We live in a technology driven world. A world where a YouTube video can sell millions of pies and your top 5 news stories of the day are summarized in 140 characters on a Twitter feed. It’s amazing to see how much technology has changed the way we communicate, live and work. Technology has given your firm two options: move with the wave or be swept away.
The client of yesterday greatly differs from the tech savvy client of today. Your firm must learn how to use technology to market, provide services and communicate effectively with clients.
Here are some ways to keep your firm tech savvy:
1.) Promote computer literacy: Everyone in your firm won’t hold the same level of experience when it comes to certain facets of technology. What may be perceived as basic knowledge to some, may be a foreign language to others. Take some time to evaluate the technology skill level and experience of your staff. Set a standard for technology competency at your firm and find ways to make sure everyone meets this standard.
2.) Market Online: In order to attract the 21st century client, you must go where they are—online. If your firm lacks a strong online presence, you’re already behind. Your firm’s website will be the client’s first stop. Be sure your site provides a complete snapshot of your practice. Think of your website as your chance to answer a potential client’s question, “why should I contact this firm?” A social media presence will give you another opportunity to engage potential clients and showcase your expertise. Consider adding a social media feed and a blog to your website to attract 21st century clients.
3.) Online Customer Service: Imagine what an edge your firm would have over competitors if your website had a “live chat” option. A live chat option will give potential clients the opportunity to have their questions answered immediately. Be sure to provide a disclaimer that communication via the live chat doesn’t establish an attorney-client relationship (see the North Carolina State Bar ethics opinion for more details on live chat).
4.) Use Apps. There is an app for everything. Apps are a great way to help you work more efficiently. Your tablet and smartphone can be powerful practice tools. You can scan documents, jot notes and manage case presentations with apps. Here’s a list of apps for lawyers. Being able to conduct business on the go helps you multi-task and balance work and life.
5.) Cloud Computing. Many firms are on the fence when it comes to cloud computing. The threat of data breaches is real, however, cloud computing can help law offices better manage their data and there are cloud computing systems that have been tested and proven safe. The key lies in finding cloud computing services that work best for your firm. Here’s a list of popular cloud computing services for lawyers (see the North Carolina State Bar ethics opinion for more details).
One thing we can count on is that technology will continue to evolve. It’s important that your firm evolve as well.
Monisha Yowell is the Marketing Coordinator for Lawyers Mutual. Monisha connects Lawyers Mutual with our insureds and the legal community through the use of social media. You can reach Monisha at 800.662.8843 or firstname.lastname@example.org.