With the rapid spread of COVID-19, businesses have suffered immensely. Like other organizations, law firms too adapted to a digitalised and remote working environment. Some legal firms seamlessly and easily adjusted to requirements and dynamics of digital trade, while others traditionally challenged by the technology struggle, even considered a shut down. These were companies around for decades but used basically manual processes. During the pandemic, many law firms lost valuable clients and able staff as they were unable to work remotely. Reputed law firms lost competent staff and high-profile clients because their systems were not geared to transition to online working modes, smoothly. As everyone and everything must adapt to the situation, such firms were forced to switch to remote work settings. If your law firm contemplates making a transition to an online work setup, a few tips that can help make it smooth:
UPDATE OPERATIONAL METHODS AND SYSTEMS
Remote work environments look daunting, but are absolutely needed today. The first step is to use appropriate equipment and establish the electronic signature process. Use a third-party app or have a customised one built for your firm. Manage invoices through emails rather than USPS. E-mails simplify the accounting department’s job, transactions are easily recorded. Insist on online conferencing tools, when talking to clients or staff, using Zoom, Google Meet, Slack, etc., to bring in transparency and keeping in touch with people. Evaluate video conferencing tools which meet client needs. Online financial transactions increase client count and reliability. Move work- processes and paperwork online. Use video-conferencing tools for client meetings and all in-house discussions
COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY WITH YOUR CLIENTS
Distance working possibly hampers effective communication with clients, but do ensure that clients are not neglected. Adopt new technologies and work systems to benefit you in the long term. Remember to always give clients an enriching experience so that they return to you. Use these tips to enhance your relationship of trust with clients. Always send regular emails to existing clients to inform them about their firm’s status. You may update with crucial legal rulings such as employee rights, company laws, federal legislation, or anything related to their business. This gesture serves to re-assure clients that the legal firm works tirelessly and efficiently. Engage actively to communicate with existing and future clients and be open to queries, doubts, or suggestions. Assure your clients that your firm is still working on their case by remaining committed and responsive. Always take steps so that the client isn’t ignored. Call your clients and assure them and keep them posted about their work. Remain in touch with previous clients and inform them about matters of mutual interest. Stay in touch with clients to ensure referrals once the economy is back on track.
APPROACH/RETAIN PREVIOUS CLIENTS
Maintain good relations with past clients and keep in touch with existing clients with regular updates of relevant legal rulings of interest, via emails and phone-calls. Tough times never last, but tough people always do. Similarly, with a client-friendly strategic approach and a support base comprising loyal clients, your firm could aspire for more clients and better business volumes. All you must do is to listen patiently to your pay attention to your clients, understand their real needs and work hard to get positive results.