In continuing our in-depth look at how technology can be used to improve and better client relationships, we now look at direct communication methods. Methods such as Skype, Google Hangouts, and even text messages are invaluable tools when it comes to communicating with a client, or a client needing to contact you in matters of importance. These methods not only improve upon and nurture trust, it also meets the standards of today’s consumer expectancy in regards to immediate information exchange.
Attorneys have had a long history of maintaining a form of disconnect when it comes to direct communication with clients. This is due to the average client not understanding that some things take time. Some cases hold elements that need to mature before the next step can be taken. Personal injury suits are a prime example of element maturity. Having to take time to sit on the phone at every turn just cannot be done most of the time. However, technology integration will allow an attorney to embrace direct communication, multitask, satisfy clients, and bridge the gap between attorney and client in a seamless and non-intrusive fashion.
The disconnect that was mentioned is a primary example of time constraints. The ability to integrate direct communication with the client meets the wishes of the client, and will not hinder daily schedules. A simple text message takes a matter of moments to send, and it demonstrates to the client that you are personally vested in the case. Downloading an SMS app to your office computer is easy, and it makes sending and receiving text messages hassle-free. When a text comes to your phone, it is displayed on your desktop screen. The notification is clickable, allowing you to respond instantly. Even when there is no update on a case, a simple response will help ease the mind of the client.
Programs like Skype and Google Hangouts are invaluable when face-to-face communication is needed. This is because it saves you having to take the time and prepare for a sit-down meeting. It also helps the client by not having to drive across town. These programs allow both, the client and the attorney the ability to speak directly from the comfort of a home or office. It further eliminates the need to prepare an armful of case information. Programs like Google Hangouts allow file sharing while you speak, at a push of a button. You can explain where the case is at that particular point in time, share documentation for signing, obtain instant receipt of documentation, and eliminate time for preparation, driving, etc. This form of direct communication means an increase in client communication, while still saving time.
These methods can be integrated across the board saving both, time and money. This seamless integration will satisfy client need, streamline the communication process, and assist in the maturity of specific case elements. These communication methods can also be used in-house. This will further streamline inter-office communication, as well.
Jeff Hughes, J.D.