Posts

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.

Betties Book Brief

Want a massive social following in your business?  Who wouldn’t!

Back Office Betties had the great pleasure of reading One Million Followers by Brendan Kane and we just had to share it with all of you!  Kane gives great insight on how to take advantage of many different social media platforms.  His growth hacks for your business and your brand make this book a must read.

Betties Take-a-Ways

This book has a wealth of knowledge!  Here are our top 5 take-a-ways pertaining to Facebook:

  • Facebook is used to share more content than email or any other online social platform. No matter how many followers you have, Facebook only shows content to 2-5% of your audience.  What’s the determining factor?  How engaging and relevant your content is.  Your content must resonate with your audience.
  • Create ads specifically to get more likes/followers on your page. Be careful not to limit your demographics when testing ads.  A great example was given about Chatbooks in the book.  They wanted to target mom’s 45 years or older who liked scrap-booking, photography, and motherhood in a Mother’s Day ad.  Instead of age targeting, they used a broad range on age and found that younger people were sharing the ads with their moms to start a conversation.  This in turn created an organic reach to the intended demographic.
  • Have a great headline with a great hook point. Ask yourself, if your potential customer is walking down the street and passes a newsstand with 100 articles, what headline would they stop to read?  It should be relevant, interesting, and meet the needs of your audience.
  • If you do ads on Facebook, do not raise the spend limit if the ad is doing well.  Facebook will reset the cost in auction and your costs will increase.  Instead, duplicate the ad and create a new one.  It’s recommended to have a budget of $11 to $25 daily on ads.  For the most part, your page ads should not cost more than $0.10 per ‘like’.
  • Use the 80/20 rule when posting.  Make sure 80% of the time your content is share worthy and 20% of the time your asking for a sale or promoting your business.

Believe us when we say this is just the tip of the iceberg on all the information given.  It also features in-depth interviews from marketing experts, celebrities, and influencers.  This book could be helpful taking your firm to the next level you’ve been wanting!

Back Office Betties

Social Media: Content is King!

 

Mastering the art of social media can be tricky, especially when you’re not sure what to be posting. What should we be sharing? How do we keep our customers engaged? These are the questions that can keep a person up at night!

Well…. maybe not that extreme, but it can be stressful trying to run successful business and your social media accounts.

5 Things You Should Do When Posting

Check out these quick tips for posting good social media content:

  • Post information that you think is valuable to your customers. In order to do that you must know and understand your customers. Who are they? What are their demographics? Why are they following you? Don’t be afraid to ask them directly what kind of content they want to see more of!
  • Share posts with a variety of information. Share articles you were featured in, press releases, or links to your blog posts. Also post articles you find interesting, videos, photos, or stories. Stay engaged and be willing to branch out on your topics.
  • Try not to over post or under post. This is a fine line to walk, and it’s all about balance.
  • Prepare a social media content calendar. Planning will prevent the day to day stress of trying to figure out something to post so you can focus more time on the quality of your content.
  • Begin or end your posts with questions. This will get your followers engaged and potentially generate comments. Which will further help you learn more about your customers/ followers.

Social media doesn’t have to be scary or intimidating. It’s just another tool at our disposal to network and market. Offer content that you yourself would want to read.

Most importantly, have fun with it and keep it interesting!

Back Office Betties

Building Your Audience Through Social Media

Learning how to grow your social media presence can be kind of a mystery, especially when running your business social media isn’t your main job… running your business is! Regardless of how intimidating it may appear, it’s important to be working towards continually building your social media audiences. Should it be your main goal in life? Of course not. But it can be a huge factor in growing your business, and it’s free to use it! So why not utilize it?

Quick Tips for Building an Audience

The following are a few sweet and simple ways you can expand your social media presence and start growing your followers:

  • Use hashtags. This is especially helpful for Instagram! And not just two or three, go for at minimum 10, and put them in the comments to make them less obnoxious to your followers.
  • Add links to your profiles. This could be links to anything- your website, a cause you are supporting, an article your brand was featured in, etc. Any link that shares a little more about your brand and your values is what you want to be sharing.
  • Have consistent visual branding. What’s your brand aesthetic? What vibe are you trying to send? Be consistent so your audience understands what you are all about. Plus, consistent visual branding is just attractive to the eye. You audience will also remember you.
  • Run a giveaway! This is a great way to spread the word about your brand. Something as simple as “To enter this giveaway follow us and tag two friends in the comments” is going to get people excited about you and really expand your audience.
  • Reply to comments on your pictures and messages. Get to know your followers, don’t be afraid or hesitant to engage with them! This also sends the message to your followers that you care about them and that you are listening.

Start with Basics

Obviously, there are a ton of ways you can analyze your social media accounts by reviewing data, apps, and analytics to understand what you can be doing better.  But when you are a small business owner, just start with the basics! It doesn’t always have to be a science, sometimes it just involves putting in a bit more effort and engaging your audience a little more.

