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The Importance of Ongoing Training for a Successful Team

Betties Legal Academy Ongoing Training

Customer service and our clients’ success are two of Back Office Betties’ biggest focuses as a business. We dedicate our time to bringing you valuable information on how to best manage your law firm, we created a company culture that attracts (and retains) only the most qualified receptionists, and we answer every one of your phone calls with a smile and expertise. In order to ensure that our employees stay happy, knowledgable, and ready to serve your firm, one of the big things that we implement is ongoing employee training.

Ongoing Employee Training Benefits

As time passes, it is likely that policies, trends, and preferences change too. By continuing training throughout your employees’ time with you, they are staying current on policy changes, procedures, and technology. In addition, ongoing training ensures that tenured employees have the same information as new hires. Investing in ongoing training for your employees boosts employee happiness, confidence, and proficiency in their position. In turn, your clients are happier because they are receiving high-quality service from a knowledgable professional.

Boosting Employee Happiness with Ongoing Training

How is it that employee happiness can be so linked with ongoing training? According to CNBC, professionals who were surveyed as “heavy learners” were more likely to be happier, less stressed, more confident, and productive at work. Light learners were 48% less likely to have found a purpose in their work. They were also 47% more likely to be stressed. Stress + lack of purpose = unhappiness.

In addition, 94% of employees say they would stay with a company longer if that company encouraged and allowed them to learn. The younger generations are driving this home with a fierce desire for continued learning. Specifically, 27% of Gen Z and Millenials would leave their job because they weren’t provided enough opportunity to enhance their knowledge and grow.

Are you giving your employees a reason to leave you by skipping over this vital responsibility as an employer?

Investing in Your Employees is Investing in Your Business

Investing in your business feels like a no-brainer. But how can empowering your employees to learn more be considered an investment? Easy! The American Society for Training and Development conducted a study that showed companies who offered comprehensive training profited greatly over other companies. Those companies benefited from 218% more income per employee and had a 24% higher profit margin than those who spend less on employee training.

According to New Horizons Learning Solutions, this is due to increased efficiency and confidence of employees who undergo continuous training. Clearly, they are doing something right!

Client Happiness Soars When Employees are Well-Trained

Reduce turnover, improve consistency, and offer high-level customer service – all are keys to retaining happy clients. Educated employees are more confident and able to help solve more problems than those who are iffy on their company’s policies and procedures. Employees who go through ongoing training are more consistent and follow through on the company’s policies because they remember what they are. In addition, clients like to have stability in who they communicate within your company. Turnover reduces their feelings of trust. Working with a familiar face enhances that trust. When you take all of this into account, it amounts to high-level service that keeps the client and keeps them happy.

Have you ever had an experience with an employee at a place of business who clearly had no idea what they were doing? How did it make you feel? Did you trust them? Did you enjoy doing business with that company? Probably not. You likely wrote them off as incompetent and moved on, right? Avoid that by continuing to train your employees, even after tenure.

Implementing a Training Program

Ready to create an ongoing training program? Start by documenting every step and process in a central place that employees have access to. We love to use Trainual for our initial employee training and refresher courses. It’s user-friendly and allows you to track employee progress, as well as quiz them on the materials they learned. Trainual also alerts employees when a training has been updated! This allows for seamless ongoing training and ensures your team is always up to date on the latest policies and procedures.

When implementing training that exceeds what your company teaches as far as policy and procedure, it’s important to source courses from reputable sources in your field. Take the course yourself before offering it to your team; you don’t want them to be wasting time on a course that turns out to be invaluable or has wrong information. This is also a great way to continue your own learning! Nobody benefits from not learning. Once you have reputable courses and learnings, be sure to offer ample work time for your employees to take them. Set an expectation of how many hours should be spent learning each week so that your team feels comfortable doing so. You don’t want them to feel pressured to learn off the clock! This could lead to resentment or even just blowing it off entirely.

Another great way to ensure learning within your company is to ask for volunteers to share tips and teachings regularly. As they learn, they can share their notes with the team through email, ensuring everyone is up to speed. At Betties, we do this within our team meetings. Everyone shares something they learned that week, as it pertains to their position in the company. This also allows other team members to understand parts of the company that they may not be directly involved in.

