is similar to a standard instant messaging chat session, but it has added features like an auto-focus camera and voice activation. This type of program can be used by law firms that have multiple offices, or if the firm’s attorneys are traveling on business.
If a law firm is going to use video conferencing software with their clients, make sure the connection quality is clear. This means making sure there are no bandwidth issues or echo problems with the system. If it seems like these types of problems could occur often, look into changing the settings until you can find one that works for your firm.
Chat Boxes and Online Forms
Two other options for lawyers and clients to communicate online are chat boxes and online forms. A chatbox allows users to instant message each other, while an online form has a drop-down menu that sends client information directly into your case management system. Chat Boxes can be useful when trying to provide immediate feedback or support to a client, but they can also be distracting for attorneys. On the other hand, online forms are usually easier to use than chat boxes, especially if your website is set up with an online form already.
Law firms can utilize many different types of software to improve communication between clients and staff members. This can be useful for everyone involved, as long as the system being used is user-friendly and efficient with how it works. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you have a specifically designed program to fit your firm’s needs, not just something that happens to be available.