Clients Spend ~5 Hrs/Day on Their Smart Phone...
93% of that time is in Apps!
- Meet your client where they expect to meet you
- The best brands engage via Apps on Smartphone
- 5-star Apps combine value & utility
- Nothing more important to the client than their case!
When clients know exactly where their case stands and are able to contribute to their case, trust is built with your clients, which drives fewer client inquiries, allowing your staff to make every client interaction count.
Never lose touch with your clients and watch the speed of cases accelerate. The closer the connection with your client, the more responsive they are. Phones are our most personal devices. With Case Status, your firm will stay with your client every moment of the day, driving deeper, more lasting connections.
Drive more cases in your firm by staying front of mind at all times. Give your clients the experience they expect, and leave a lasting impression they’ll never forget.
We believe new software should be easy to adopt, and it should be exciting and fun to implement because it’s for the benefit of your clients. Start incorporating best practices in client management alongside the other thought leaders and innovators in the industry.Let's Talk
As a legal professional, you have the incredible opportunity to change a client’s life for the better. Effective communication plays a vital role in shaping the success of cases and building solid and long-lasting relationships with clients.
One strategy that can make a significant difference is meeting clients on their terms and where they expect to engage with their favorite brands. In today's digital age, most people believe this means embracing email and text messaging as primary communication channels. But what about consumer trends? Is this what consumers expect? While you might already be familiar with email and text communication, there are other technologies in play that deserve heavy consideration. As such, let's explore the business potential of client portals to further enhance client relationships.
In this article, we'll dive into the world of client portals and how they can help you foster stronger connections with your clients. But first, let's take a moment to understand the delicate balance that law firms must strike when it comes to case work and client engagement.
Learn more about the Case Status Mobile Client Portal.
Finding the right balance of empathy and efficiency in client engagement
Every lawyer faces the challenge of balancing client engagement with achieving successful case outcomes. Both elements are essential for the sustainability and reputation of a law firm. It's crucial to deliver favorable case results while ensuring clients are genuinely satisfied with the service they receive. After all, clients expect proper communication, transparency, and follow-through—essentially, empathetic engagement.
Empathy is a non-negotiable aspect of client engagement in the context of law firms. Clients often seek legal assistance during challenging periods in their lives. It's essential for them to have confidence in their lawyer's competence and compassion, knowing that their lawyer understands the gravity of their situation and is there to fulfill their emotional needs. Providing constant updates and guidance throughout their legal journey reassures clients that they have chosen the right legal team.
One common complaint from clients revolves around the lack of communication from their legal team. However, achieving empathetic client engagement is more complex than it may seem, especially in the attorney-client relationship where there is ongoing counsel well into the case work. Balancing the demands of handling multiple cases and engaging with clients within tight timeframes and looming deadlines requires finesse and it also requires systems of record. Most businesses, not just lawyers, use a flavor of software called CRM (Customer Relationship Management.) But just documenting all client interactions isn’t enough. This is where legal apps for clients can be a game-changer especially if part of a client service portal platform.
Before we talk about these legal apps for clients, let’s break down the empathetic counseling and the CRM.
What does it mean to counsel a client?
We know that counsel is a bit different for each attorney, and it’s important to find the method that works best for your practice. In many cases, initial counsels that would normally be done in office or by phone can now be done virtually. This can be particularly helpful for solo lawyers who are attempting to identify the most qualified clients for their services; rather than spend hours a day in calls with people you ultimately cannot represent, you can use these apps to perform preliminary screenings and determine whether or not someone’s case would be the right fit for you.
The counsel continues once someone becomes a client; the ability to send messages and emails within the app drastically reduces time spent on phones. You will be able to delegate time each day to respond to clients’ needs, and even have your legal secretary or paralegal respond on your behalf.
Counsel is not just legal advice, it is also a process of patiently hearing from the client about their concerts, emotions, plans and overall context of the case in their everyday lives. If we don’t take time to show compassion, the counsel we give can be less than ideal from their point of view.
What is a Legal CRM?
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a system that allows your firm to manage all of your cases and client interactions in one centralized platform. Think of it as a single source of truth. These are used by just about every business out there. In the legal world these CRM systems often go by the another name: Case Management Software (or CMS for short.) These systems are all about helping lawyers be better, more efficient lawyers by enabling process, tracking, automation, and consolidation of tasks. Imagine if you could send messages, schedule follow-ups, and review documents in one place. A CRM like the Clio app makes much of that possible. Other big names in this space include FileVine, SmartAdvocate, MyCase, CASEpeer, Assembly Neos, Litify, and many more.
With a CMS or CRM supporting your law firm, you can manage appointments more efficiently, track billable hours, send invoices, request documentation, and so much more. The records in the system revolve around the client or case/matter. The beauty of a CMS is that it’s built to adapt and scale according to your firm’s needs.
