What’s the Best Way for Our Law Firm to Communicate with Clients?
Good communication is a key factor in shaping clients’ experiences with your law firm.
A dynamic approach is an integral part of any communications strategy, but your practice management system’s client portal can cover many of your bases.
As a lawyer, you’re responsible for taking certain precautions to safeguard client information. This holds true whether the files in question are hard copies in a desk drawer or electronic content being shared remotely.
One of the first things to factor into your communication strategy is security. It’s your job to know that an email attachment isn’t encrypted and to have a policy for what information can be sent via email and what can’t.
In expanding your communication plan, know that client portals offer a secure way to share access to legal documents and sensitive information—among team members and with clients—making them a solid alternative.
Because your clients most likely don’t have a law degree, the legal process often feels much more opaque to them. Therefore, they tend to appreciate when a law firm responds promptly to their questions.
There are a number of ways for law firms to improve their responsiveness to clients, such as developing an internal system for who replies to client questions and working with the client to agree on designated methods of communication.
But it’s also important to find the right communication tools. Sometimes writing out an answer to a client question through email or finding a time to talk or video conference feels like it will take a while—and so these tasks can easily get put off.
While it’s not recommended to abandon virtual or in-person meetings completely, the chat feature in your client portal can be a great tool in improving the ease of responding—and therefore making it easier to respond on time.
Client portal chat is secure and offers more opportunity for a quick back-and-forth, meaning you don’t have to labor as much over responses.
Ultimately, how you engage (or don’t) with clients is an important part of their experience with your firm.
Aim to have several tools in your communications toolkit—versatility matters—but make sure you have your bases covered with responsive and secure communications through your firm’s client portal.
1. American Bar Association: Model Rule 1.6
2. Cybersecurity for Attorneys: Addressing the Legal and Ethical Duties