Managing clients in a pandemic can be overwhelming as new policy changes are released regularly. By now, you’re probably aware of the 2 executive orders issued by President Joe Biden released on Thursday, September 9. One, mandating vaccines for federal workers, and the other with new requirements for employers. The president’s announcement comes as his administration attempts to combat the growing number of COVID-19 cases due to the uncontrollable variants with and nearly 80 million Americans still unvaccinated. Both executive orders are expected to impact more than two-thirds of the workforce, specifically businesses with 100 or more employees and health care providers.
The new requirements come just as many offices firm up plans to have employees return to the office. It’s an understatement to say that employers have had to be nimble when it comes to the pandemic. From quick overnight changes to their workforce, new health and cleaning procedures, and adopting new tools to support remote or hybrid work.
With more employers feeling weighed down by the many policy changes, they look to lawyers to help lift them up and keep them compliant. Lawyers are used to being busy, but the influx in demand for legal services has exploded over the last year and law firms are feeling the pressure from clients new and old to stay ahead of the curve.
In these confusing times, law firms need modern legal technology to streamline their processes to support the growing need for their services across all practices. If you’re new to legal practice management, here are 4 ways legal tech can help you manage clients in a pandemic and lessen your workload during this unpredictable time.
- Let intake work for you
- Stay at the top of your game
- Surrender your paper processes
- Make paying you easier
Using practice management software to your advantage
The power and capabilities of practice management software are endless, but there are a few features that can significantly help lawyers manage clients during this time. Rightfully, your clients may be feeling frantic with the new changes and need real-time support. Thankfully, they’re in the best possible hands with your expertise and industry-leading legal technology.
Let your intake work for you
As more employers scramble to navigate the changing climate of the workforce, they’re realizing they need additional legal guidance. Human resources staff can only do so much when it comes to creating policies that both operate in the best interest of their employees and abides by government policy.
That’s where you come in. Your practice has likely seen an uptick in new client inquiries about managing their companies workplace policies. The best way to assist this new stream of clients is with a cohesive, streamlined intake process. Intake should be used to flesh out expectations from your law firm and the client’s needs. This process should quickly capture 1) general information about the client 2) what the client is struggling with in regards to their workplace policies 3) how your firm can assist and 4) action steps. A once time-consuming task, filled with pen and paper can easily be accomplished with an automated client intake process.
Your firm can mold and shape the intake process in any fashion with custom templates that allow you to quickly gather the information you need. As an added bonus, clients will love the simplicity of being able to complete this form on their laptop or mobile device.
Stay at the top of your game
More clients mean more meetings and items to keep track of. As mentioned before, your clients may be on edge during this time and are likely more sensitive in certain situations. Manage clients in a pandemic requires maintaining professionalism and presenting that you have their needs under control will help ease their mind.
The calendar feature in PracticePanther allows you to stay organized and provide each client with the attention they need. With features like daily event reminders, court rule-sets, and automated workflows – you’ll never miss a beat.
Surrender your paper processes
Sifting through paper, faxing, or mailing documents just won’t cut it during the pandemic. The postal services are overwhelmed and your time-sensitive documents may not make it on time, lengthening an already slow turnaround time known with this method. Additionally, with more clients working from home, it’s uncertain if they’ll even receive your mail to the correct address.
The legal industry has a long history of overusing paper and it’s posing serious disruptions in workflow during the pandemic. Transitioning to a paperless law firm and utilizing tools like native eSignature take the guesswork out of finding new addresses or waiting around for the mail. Your firm can easily send, track, and safely store sensitive documents right within PracticePanther.
Make paying you easier
If you’re catching on – eliminating paper and switching to digital processes are the way to go. This includes paper checks. Law firms love paper checks, but the turnaround time quickly became an issue once the pandemic began. Lost or late checks won’t keep the revenue flowing you need to keep your law firm operational. Allowing your clients to pay their invoices online will significantly relieve a burden off theirs, and your shoulders.
Clients will enjoy making payments from the comfort of their homes and not having to risk going to the bank or post office to mail a check. Your firm will reap the benefits of faster payments and predictable cash flow. It’s an all-around win.
Innovation is the key to managing clients in a pandemic
For over a year, we’ve endured the ebbs and flows of the pandemic. Among all of the uncertainty, one aspect of the pandemic has resonated across the country – the need for change from our once “normal.” The pandemic has forced many industries, but especially the legal industry, to transform their work environment and process. It’s a learning curve that has opened the eyes of law firms to the power of legal technology and its ability to give lawyers more control of their practice.
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