Back Office Betties Legal Academy

As you can tell, we love to train our team to ensure the best customer service. This all starts with Back Office Betties Legal Academy! Every new receptionist goes through a two-week program where they dive into legal terminology and process training. We cover the basics of each type of law that our clients practice, as well as the case types within those practice areas. Our receptionists are guided through the training (using Trainual) and are quizzed along the way. Everyone has to pass every part of the training before becoming a true Bettie and getting on the phones with callers, even if this takes a little bit longer than we hoped.

After onboarding training, our receptionists are updated daily on notes from our clients, updates to case types that a client may handle, and feedback on the way that they’ve handled past calls. This ensures that every single receptionist is constantly improving and striving to do their best. We always keep this fun and light with jokes and memes, as well as our favorite Gifs ;) Who doesn’t want to learn when it’s fun? Our culture stays positive because everyone is striving to improve together and we have fun doing it!

In addition to general process trainings, every receptionist goes through training on the call handling process of each individual client. After our clients determine their ideal call flow with our Client Concierge, a training course is sent out to every receptionist who may serve that firm. Getting these calls right is vital so training on them is very important!

Encourage Personal Development Outside of the Company

Of course, part of ongoing training goes outside of the lines of process training. To give our team real motivation to continue bettering themselves, we encourage one hour of paid personal development each week. This can be through taking a webinar, reading a book, or taking a course. We also offer an annual budget for each team member that goes towards any course or seminar they wish to take!

Your team is a family and it’s important for them to be their best selves. They’re not robots and should be allowed the time to develop in any area they feel necessary. As team members learn more, they share more, and the entire team becomes more knowledgable and proficient. Encourage your employees to learn outside of their direct role and they only become more valuable to the team as a whole.

What are your thoughts on ongoing training? Does your company practice this kind of development? Let us know in the comments or take the conversation over to Facebook.

Making Customer Service a Priority Only Boosts Your Law Firm’s Success

Customer Service Should Be Your Top Priority

There’s no dancing around it – with the internet at our fingertips, we can easily find multiple sources to provide any given service for us anytime we need. This can make it difficult to stand out among your competitors. But all of the marketing campaigns and advertising dollars spent mean absolutely nothing if you can’t deliver an experience unlike the rest! In an age of quick service and automation, people are feeling an increased need to be heard. They are missing that personalized service that goes above and beyond – so let’s do what we can to bring it back! You’ll be the most popular attorney in town after implementing these tips.

Focusing on top-notch customer service is the key to landing and retaining clients for your law firm.

Let’s face it. There are only so many practice areas for attorneys. Once each of those is filled in a geographic region, there needs to be a reason for a potential client to choose one estate planning (or criminal law or family law… you get the point) attorney over the other. This is where top-notch service comes in! Your clients will almost always gravitate towards the person who makes them feel the most comfortable with their case, keeps them informed, and speaks to them at a human to human level.

How can I improve the customer service my law firm provides?

We’ve talked before about the number one bar complaint being a failure to communicate. The first place to start when upping your customer service ante is by making sure that you are keeping your client in the loop with every step! Received their inquiry on your service? Automate an email to let them know what to expect from your firm. Completed their client intake? Send them an email with a recap and timeline of the next events. Working on their documents? Have your assistant reach out to let them know about their progress and when they will hear from you next. Communicate every detail so that your clients understand the (sometimes) scary legal processes. Not only does this make them more comfortable with you, but this will also save you time and headache later when they aren’t blowing up your phones for answers!

Take your communication one step further.

A large part of customer service is proving that your clients can trust you. To do this, you need to go over the top with communication, organization, and professionalism. Do you answer the phone with “Hello?” or is it more like “Thank you for calling XX Law Office, how can I assist you?” Answer this: Which one would you be more likely to trust?

Set a process in place that everyone who answers the phone must follow. We call this a Call Flow Blueprint and create one for every law firm we work with. Start by asking yourself the following questions, then put them all down to paper.

