Running a law firm is a little like juggling while riding a unicycle. Oh, and the pins you’re juggling are on fire.
You’re probably going to wind up exhausted, a little bruised up, and possibly burned.
Between handling the day-to-day logistics, client acquisition, and billing headaches, there’s not a whole lot of time left to actually, you know, practice law.
But it doesn’t have to be like that. More and more law firms are offering self-service options that enable clients to do a lot on their own. These options can help you save time, money, and sanity.
What tasks can a self-service option handle?
Automation and self-service portals can handle a lot of tasks that may currently be overwhelming you and your staff. For example, think of the time involved for your staff to take a client’s name: it needs to be spelled and then verified. Why not just have the client enter their name themselves? It’ll be quicker for everyone involved, with less risk of error.
Some of the tasks that could benefit from a self-service option include:
- Scheduling. Although many people will still prefer to call your office to schedule, there are also many who will prefer to choose an open time from your online schedule.
- Intake. This can be offered during the scheduling process or later on. Allow your clients to fill in their own information to increase accuracy and decrease the amount of time your staff spends on this task.
- Client Portal. Setting up a client portal allows your clients to access documents and bills directly from their computers or devices.
- Client Education. The use of a client portal also gives you the option to provide educational materials to your clients, thereby potentially decreasing the amount of introductory education you need to provide during in-person consultations.
- Online Bill Pay. Reduce the amount of physical mail that needs to be sent, received, and processed by offering online bill pay.
Benefits for attorneys
The benefits of self-service options for law firms are immediately apparent. You’ll potentially be able to:
- Reach more clients.
- Collect information with more accuracy.
- Reduce the amount of time your staff has to spend on data-entry tasks, making them available for more important work.
- Be able to collect testimonials and reviews more easily and consistently.
Benefits for clients
Many self-service tasks will benefit both you and your client. Potential benefits for clients include:
- The ability to access their client portal from wherever they are.
- The convenience of online billing and bill pay.
- Providing education, making clients more confident in the legal process.
- Increased satisfaction with their experience from start to end.
Improve the Experience for Everyone
Self-service tasks will increase productivity on your end and satisfaction on your client’s end. Some lawyers worry, though, that they don’t have the knowledge or ability to implement these solutions. But your firm is probably already using software like LawPay, Clio, or AcuityScheduling — so you may already offer your clients some self-service options.
Remember, you don’t have to build everything all at once. You can make changes and add services as the need arises.
Curious about how to structure and implement self-service offerings? Download our free e-book to see how automation can improve your service and give you time for more important tasks (and billable hours).