As the world is battling the COVID-19 pandemic, law firms are adjusting to the new reality: social distancing and remote work.
While some law firm employees will adapt to home offices naturally, others might need assistance and guidance to remain productive. To keep your practice afloat during these challenging times, it's important to adjust both work behavior and related technologies.
What can your firm do to stay in the game while working from home? Let's take a look at some of the most important facets of successful remote work.
1. Inventory Your Technical Needs
While many lawyers have a computer at home, not all own a printer. To keep work flowing, consider sending printers home with attorneys and staff.
Another key issue to consider when working from home is security. Remote work creates a perfect environment for cybercrime. Protect confidential client information by securing your at-home internet connection, using a secure VPN, tightening network access, and updating antivirus software.
2. Keep Your Weekday Morning Routine
A home office is still an office. To maintain focus and concentration, your employees should be encouraged to stay as close to their everyday work routine as possible.
Good weekday morning habits include:
- Waking up the same time every day
- Eating breakfast before sitting down in front of the computer
- Getting dressed fully
- Since commuting to work is not an issue, exercise during free time
3. Use Video Chat When Possible
You can maintain a solid connection with your attorneys and staff (and clients) by using video chat software. The most popular, efficient platforms for remote video communication are:
- Zoho Meeting
- Cisco Webex
Use video chatting as much as possible. It emphasizes physical and mental presence at meetings and consultations, and it helps keep everyone involved and accountable.
4. Choose a Way to Re-route Calls
Many client leads generated by your marketing will be calling the office for consultations. These calls must be answered within three rings. Otherwise, you risk losing leads, which raises your cost to acquire a new customer.
You can take advantage of several call re-routing methods:
(a) Buy a Call Forwarding Service
While it's an efficient way to avoid missed calls, call forwarding services come with several downsides.
- Since many callers tend to reach out during off-hours, you and your staff have to be on call 24/7 to ensure no leads are missed.
- You have to be ready to drop all your current work to answer a call so the client doesn't have to wait.
- You have to field calls from non-client callers, such as sales representatives, which could waste time
(b) Have Employees Stay in the Office for Manual Redirecting
This approach can help you avoid non-client or unqualified lead calls. It also ensures timely answers so no leads are lost. The downsides include:
- Employees can only redirect calls during business hours. Off-hours calls would need to be forwarded or go to voicemail.
- If the government issues stricter “stay home” and isolation guidelines, you may not have an opportunity to keep employees in the office.
(c) Partner with a Legal Call Center
By collaborating with a legal call center, you can avoid all the downsides associated with other re-routing methods.
You can be sure your calls are answered within three rings and your web submissions are processed and responded to within minutes, 24/7/365.
A legal call center can connect, qualify, and convert leads on your behalf. So when you finally receive a call, it will be from a new client with an already e-signed retainer. Such an approach allows you to focus on leads with the highest potential and save valuable time.
Legal call centers can transfer new clients to any number you choose and at a time - whatever is convenient for you and your staff. This way, you don't have to worry about trying to convert a low-potential lead in the middle of the night or abandoning an existing client to deal with a new one.
Keeping Your Firm Afloat While Working from Home
While working from home may seem foreign and frustrating, it is possible to make the most out of the situation. Preparation is the key to top-notch results. Keep up standard working routines while ensuring access to the right technology. By partnering with a legal call center, you can make sure no leads are lost during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
To learn more about using the right technologies for client retention efforts, please download our eBook "Is Technology the Key to Retaining More Legal Clients?"