Don’t be afraid of social media, it is nothing more than another tool to grow your brand and interact with others.

Are You Unstoppable?

March’s Book Brief highlight is Unstoppable by Dave Anderson! This amazing book is all about how your mindset, when coupled with action, can greatly change your performance in your career. Dave Anderson breaks down the 4 different types of employees:

  • The Undertaker: Performance is below baseline, and they achieve nothing meaningful. This can include high achievers who win by violating values.
  • The Caretaker: They do just enough to get by and collect a paycheck.
  • The Playmaker: These people have what it takes to become Game Changers but aren’t quite there yet. Playmakers are more motivated by external factors, excessive affirmation, and personal glory. They have to celebrate every win and are more wrapped up in their own success rather than the success of the team.
  • The Game Changer: They are intrinsically motivated, they do ordinary extraordinary well, and are great cultural fits. They are committed to self -improvement, they want feedback from others, and they don’t see themselves as victims but products of their daily choices and efforts.

Are You A Game Changer?

So clearly, we should all be striving towards being Game Changers, but that can be easier said than done, especially without guidance. Well,

fortunately for us, Unstoppable provides a roadmap to Game Changer status:

  • Start with the “why”. What do you want to do? Do you want to inspire others? Do you want to help others succeed? What motivates you and pushes you? What inspires you?
  • Live life in the zone. Know where you excel and spend time in this zone perfecting those skills. This is called the zone of excellence. You should spend more time in the zone of excellence. When you leave your zone, snap back into it faster.
  • A.P.E– Attitude, Passion, and Enthusiasm. Having a good attitude, passion, and enthusiasm for what you do will determine how well you do it. The more A.P.E you have, the more dedicated you will be.
  • Have mental toughness. Have faith that what you are fighting for is worth every ounce of effort. Faith is what gets you back up when you fall. Faith turns criticism into helpful feedback. It’s what keeps you moving toward your goals!

Being a Game Changer isn’t easy, nothing that involves practicing discipline over your mindset is. But having discipline is what turns unexceptional into extraordinary, and there is no other way we should be living our lives!

Back Office Betties

Know Your Position When Playing the Game

It is human nature to always be searching for something better, the proverbial ‘grass is always greener on the other side’. We might have fooled ourselves into believing that a constant search for success is what will eventually get us there, but this mindset is what is limiting us in our businesses.

Basketball pro Bill Walton believed hyper focusing on your weaknesses does nothing but chew up time that could be spent sharpening your strengths. The truth is, there are just some things we aren’t good at, and we never will be. But there is a silver lining; there are things we are great at that other people aren’t. And it is these things we should be focusing on.

Stick with What You Know

So how do we do this? It is as simple as sticking with what you know, and really pushing yourself towards improvement in those areas. This was a lesson I learned the long and hard way, but when I finally realized I don’t have to be good at everything, I was really liberated. You have employees and coworkers for a reason! Each person has a set of unique skills and abilities, and like a puzzle, they can fill the gaps you can’t.

In the game of basketball, one person isn’t responsible for every position on the court. If so, there would be no game, it would be constant failure, especially when competing with teams who operate like a well-oiled machine. So, it’s silly to think different rules apply when it comes to our businesses.

Push yourself outside your comfort zone with your strengths. Be more than just “good” at your strengths… be great!  If you’re point guard, then be the best point guard you can be, and stop trying to master the role of playing the forward. You have what it takes to be successful, so start applying those skills!

Back Office Betties

Free PR for Your Law Firm

At Back Office Betties, we do a ‘Betties Book Brief’ to keep our approach fresh and implement ways we can improve.  This month we chose, Free PR: How to get chased by the press without hiring a PR firm. This book teaches you how to perfect your pitch, build media relationships, and get buzz-worthy coverage, without having to spend a fortune on running ads or hiring a PR firm. This book is an amazing resource for small and large businesses alike, because who doesn’t want to master the art of free PR?!

Emily’s 5 Takeaway’s

For me, this book had 5 important takeaways that I wanted to share with you all in hopes it will help you in your pursuit towards becoming your own PR company.

  • You MUST find out where your ideal clients are hanging out. Do the research and find out what blogs do they read, what podcasts do they listen to and what events do they attend? I reached out to several of my clients and attorney friends to ask this question and was blown away by the answer. I thought I knew the ‘who’s who’ of the legal world, but I now know otherwise. There are dozens of specialty conferences, podcasts and blogs that I didn’t have on my radar.
  • Create new angles and pitches for each medium. Use popular buzz words and news to create angles that weave in current news.
  • There are five major story archetypes such as: Culture, Overcoming Adversity, Customer Story, Leveraging Technology, and The Future.
  • Keyword tools will make this process easier! Check out BuzzSumo, Google Trends, or SEMRush. These analytics tools provide information about keywords and search volume.
  • Yes, it is possible to get published in 7 stories a month! Read Free PR to learn how former COO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK, Cameron Herold fired his PR company and tackled PR in-house with incredible results (can we say Oprah?!).

