There is a simple truth in today’s digital society: Consumers are increasingly comfortable with using technology throughout their daily lives, for their shopping and bill paying, and to communicate. Consumers are buying cars with technological advances in backing up, GPS, and breaking systems. Consumers are buying goods and services online, and these purchases are increasing each and every year. Consumers are gathering and sharing information via social media outlets globally.
With this rising comfortability comes great opportunity, because with comfortability comes familiarity. Consumers that use these technologies to book flights, hotels, vacations, etc. are more likely to use a service that offers the same or similar conveniences that they are already accustomed to. Employing these tools throughout your firm’s services greatly increases your chances of bringing in new clientele, and bringing back repeat clients.
Tools such as Google Maps is a great way to lead customers to what you want them to see. Creating a map to your physical location, to your website, or to your firm’s blog is a great way to gain exposure for your firm, and to lead people right to you and the information you want them to see. You can also create a map that shows locations that your clients may find useful. Your practice should be the center point. Have the map show the directions and locations of the courts or child services, shelters or public assistance departments.
Allowing clients to opt for update texts or emails, or updates and simple communications is also a great way to make a client feel comfortable through familiarity. Many companies and institutions do this. We get emails or texts confirming appointments, delays, general confirmations, and updates or general details surrounding the appointment. These things could be reminders about what to bring, office location, and the possible duration of the appointment. Being able to answer general questions by preemptively addressing them in regards to appointments or meetings is a great way to satisfy your client or prospective client through offering automated convenience.
Electronic Invoicing is also great way to bill your client. The convenience works on both ends. The consumer generally pays quicker due to the convenience, and you can collect the payment upon receipt. Check payments generally take 3-5 business days to clear. As an added bonus to the client, however, is the fact that most credit card companies offer a cash-back incentive for paying with your credit card. When the client pays you, they get cash back on the payment. This offers a further incentive toward paying right away.
While it is ethical to send unencrypted emails containing sensitive information to clients, according to ABA Formal Opinion 99-413, it is always good to ask your clients how they prefer to receive this confidential information. Most will not mind receiving emails, due to the convenience. This makes your job streamlined in efforts, and further satisfies the client’s need for convenience and immediate information collections.
Jeff Hughes, J.D.