Lawyers understand that clients generally want to stay informed and up-to-date over the course of a matter. And so it’s easy to set good intentions to respond promptly or even proactively communicate updates and other developments to clients.
But in reality, the difference between what we intend to do and what we actually do over the course of a busy day can be quite large. Below, we look at a couple concrete steps your firm can take to keep your clients better informed.
First, it helps to have a sense of who has the knowledge and relationship to respond to various client questions. Even if your team is generally pretty good about responding promptly, a client will still remember that one time when the firm played hot potato with a question.
Determine who will respond to questions, what the time frame for a response should look like, and what communication methods are most appropriate for a response. Email, phone communications, video conferencing, and messaging through a secure client portal all have their own advantages.
Cross Functional Collaboration
One tactic that can greatly enhance your team’s ability to respond to clients is cross functional collaboration, where all the different members of your team work together for a common goal.
It may seem obvious that getting the whole team on the same page would boost collaboration and productivity, but many firms overlook how important tech is in making this happen.
Good tech lets you gather and organize information in one place. Having a practice management system that’s integrated across areas like calendars, billing, and accounting makes it possible to look up answers in a client-centric or matter-centric manner.
When clients call, having all the notes in one place makes it easy for someone to provide an update or look back on previous communications.
Take time to think through your current communications protocols and systems.
If you don’t already have a clear chain of response to client inquiries, create one. Likewise, consider upgrading your tech for organized information that makes teamwork and communications easier.