I hope this has inspired you to read the full book and take in all it has to offer!  This book is a powerhouse full of great information that can change your firm forever! Get out there and start mastering the art of Free PR!

Pruning Your Business

When you’ve invested so much time and energy into your business, it’s like having a garden full of rose bushes.  For your roses to flourish, you must give them the love and attention they need so they can grow and bloom.  Your business is like pruning a garden…. sometimes you need to prune the dead weight in your business.

Pruning for Success

If you are hesitant about pruning your business, or scared to step on a few toes, remember these things:

  • Pruning will make your business healthier. When a plant has overgrown and has unhealthy branches, it will become stressed. The plant then invests in precious resources to revive these dying branches. This pursuit can end up depriving the healthy limbs from getting the nutrients they need.  Consider not investing in resources to something that’s dying in your business!  Eliminate what isn’t useful before you end up compromising healthy functions within your business.
  • Pruning will make your business more appealing and organized. Nothing is more discouraging to potential consumers than a disorganized and chaotic business. Evaluate things like software that needs to be updated or replaced; or vendors that aren’t serving your business needs.
  • Pruning allows you to modify and shape your vision. Prune back so you can explore new territory, meet new demands, and reach new consumer markets – all aligning with your vision.
  • Prune so you have less of a mess to clean up later. The less time you spend cleaning up messes, the less you will have to manage, which means more time for you to focus on the direction of your business.

It’s never easy having to make the decision to do some pruning, but once you move forward with it, you will be so grateful you did.

 

 

Integrations That Work

If your firm hasn’t explored these integrations and feel they spend a lot of time with administrative tasks, its time to start making some changes. However, knowing the right integrations to use can be difficult, especially when there are so many different software programs out there.  To help you learn more about legal integrations, below is the list of a few that we use and how they are helpful:

 

  • Clio Grow: We have talked a lot about Clio Grow in past blogs because of its versatility. This integration allows us to add new leads and take notes on calls in your “Clio Grow Inbox.”
  • Acuity: A great scheduling tool for Outlook and Google calendar. This user- friendly software has turned scheduling, taking payments, and completing customized legal intake forms into a simple and easy process.
  • Appointment Core: A scheduling tool that integrates with InfusionSoft. This software allows our receptionists to easily schedule client appointments through booking links.

It Makes Life Easier

Integrations are here to help and make life easier, so if you haven’t hopped on the bandwagon yet, you are only making administrative tasks more difficult on yourself and your employees. We have adopted many integrations to make scheduling, billing, and payments seamless, so that we can provide the best services possible!  All of the integrations we use are on our website, where you can read a more in-depth description of their functions.

 

An Organized Process: Is Your Workplace In Order?

When we become business owners, no one tells us about the number of details that we need to keep organized in regards to work flow and processes.   We start with a vision of what we want our business to be like, however, sometimes conveying that to your employees can be difficult.  So, how can you create an organized process in your workplace?

Organize Yourself

The first step is to organize yourself.  Let’s face it, if your organization is like a scattered squirrel then you will ultimately create a team of scattered squirrels!  Organizing your thought process is essential to creating methods in the workplace.

Chris Ronzio, Founder and CEO of Organize Chaos and Trainual, published 100 Hacks To Improve Your Business.  This is a quick and easy read.  It offers a multitude of resources for entrepreneurs to organize chaos and get tasks done efficiently.  Ultimately saving you time, which is a precious resource.  As he has perfected finding many resources to help business owners, he has also mastered creating a system to help you streamline workflow processes.

Trainual

As we are fully present in the digital age, Chris Ronzio has also created an application to automate your onboarding and employee training.  Trainual is an interactive system that allows you to group all your content.  It allows you to assign a task by role or department within a company.  You can also eliminate using several interfaces to house documents, like Google docs or Dropbox.

Here are some of the amazing features Trainual offers:

  • Track progress on projects from start to finish
  • Automate onboarding
  • Improve training for employees with each process laid out, creating a step by step process for every role and every process
  • Eliminate confusion if someone leaves your company
  • Fully customizable to meet your needs and add company branding
  • Create discussion boards within projects
  • Create tests and accountability
  • Watch your team’s progress on tasks

To learn more about Trainual, click here!

It’s Up To You

Getting started with an organized process is truly up to you.  While the process, in the beginning, may seem grueling, the long-term vision is the focus.  If you can spend the time on the front end of creating a solid workflow organization, you will thank yourself later that you are now saving time and money with resourceful methods in place.