  • What types of calls would you like immediately transferred to your office?
  • How soon will you handle client messages?
  • Can your receptionist relay quick details on their case to provide the client with some instant gratification?
  • What about a timeline process that you follow so that your clients can know exactly what stage they are in and what to expect going forward?
  • Is your payment schedule easy to understand?
  • How do you handle scheduling for potential new clients? What about follow up appointments for existing clients?

It’s a lot of work to keep your organization in check and instill trust through your communication. But your clients will thank you for it, and to be honest, so will your bank account!

Okay, so now you’re being sure to communicate. What can you do past that?

A law firm isn’t a fruity place where you can offer cucumber mint water in the waiting room. Or is it? Nobody wants to need your service. If anything, they hope to avoid needing to speak to a lawyer forever! Sorry to say it but you are right there with the dreaded auto mechanic – people don’t want to have to need you. Since they do need your service and are probably unhappy about it, the least you can do is make it a more enjoyable place to spend an afternoon. Pull out the cucumber mint water, set a cookie tray on the coffee table, keep the magazine stack updated, and have some enjoyable music playing in the waiting room. Do what you can to make your clients feel better about needing you before they even step into your office.

The most important step to stellar customer service in your law firm.

Alright, so now you’re communicating and you’ve freshened up the waiting room to your office. What’s left to create a stellar experience for your clients and potential clients?

Relentless Friendliness

If there is one thing that stands out more than anything in customer service, it is being friendly and polite. Someone can be quick to forget that you made a mistake or didn’t follow up with them but they will never forget that you were rude or short – on the phone, in person, or especially in a curt email. We all know the world isn’t always kind. Negativity spreads like wildfire through social media and it is the fastest way to get bad press for your firm.

Stand out instead by:

  • owning up to your mistakes
  • asking for documents or needed information nicely
  • apologizing when you are wrong
  • smiling when you speak
  • checking to be sure that your wording is coming across as friendly as possible

You want to be professional but you also want your clients to view you as someone on their side. Being friendly, compassionate, and understanding is the first step to doing so!

 

Feeling inspired by this post? Make one little change to your law firm today that pushes your customer service over the edge!

If you’re ready to truly wow your customers with impeccable customer service at the hands of relentlessly friendly virtual receptionists, sign up for a one-week free trial. Your clients will definitely notice the difference!

G.O.A.T.

When it comes to customer service, who better to learn from than the Greatest Of All Time (GOAT) in customer service!  If you want to improve the customer service of your company, look to imitate brands that offer the customer experience you wish to provide. Whether it be the GOAT of Hospitality Horst Schulz of the Ritz Carlton or the GOAT of Culture Tony Hsieh of Zappos; there are so many great entrepreneurs who have paved the way for excellent customer service for us to follow. The best way to start is by identifying where your weak spots are as a company and figure out how you can begin improving upon them using other companies who are successful in these areas as molds.

Superior Service

Here are some basic things that the GOATs are doing to make their customer experiences superior:

 

  • Having a core commitment to your employees and your customers. If you make the focus of your company to create an environment of belonging and purpose, then employees can deliver superior customer service. Horst Schulz has created a process called, “Continuous Process Improvement” which has become highly effective and duplicated with many companies.

 

 

  • Making personal customer service interactions an easy option. Truett Cathy, GOAT of Fast Food, goes by the philosophy that customers are always wanting someone who is reliable and will take care of their needs.

 

 

 

 

  • Hiring people who care about customer service and company values. Tony Hsieh, GOAT of Culture, focuses on investing back into customer experience.  Rather than spending on paid advertising, he believes that the customer will do the marketing for them if they have supplied amazing customer experience.

 

 

 

  • Predicting you customer’s needs. If your goal is to really learn your customer, pay attention to them and their needs. GOAT of Customer Experience, John DiJulius, believes that customer experiences are built on the ability to recognize opportunities to exceed customers’ expectations regardless of the circumstances.

 

Of course, there are so many different customer service strategies you can steal from the GOATs out there, so it us up to you to know where you need the most improvement.  Customer experience is on trend and now is the time to refine your philosophy within your company.