Whether you have a private practice or work for a large law firm, it’s important to keep accurate and organized documentation. Maintaining precise records of conversations that you have with your clients not only helps improve your firm’s efficiency, but can also help your business grow.
Some of the biggest and most common challenges law firms run into include:
- Communicating quickly with clients
- Keeping clean accounting records
- Creating operational efficiency
With the growing demand for instant communication, texting-for-business software is a viable solution to help law firms combat each of these issues. By text enabling your existing law firm’s phone number, you give your clients the option to call or text the same number.
Here are four reasons your law firm should offer texting:
1. Connect with clients faster
A 2019 State of Texting Report by Zipwhip revealed that 74% of consumers will respond to a text from a business within an hour, whereas only 41% said the same for email. In addition, 74% of consumers report having zero unread text messages at a given time. What this tells us is that consumers feel a sense of urgency around texting that makes it an effective place for businesses to communicate efficiently.
Lawyers can receive immediate responses from clients by texting to confirm a consultation, resolve a billing issue or share case photos.
The reality is that despite the wave of chat apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp pervading the telecom landscape, smart-phone users still choose to text. What’s more, 90% of all cell phones in the world are SMS-capable, and roughly 4.2 billion people already text. It’s no wonder then that texting has become one of the most efficient methods of communication; it’s a tool that has become ingrained in our culture.
Like in the early days of email, when law firms discovered how modern technology could shift how they do day-to-day business, firms have another opportunity to harness a powerful tool for connecting with clients. Adding a Click-to-Text button to your law firm’s website is a great way to notify clients that you offer texting and allows them to text you right from your website. Reaching clients more directly and quickly means saving yourself time you might otherwise spend leaving voicemails and sending emails, and using their preferred form of communication will also shape a more human experience that establishes trust.
2. Improve admin functions
Improving the efficiency of administrative tasks results in reduced overhead, less time spent on non-billable tasks, and happier clients. Text messaging improves the intake process by providing an efficient way to collect information and avoid hours spent making phone calls and sending emails.
Admin functions that texting can improve include:
- Intake process
- Setting up appointments
- Sending appointment reminders
- Transfer of documents and images
3. Keep client records and communications organized
In both criminal and civil cases, parties often use a pre-trial “discovery” process to gather information from the opposing party in preparation for trial. What this means is that firms are required to keep clean records because they have a duty to produce evidence in a court room.
In the instances where lawyers use their personal cell phone to text their clients, transposing the information captured through text messages into official records can be cumbersome and pose a risk to their accuracy. There’s no sure way to monitor whether all the data was captured in the first place, and if it was done so correctly. That’s why firms that implement business texting also need to make sure they utilize software that effectively archives the information shared during business conversations.
4. Integrate business texting with your other services
Law firms use a variety of platforms to carry out daily business functions and switching back and forth between them all can eat up precious billable time. Wherever possible, firms should find efficiencies between products.
Zipwhip, for instance, has integrated its texting platform with the leading cloud-based practice-management system, Clio. Using this partnership, law firms can connect with their clients through text messaging using their existing business phone numbers, and automatically archive those conversations in an intuitive, searchable format. Zipwhip provides a 360-degree view of client communications by syncing text conversations to the existing Clio database in real time. Conversation threads and photos are stored, dated and time-stamped for accountability and systematic case management.