This makes it a great investment for solo lawyers that are currently building their practice; as your business grows, the CRM will seamlessly adapt to accommodate all your new clients and ensure your firm stays organized.
On the other hand, established law firms at every size can benefit from a CRM to maintain accurate records and enhance their productivity. Legal management can become especially difficult for medium- and large-scale firms with multiple attorneys and dozens of clients at any given time.
Rather than lose hours maintaining records and documenting all of your case notes, you can keep your most essential information in a centralized location. The CRM is accessible by not only attorneys but secretaries and legal assistants as well.
With a solid CRM, legal staff can communicate seamlessly throughout the platform, and any updates you make to a case file are reflected across all other users’ dashboards automatically. The challenges with CRMs is they focus on the back-office operational efficiencies, not necessarily those things that tie into the emotional counseling of the client. For this reason we must consider that CRMs are limited in their ability to help firms with the delicate balance of case work and client engagement.
What legal software do lawyers use?
The best software for law firms focus on the client.
Knowing what a CRM’s purpose is in your law firm is just the beginning. Choosing legal software can be a challenge, even if you are familiar with the concept of a legal CRM or Case Management Solutions. Every firm will have different needs and different preferences. And the truth is there are so many options on the marketplace. This can be good and bad. There is a lot that goes into managing a relationship and much of this depends on the client experience. Within this page, you will find information about the best legal apps for lawyers. We will begin with an in-depth look at what legal apps do, how they can benefit your practice, and tips for choosing the right app for your firm.
What are client portals?
Imagine in addition to the back office CRM or Case Management software there was also an application that facilitates effective communication between you and your clients, empowering them with the tools they need to monitor and manage their experience independently, without the need for constant phone calls or manual updates. This idea is available now. THis is precisely what client portals are designed to do.
Client portals serve as extensions of the back-office CRM (customer relationship management) systems within law firms. While the back office runs on a legal practice management software like Neos, client portals consolidate all the relevant information in one convenient location and connect with the back-end functions used by legal staff to handle cases. Think of these portals as a "window" or "door" into their case, displaying only the information that is relevant to each client. It is also particular about showing only that back office information that is relevant to the client journey. The idea is you don’t want to show everything that is detailed in the case management solution, but you do want to show them that which is meaningful and that which reassures them of their hiring decision.
If you are wondering how to grow your law firm or how to build a big law firm, then the first step is to ensure you have the right resources in place. The only way to manage the influx of new clients without reducing quality or performance is to ensure you have an app that can serve them well while at the same time allowing you to scale the number of cases per staff.
The features and functionalities of client portals can vary, as they are often customized to fit the specific needs of each law firm. Below are some common functionalities you can expect to find within a client portal:
In any size law firm lawyers wonder how to manage their legal clients in order to keep them all happy. Having a dashboard if the first step towards achieving this.
Self-service dashboards offer clients an overview of essential information related to their legal case. It’s where they can see recent updates, notices, communications, and upcoming meetings at a glance.
Clients often run into questions throughout the legal process that require your input, but without an app, their only option is to send an email or call the office. Unfortunately, this can become quite cumbersome on top of work, especially for an attorney who is trying to grow their practice, or firms with dozens of clients spread across multiple lawyers. Legal software programs can provide a smart solution by combining preferred channels like text, email, and video calling with customized messages, automated workflows, and notification systems to ensure no important engagement is missed. In other words, you want to consolidate all these legacy communication methods into a few that will reach the client on their smartdevice. In addition, reach isn’t the only consideration. Real-time translation features can also facilitate communication with clients and staff who speak different languages.
FAQs and self-help resources
A substantial question that law firms often wonder is how to get their legal clients online. The truth is they are already online. As a lawyer, it’s important to empower clients to find answers to their questions and concerns promptly by using a portal to house a comprehensive FAQ resource ensures answers are available 24/7 without having to wait for a response from your firm. By giving clients the tools to answer their own questions, you’ll be able to resolve issues faster while allowing legal staff to focus more on advancing client cases. But then again, not all portals are created equal. Some are easier to use than others. We will unpack that a little later below as we look at the difference between app and browser based portals.
Client portals can deliver real-time updates that provide continuous and up-to-date information on the status of a case. All updates are consolidated into a log, allowing clients to review the progress over time. Many client portals offer an automated notification to clients via email or text whenever new updates or changes are made, keeping clients in the loop without any effort.
Efficient and secure file sharing is crucial for the smooth progress of any legal case. Client portals offer a secure and convenient platform for clients and lawyers to access, share, add, and view documents and related materials. This capability allows both parties to collaborate effectively and keeps case information updated across the entire system.
Legal cases often involve multiple stakeholders, including paralegals, assistants, and administrators. Client portals provide a collaborative space where all relevant parties can come together, ensuring seamless coordination and effective teamwork. Including everyone involved in the same space fosters a collaborative environment that allows all team members to work towards a successful resolution in sync.
