You can read part one called How To Automate Client Communication here.
Alright listen up lawyer peeps. Clients dislike meeting with lawyers. They dislike the inconvenient meeting times, the travel to and from the lawyer’s office, finding the lawyer’s office, finding a car park, finding out no one knows the law firm’s WiFi password, filling out new client forms, drinking shit coffee, having to explain their problem to get the lawyer up to speed……basically meetings with lawyers suck.
Yet the first meeting with a client is an important opportunity to impress the client with your wit and intellect, and to demonstrate the value you can provide and the results you can get. But is all that form filling out and getting up to speed on the client’s issue really an efficient use of your time and your client’s time? Is it adding value? The short answer is no.
Here’s a better onboarding process for new clients:
Step 1: Get the client to answer an online interview
When a potential new client gets in touch, send them an email with a link to an online interview. The online interview will ask the client for all the information you need to set them up in your practice management software or CRM. It will also ask questions about the issue or opportunity they are seeking your help with.
The client will answer the online interview at a time convenient to them. If he/she doesn’t know the answer to a question they can go away and come back to the online interview once they’ve found the answer. The online interview will save all answers, even if the client has to go away and come back to it.
Once the client has finished the interview, you are notified of this by email.
Hot tip 1: You can set up an online interview for your new clients using an Automio lawyer bot. Either build your lawyer bot yourself (it’s easier than you think and no IT skills are required), or Automio can build it for you.
Hot tip 2: Here’s a email template to send to your client (and remember the last blog post talked about how to setup email templates):
I’m looking forward to meeting with you to discuss how I can help you with your legal matter. Before we meet could you please do these two things:
- Answer this online interview when it suits you – the interview will take you less than 3 minutes to complete.
- Go to my calendar and schedule a time that suits you to meet with me, either by online meeting using Skype or in person.
Once you’ve booked a meeting with me you’ll receive an email with the details of our meeting. I look forward to meeting with you.
Step 2: Client’s answers are added to your practice management software
At the end of the client’s answers to the online interview are automatically added to your law firm’s practice management software.
Hot tip: to set this up use Zapier to transfer your client’s information from your lawyer bot to your practice management software or CRM.
Step 3: Create terms of engagement
The client’s answers to the online interview instantly create a customised letter of engagement. You can hold on to this draft letter until after you’ve met with the client (see step 5), and then make any tweaks necessary before sending the terms of engagement to your client.
Hot tip: to create your firm’s terms of engagement, get your Automio lawyer bot to take the answers from your client’s online interview and instantly create customised terms of engagement.
Step 4: Your client schedules a meeting with you
You’ll remember in the email sent to the client in Step 1 we included a link to your calendar so the client can self-schedule an appointment with you. Having an online meeting with clients saves them travel time, so definitely give them that option. The client can specify whether they would like to see you in person or talk to you by whichever online meeting software you prefer.
Hot tip: Use a calendar app like Acuity Scheduling or Calendly to let your clients self-schedule meetings with you. You can set up different meeting types, like “in person meeting – 1 hour” or “meeting by Skype – 45 minutes”, for your clients to choose from.
Step 5: You meet with the client online
By the time you meet with the client you already have all their client information and the basics of their problem or opportunity, so you can impress your client by diving straight into it.
Hot tip: for online meetings I use Zoom or Google Hangouts but there are plenty of other options like Suitebox, Skype and GoToMeeting.
Step 6: Send terms of engagement
During your meeting with your client you’ll find out any additional information you need to update the letter of engagement and the client details in your practice management software or CRM.
Hot tip: if you require clients to sign your letters of engagement, send the document for them to sign using an electronic signing app like DocuSign or CataLex Sign.
A new rule I would love for you to get amongst
Here it is folks: if you’re doing something that is not adding value to your clients, like filling in new client forms at client meetings, then it is time to automate it.
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