The new year is a great opportunity for you to look back at what your law firm has achieved in 2022 and set clear goals for the year ahead.
It’s also a perfect time to think about what your firm’s priorities are.
In this blog article, we’ll explore what your firm should consider prioritising in 2023.
Priority 1: Improve client communication
A top priority for your law firm in the new year should be to enhance its client communication.
The best way to do this is to:
- Take the time to understand what clients want and set their expectations from the outset. Ask them what their ideal outcome is and gently give them a reality check (if needed). Explain when they can expect to hear from you, in what timeframe, and by what means.
- Do not use legal jargon. By using plain language, you show clients that you’re human (just like them), and that you want them to fully understand what’s going on.
- Provide regular updates (not just when clients ask for them). The more informed your clients are about their matters, the less they will feel the need to hound you!
- Respond to queries in a timely manner. If clients call or email you, reach out to them within 24 to 48 hours. If you are having trouble keeping up with your workload, set up an out-of-office message or voicemail which explains that you are going through a busy period.
- Be upfront about fees. Give cost estimates to your client at each stage of their matter.
- Show empathy and compassion at all times. We know that lawyering can be stressful, but try to actively listen to your clients so they walk away from their conversations with you feeling both heard and empowered.
Priority 2: Invest in technology
Another priority that your firm should think about implementing in 2023 is legal practice management software.
While the costs of this technology may seem high, it will inevitably make your firm more productive, improve client satisfaction, and allow you to fully embrace flexible work practices.
Don’t believe us? Let’s look at what investing in Smokeball’s legal practice management software will do for your firm. You’ll get access to:
- Hybrid cloud-based software. Gain the flexibility to work from any location and both online/offline regardless of internet connectivity.
- Smarter matter management. Smokeball comes built for your area of law with intuitive workflows and smart features, that make it easy to stay organised and get more work done in less time.
- Modern lead management. Get everything you need to manage leads, keep track of your wins and losses, and give your firm a professional look.
- Automated document creation. Create high quality and accurate letters, captions, and emails faster than ever with out of the box templates for your area of law, seamlessly integrated with Microsoft Word and Outlook.
- Legal Billing and Trust Accounting. Flexible Billing and Accounting with everything you need to run a profitable small law firm, including the peace of mind that you are completely compliant.
- Firm insights. Intuitive Reporting and world-class insights make it easier to run a smarter, more organised firm that attracts the right clients.
- Automatic time tracking. Are you finding that your staff are not capturing all of their time daily? Automatic time tracking is the answer! Smokeball clients report that the nifty tool assists them to bill 34 percent more time than they would have without the software.
- Communicate platform. This secure platform allows you to easily message and share files with your clients and co-workers. It also comes with multi-factor authentication and data encryption to protect against cyber fraud.
If you want to learn more about how Smokeball can help you to run your best firm, click here.
Priority 3: Health and wellness
The third, and arguably, the most important priority that your firm should have in 2023 is to ensure that you and your staff are as physically and mentally healthy as possible.
Here are our tips to help you get started:
- Ensure that you create a positive culture at your firm. Make your employees want to come to work. Celebrate wins and band together when things get tough.
- Be transparent. By regularly updating your staff about what is happening in your firm, it will help them understand what your firm is trying to achieve and make them want to be a part of it.
- Offer education and training. Provide further learning opportunities that are tailored to each team member’s career goals. The more you invest in your staff, the more they’ll invest in your firm.
- Encourage work-life balance. This is non-negotiable in a post Covid world. Implementing strategies like flexible work and mental health days will show your staff that your firm truly cares about their wellbeing.
- Support your staff to look after their health. Consider funding fitness memberships which are not gym specific.
- Be open to feedback from your team. In order to learn and grow, and for your team to feel heard, you need to create a culture that encourages real-time feedback from your employees.
With the new year upon us, take the time to consider what your law firm’s priorities are for 2023. Client communication, technology and wellness should be at the top of that priority list!