While the nature of texting may often seem a bit too informal for lawyers to interact with their clients, 53% of clients consider it a viable form of communication when reaching out to a law firm. Texting is clearly taking over a phone call or email as a preferred method of communication.
No matter what type of law you practice, you always want to maintain a healthy and positive attorney-client relationship. Providing regular updates and consistent communication is at the core of practicing law. Establishing a clear and robust communication practice ensures clients feel involved in their own cases.
In today’s modern law firm, text messaging can be a faster, more reliable, and more natural way to get that information communicated to clients.
The Importance of Legal Client Communication
According to the American Bar Association Profile of Legal Malpractice Claims, 90% of malpractice suits could have been avoided if there was better communication between the attorney and the client. Statistics such as this make having a standardized communication policy and process for every client imperative.
What is Business Text Messaging?
Also known as SMS, business text messaging is a way for businesses to communicate with clients via text from a business phone number. This means that staff don’t have to sacrifice their personal phone numbers to provide one of the most popular methods of communication to their clients.
The benefits of business text messaging are endless, but for law firms specifically, it can be a useful resource to enhance customer service, onboarding, meeting scheduling, and providing reminders, or even invoice notifications.
When you adopt the all-in-one legal practice management software, PracticePanther, you can take advantage of built-in 2-way business text messaging at no added cost, along with everything you need for case management, time tracking, billing, and more. Your law firm can enhance your clients’ experience while your clients can enjoy the added benefit of easy communication with your firm.
Why Should My Law Firm Use Business Text Messaging?
With 70% of consumers responding that they check their phone within 5 minutes of receiving a notification, business text messaging is a lucrative asset for law firms.
The most important aspect of the attorney-client relationship is to make doing business with your firm simple. If a client has to jump through hoops to communicate with your firm, you can quickly lose their interest and loyalty. This is especially true when it comes to lead generation and nurturing.
Prospective clients are often using Google or other search engines to find legal services that fit their needs, and are usually expecting answers quickly. Having a streamlined process to vet and onboard these clients will speak volumes about how your law firm values the client experience and modern processes.
For example, if your firm uses automated intake forms (we highly suggest you do) a prospective client can fill the form out from your website. Your firm would then get a notification and could text the prospective client that you’ve received their information and that you would like to schedule a time to discuss further.
The goal is to keep leads warm and seamlessly guide them through the funnel. With business text messaging, your firm can provide the sense of urgency and on-demand attention consumers want.
Enhance the Client Experience with 2-Way Business Text Messaging in PracticePanther
In simple terms, your clients can reach out to you right at their fingertips, while you keep track of all messages and track your billable hours directly from the PracticePanther application. You can quickly communicate with your clients regarding any matter-related questions, receive photos related to their case, or share reminders for upcoming meetings or events.
Ultimately, you want to be a helpful resource for your client. Legal cases can be a sensitive event for a client and they may require more communication or updates. Clients want to have a sense that they are involved with the case as much as you are.
With PracticePanther, lawyers can simply send a text message to clients and they will be notified instantly of any case updates. This gives lawyers an opportunity to connect to their clients quicker, while clients can feel that they are top of mind and not getting lost in your email queue.
Modern Processes That Benefit Your Firm and the Client
At the end of the day, your firm wants to provide a white-glove experience for clients without allocating too much time to do so. This is where having a platform that integrates with all areas of your business in one place becomes crucial.
When your firm enables business text messaging within PracticePanther, you gain access to a dedicated business phone number for free and have full functionality to send and receive text messages. Quickly send invoices, documents for eSignature, meeting reminders, or custom payment links to clients in a snap.
With PracticePanther, your firm will never have to chase down a client’s correspondence. All client communications are tied to their contact or matter and are visible in their dashboard. Clients can also utilize the client portal to reference past correspondence with your firm or view stored documents.
Establish Trust and Transparency with Your Clients
Trust is a key component of any effective working relationship — the same goes for lawyers. Building a positive and robust attorney-client relationship begins with communication and trust right at the first intake meeting.
Detailing information about your firm’s processes at the beginning will relieve any miscommunication (or malpractice suit) with the client. Along with a billing policy, your firm should have a communication policy that includes your use of business text messaging.
Even though text messaging can be quick and easy for lawyers to communicate with their clients, PracticePanther ensures that you’re still tracking billable hours while texting clients. Lawyers can enter any new time entry within the text messaging interface at any time, so lawyers don’t ever have to worry about not having their time logged in their books.
Confidential Information Is Kept Secured and Safe
Ensuring your client’s information is kept safe and secure should also be on top of the list. Your personal cellphone number is kept confidential with PracticePanther, as we provide a texting-specific phone number for your clients. You won’t have to share your personal phone number ever again, and that means you won’t have to worry about consolidating information from multiple personal devices, with the potential of losing or leaking sensitive information, and focus on building a stronger attorney-client relationship.
Try Business Text Messaging at Your Law Firm
As a lawyer, it is important to have a customer service mindset to better serve clients. The last thing you want is to lose a client due to poor communication and a lack of engagement.
With communication habits changing, adopt a new way of communicating with your clients to avoid letting another client slip through your fingertips.
Schedule a demo to learn more about how PracticePanther’s native features, like two-way text messaging, can help streamline your law practice and strengthen your attorney-client relationships.
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