You wake up in the morning while the aroma of the freshly brewed coffee that was set to brew at 6am draws you out of bed. You walk down stairs to pour yourself a cup and the daily reminder of all of your appointments flashes on your phone, the same phone, that within the next hour will automatically connect, by bluetooth, to your car stereo during your daily commute to the office.
You enter the elevator and press the button that automates the lift process, a process that, in the not-too-distant past, involved an elevator attendant that manually ran the gears, and the doors open to your office.
Your phone dings one last time while you unpack your briefcase—it’s your Ring notifying you that someone is at the door, but you already knew that because the Amazon notification you had gotten just a few seconds earlier let you know that your order had been delivered.
As you sit down to start your day you think to yourself, “I’m glad I got that reminder last week about Mom’s birthday; I’ve been so busy, I would’ve forgotten to order her anything in time for the party.”
Automations to Address Productivity
According to the 2020 Thomson Reuters Institute’s study, there are common, predictable challenges for small firms and a few key themes that hinder growth of firms.
Smaller Firms Continue to Face the Consistent Year-to-Year Challenges
As has been the case in previous versions of this report, the most frequently cited example of a significant challenge for small law firms is acquiring new client business (26% of respondents rated this a significant challenge). This is followed closely by spending too much time on administrative tasks and not enough time practicing law (17%).
Despite Firms Recognizing & Facing the Same Challenges Year After Year, Most Firms Remain Actionless
Fear of change and failure, especially in a field guided by the motto “this is the way it’s always been done”, can be the key factor in refusal of adopting new technology but at what cost does this way of thinking come?
Of all of the firms that admitted to facing these challenges, less than 33% actually made any change to actually fix the issues, reminding us that recognizing a problem is only part of the solution.
Because of This Lack of Action, Firms That Take Action Create Opportunities Just by Making a Move.
What sets you apart from the other firms across your region? State? City?
What sets you apart from the other firms in your neighborhood? Your street?
While smaller firms have to become creative to separate themselves, where do they find the time?
No matter how well you think you are doing, there is always room for growth whether it be growing your business, optimizing your efficiency, providing greater transparency into the case, as well as adopting technology to streamline your practice.
Other Key Themes
According to the same report, Thomson Reuters names the most common challenges small firms face.
- The average attorney responding to the survey spends 60% of their time or less actually practicing law. The rest goes to managing the firm or recruiting or retaining clients.
- For the majority of small law firms, the bulk of the pressure they feel from competition comes from other law firms, as opposed to DIY legal websites or alternative legal service providers.
- Most small law firms say they consider client satisfaction ratings to be part of how they define success (83%), yet only 36% of respondents say they actually track such ratings as a metric.
- Investment in technology or infrastructure was the most common area for increased investment going forward, however, very few firms said they plan to invest in the kinds of technology that might help address their administrative burdens or client acquisitions.
- Focusing on becoming more efficient and growing existing client relationships were identified as the most important factors to success in the past year.
Don’t Take My Word For It.
I spoke with Wendy Mejia, Director of Operations at Century Park Law Group, and asked about automations and how they help, specifically, in their firm and how Case Status helps meet their goals.
This mainly Personal Injury firm throughout California has seen tremendous growth in terms of client satisfaction and streamlining operations and Wendy spoke about 3 issues.
Issue #1– Spending too much time trying to run a business and not practicing law.
Dealing with clients is hard enough and trying to market your firm while attracting new business can be expensive and time consuming. Tracking client satisfaction is the most effective way to measure the service that you provide and no other legal product on the market makes it easier to grow your online presence than Case Status.
With better client satisfaction insight, this allows you to focus your energy on the most important matters and solving problems before they become problems. Not only are you providing better service, you are also building a network of promoters more willing to sing your praises online, to friends, and to family.
Issue #2– Small law firms felt increasing pressure around getting paid by their clients
Your settlements are only as good as the total that you collect.
It’s a vicious cycle of prioritizing your effort to collect from clients while continuing to put maximum effort into your caseload and keeping current clients happy. Case Status automations allow you to focus your efforts where you are needed most.
By setting up automations and giving your clients access to their case through the Case Status app, you are reducing the amount of time on the phone or typing lengthy emails—time you could be spending collecting outstanding debts.
If you have 3 things to do and not enough time to do them, why not automate 2 and give all of your attention to the task at hand?
Issue #3– Spending too much time babysitting and not focusing on the firm.
How much time do you spend trying to keep up with your clients doctor’s appointments only then to spend way more time trying to find out how the visit went or what the physician said?
How much time do you spend reminding your clients of upcoming appointments or worry if they even remember?
Why waste time trying to wrangle your client’s when Case Status allows you to focus your energy on growing your business and winning cases by automatically scheduling appointment & treatment reminders?
The Case Status Advantage.
Is Case Status a client communication tool that allows firms to run their business more efficiently or is it a business tool that affords more time to users that allows them to provide customer service?
Well, it all depends on how you look at it and Case Status help you focus on both.
Whether your client’s satisfaction is the main focus, growing your online presence, or just the added bonus of running a more efficient business, Case Status automations are designed to free up your day to let you concentrate on the day to day and all the challenges mentioned above.
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