Not only is the health and well-being of our family and friends at stake during the COVID-19 outbreak but so are our businesses. For law firms, the recession-like economic climate and the methods of performing work are being redefined every day. The question: How to protect your law firm during the Coronavirus outbreak requires a plan. Your law firm communications plan should include operational changes for client communications, ongoing marketing communications, and employee communications. Here are impactful strategies to adapt your client communications.
3 Ways to Adapt Your Client Communications
Client Communications: The Problem
Some of the most common client complaints about lawyers is their lack of communication, slow response times, and availability. Lack of communication is the top reason why clients leave a law firm seeking new representation. Here are three law firm communications strategies to positively impact your perception as a brand and safeguard your client relationships.
Although this can be an intricate and complicated process not all firms would be able to support, firms should consider building a password protected client portal where client communication is the focus. The portal would provide a safe place for client Q&A as well as important updates on case developments. Lawyers, paralegals, and support staff could share responsibilities to monitor the portal and respond quickly.
Law Firm Communications Policy: Pick Up the Phone
Time is precious and time is money. But so is the psychological well-being of your clients. Consider reviewing and adapting your communication policy by requiring your attorneys to personally respond to questions or requests.
- Place a reasonable time frame on how long attorneys should spend on these calls.
- Set up a system to qualify the questions or requests
- Assign support staff or paralegals to answer questions or requests on lower priority items
Law Firm Communications Policy in Virtual Client Meetings
In this new world, until further notice, client meetings may have to be conducted online. There are a number of tools available for video conferencing. Our recommendation is Zoom.
What is Zoom and why should we use it? Zoom is one of the most popular and fastest growing video conferencing tools available today. Year-to-Date, Zoom has added an estimated 2 million new users which surpasses their 2019 growth totals. In addition to ease of use and Zoom’s popularity, the platform, according to video conferencing device experts OWL Labs “is the most popular video conferencing solution for companies with 500 employees or fewer, and the second-most popular solution for companies with more than 500 employees, after Skype. . .” Zoom offers video conferencing meetings, audio conferencing, webinars, meeting recordings and live chat. Zoom is inexpensive and offers multiple plans:
- Basic: free
- Pro: $14.99 per month designed for small teams
- Business: $19.99 per month designed for small and medium sized businesses
- Enterprise: $19.99 per month designed for enterprise sized businesses
Social distancing is driving the law firm workforce, including support staff to partners, offsite and out of the office. Uncertainty is the norm right now and your clients need to hear from you to feel reassured. Pick up the phone and call your clients, reassure them that business will be conducted with the same quality of service during this unprecedented time. The call you make today may help maintain future revenues and relationships.