How case management software can enhance the client experience
A primary goal for law firms is to deliver quality client service, especially in today’s competitive market. However, a key challenge that faces most law firms is how to balance prioritising the client experience with the day-to-day running of the practice. We know how difficult it can be to meet clients’ changing expectations, and to also maintain efficiency, productivity, and profitability across your firm. This article discusses how case management software (CMS) can enhance your firm’s client experience, while also streamlining internal operations to ensure you’re both efficient and profitable.
The basics of case management software
Case management software helps law firms to effectively manage their cases and clients and provides legal professionals with the digital tools they need to perform at their best. A CMS centralises all your files, data, documents, and processes enabling every member of your firm to have access to the same up to date information to help with compliance, reduce risk, and improve efficiencies. A CMS helps to effectively manage document production, time recording, billing, invoicing, client onboarding and reporting, all from within a single platform. When all processes are connected and centralised it enables automation and for workflows to be streamlined and more efficient, which ensures your team’s time is freed up to focus on value-added tasks, serving your clients and achieving your goals.
Implementing a cloud-based CMS helps to future-proof your investment and your firm because it provides flexibility and business continuity. The software can easily be accessed on any device, from any location, giving your team the freedom to work on cases and serve clients from their home, office, or in court. A cloud-based system also avoids reliance on a physical location for hosting, so it avoids potential risk of accessibility and difficulties in managing a hybrid workforce.
Three ways case management software enhances the client experience
The fundamental features and functionality of a CMS help to streamline operations for increased efficiencies, productivity, and profitability. But the software can also help to strengthen your firm’s reputation by proving the digital tools that help to enhance client service and free up legal professionals’ workload so more time can be spent focusing on the client instead of process and admin. When utilised and implemented effectively, your firm will be able to achieve more five-star reviews, referrals, and recommendations.
The benefits you receive from increasing the efficiencies of your processes are immediately passed on to your clients in the form of a more accurate, timely, and confident service that your clients will appreciate. But implementing a CMS, it also provides the foundations that enable you to offer a more modern and enhanced service using client portals, integrated text messaging, and mobile apps. Below are three ways a CMS can help to enhance your firm’s client experience.
Be more accessible, flexible, and organised
Adopting a cloud-based CMS provides your firm with flexibility and ease of access, so your team can work effectively on any device, from any location. This means key data and documents can be accessed when visiting clients at their homes, attending court and even on the morning commute.
All your firm’s files, documents, and information are stored securely and directly into the cloud, ensuring a centralised solution that improves data management. Avoid bulky, costly, physical files, or individuals saving documents to their personal devices – a cloud-based CMS ensures any member of staff at your firm, who has permission, can access the data they need to progress a case. This is important if staff members are absent and clients’ cases need progressing, or updates need to be communicated.
In short, making all the information of your firm more readily available, the more organised and dependable you will be for your clients.
Make client communication and collaboration simple
Clients expect quick, efficient, and transparent communication and offering any less will hinder your competitiveness in the market. Typically, clients are in a vulnerable position or in a period of stress and change when contacting a law firm, so easy and quick communication is a top priority for happy clients.
Client communication and collaboration is made simple with a client portal, which provides convenient and easy access to updates, data, and files relating to their case. This reduces the need for clients to chase your firm for updates and acts as a secure platform for communication.
This also means that your firm can adapt to offer a digital client onboarding experience. The processes such as sending a client care letter, signing forms, or capturing data can all be done online, so clients no longer need to sort through endless emails or visit the office, everything can be done digitally in their own time.
The data shared between a firm and their client’s is often sensitive and high risk, so protecting this information is crucial for quality client care. A client portal provides clients with peace of mind that their data is secure and reduces the cyber risks that email brings. Any document shared can also be signed digitally, removing the need for clients to print, scan, and send them back to you, dramatically speeding up case progression.
Streamline the client journey to enhance efficiencies
Technology helps to streamline processes across the client journey to not only bring internal benefits – that positively effect fee earners workload and the firm’s bottom-line – but subsequently enhances the quality of the service clients receive.
Automated workflows are a great way to standardise and streamline processes that help legal professionals provide an efficient, compliant, but also customer-focused service. A workflow connects and determines the tasks and actions associated with a particular process – whether that’s practice area specific or a firm-wide process. A workflow identifies the stages and actions that needed to be taken to achieve a specific goal. They provide management with the control to ensure compliance tasks are followed and quality client service is a priority.
The first benefit to implementing workflows is increased efficiencies. With tasks laid out and pre-determined, the hard work is already mapped out and processes can be automated and completed with ease. These efficiencies can then be passed onto the client and helps them receive a quicker, more accurate, and effective service.
The second key benefit that helps to enhance client service is standardisation. Workflows create consistency across the firm, so junior and senior lawyers alike are following the same tasks and actions. It ensures nothing is missed or gets forgotten so errors are reduced, and client communication is regular and considered.
Attempting to manage your growing list of tasks whilst exceeding client expectations isn’t easy. However, leaning on technology can set you up for success. By utilising all the features of a CMS effectively you can make the running of a law firm easier to manage so client experience becomes the primary focus.
When your data is centralised and accessible, workflows are streamlined and automated, and client-focused features are implemented, you can provide clients with a personal, quick, and simple service that they expect, without compromising profitability or your teams’ workloads.
The firms who prioritise client service and remove the common challenges and pain points in their journey will stand out on top. Delivering an excellent client experience is the easiest way to stand out from the competition to retain clients and win new business.