Firms need to use every tool in their arsenal to retain clients. It’s not easy – potential clients understand that hiring a lawyer is a big commitment, and each will have their own way of deciding which is the right law firm for them.
Attorneys looking to retain more clients have to make sure their firm performs well across the board. A 2021 survey highlighted some of the most common factors influencing lawyer choice as response times, social proof, pricing options, perceived value, availability, and remote working options (Clio Legal Trends report).
Fortunately, there are hundreds of legal technology solutions ready to solve these issues. But every new software you take on can rob time from your day. Every minute spent switching between platforms or cross-checking information slows down your firm.
The solution is integrating your tools. Integrated software can talk to each other, helping you do more in less time. So where can you implement integrations with your legal tech?
What are integrations?
Integration is the process of connecting your accounts on two different legal technology apps. Once they are connected, you can sync information between the two, and even set triggers for certain actions.
These are great for improving your practice’s efficiency, as it means less time manually entering data. It also means you can centralize everything in your practice management system. Instead of five different logins, you only have to check one place for client data.
The marketing stage
You can integrate answering services with live chat or contact forms on your website, and even social media messages. Some, like LEX, come with their own live chat solution at no extra cost. That means whether your potential clients see a Facebook ad, ask a question on your chat widget, or phone your office, they reach a professional receptionist who provides consistent information – and responds before your competitors. People have come to expect different contact options, and a slow response from your practice can lose you potentially excellent clients.
Email marketing is still a great way to reach out. Integrations make email campaigns much easier to personalize. With well-labeled contacts in your practice management system, you can create segmented audience lists. By sending more targeted emails, you should see important KPIs like open rate and replies to your firm increase.
The intake stage
Many practice management systems have an intake form that can be used by your answering service and your in-house staff. Matching these will make it faster to qualify potential clients, as you’ll know exactly where to find their intake answers. Integrating your receptionist with your practice management system will allow any call messages or new contacts to be pushed, putting all the data at your fingertips.
After a great intake, you need to secure their commitment to your firm and book them for a first consultation. To maximize efficiency, your receptionist should have access to your consult calendar slots, so they can schedule times that suit you and the client. If you charge for consultations, integrate your calendar and online payment system to let your prospects pay when they book.
The retention stage
Your calendar should be able to automate reminders to reduce no-shows, and you can also add the option of booking either an in-person meeting or a video consultation. Many clients prefer video, as it eliminates the need to travel, and can fit around their own busy days. In fact, 58% of legal clients ranked video conferencing as a preferred form of initial meeting (Clio Legal Trends, 2021). You can even automate your calendar software to send your video link out at a specified time before the consultation.
And that’s not all! When a potential new client is ready to retain you, you can streamline this process by integrating your legal document software with your practice management system and answering service. Whether you need to share supporting documents or chase a signature, you can instruct your legal receptionists to email these documents on your behalf. Add in a secure service for electronic signatures, and you could get clients signed in hours, rather than days.
Legal tech is certainly powerful, but only when it is paired with the right processes and right integrations. That means when you’re selecting the tech for your practice, you should check whether they can integrate with each other. One weak link can disrupt your retention process and lose you potential clients while you’re trying to manually sync their data.