Providing clients with an organized task list inside the portal helps improve case velocity and ensure efficient progress. These checklists outline the necessary paperwork and items that need to be accomplished at each stage of a case. Having a clear roadmap of tasks supports the momentum of your case, ultimately leading to a faster resolution.
Calendars and meetings
Many client portals offer integrated calendar features that serve as valuable assets for scheduling appointments, planning meetings, or setting case reminders among multiple parties. These features simplify the scheduling process and, when connected to a case management system, seamlessly work off the data stored within. With the calendar functionality, you can efficiently manage your appointments and ensure smooth communication and coordination with all relevant parties involved in every case.
Types of portals
While client portals tend to offer similar functionality, there are two distinct types to choose from: web browser- and app-based.
You can access the portal via a browser like Safari or Chrome on any device with an internet connection. However, if the portal was built specifically for desktop, accessing it on a mobile device or tablet may not deliver an optimal experience.
A client portal application is designed for mobile use and can be downloaded from either the Apple Store or Google Play Store onto a smartphone. It is not usable on a desktop. Whether you are using lawyer apps for android, lawyer apps for iPhone, or desktop, both types offer features like consolidated communications, personalized client experience, accessibility from anywhere, etc. However, there are some significant differences, like the log in process.The chart below outlines the key differences between browser and app portals:
Keep in mind that mobile reigns supreme in today’s digital-first culture. Consumers spend almost five hours every day on their smartphones.
The multi-year trend is even more telling; app usage continues to rise as browser usage declines.
The conclusion couldn’t be clearer. If you seek to consolidate communications with your client base in a single place, i.e. a portal, the app is hands-down the way to get there. And whether the portal is app or browser-based, it must provide high utility for the client and showcase all the work that is taking place on their behalf.
For example, the best legal apps need to:
1. Be used by all staff
2. Be adopted by a majority of clients
3.Proactively answer most of the questions a client has before they ask
4. Provide a bi-directional communication platform that can reduce communications normally sent by email, SMS, or phone
5. Proactively remind the client of updates or assure that the client’s case is right on track when updates are infrequent
6. Continually measure and report on client satisfaction
Benefits of using a client portal
If you are wondering how to generate legal clients and now your portal delivers on the performance criteria above, your firm will see numbers explode. You will also enjoy many other benefits, such as:
1. Reduction in unnecessary inbound phone and email questions
2. Improvement in staff efficiency
3. Improvement in staff morale
4. Faster case velocity
5. Higher client satisfaction scores
6. More 5-star reviews from happy clients
7. More client referrals for new business
In today's digital age, the legal industry is witnessing a transformation on how clients choose law firms. Clients have become accustomed to streamlined online experiences in various aspects of their lives, from shopping to banking. They expect the same level of convenience and accessibility when interacting with their legal representatives.
By embracing one of the best apps for lawyers, law firms can adapt to this changing landscape and meet clients' evolving needs. These portals not only enhance communication but also improve efficiency and productivity within the firm.
Choosing the right client portal solution
When selecting the best law practice management software for solo or large law firm, it's essential to consider several key factors:
Security and confidentiality
Legal matters involve sensitive information, so prioritize a client portal solution that offers robust security measures. Look for features like encryption, secure data storage, and user access controls to ensure the confidentiality of client data.
Opt for a client portal with an intuitive and user-friendly interface. Your clients should be able to navigate the portal easily, access information effortlessly, and communicate with your firm without any hassle. Consider user experience and ease of use when evaluating different options.
Customization and branding
Choose a client portal that allows you to customize its appearance to align with your law firm's branding. This helps create a consistent and professional image for your clients and reinforces your firm's identity.
Measure client satisfaction
A client portal is the meeting point between client and firm. Therefore it should measure in a meaningful way how the firm is performing. The information should also be actionable and serve as a way to execute firm playbooks based on different responses.
Enable Reviews and Referrals
A derivative of measuring client satisfaction is the playbook to know who your promoters are and then cultivating them to provide direct referrals to people in their network or to write reviews on your public page so future clients can benefit from the feedback. The best client portals will enable the firm to generate future legal clients.
Integration with your case management platform
Assess whether the client portal solution can integrate with your existing practice management software. For successful client engagement, it is crucial to connect the client portal with your existing back-office casework. This integration ensures that work is not duplicated but rather maximizes the utilization of your case management platform, seamlessly transferring relevant information to the client portal and vice versa.
Integration plays a pivotal role in staff adoption, which is another critical success factor. When launching a client portal, you want your staff to incorporate it into their daily routines with minimal disruptions. Ideally, they should be able to primarily work on the case within the case management platform. For instance, when sending a message to a client, it should originate from the case management solution and appear on the client portal's smartphone without requiring additional effort or navigating different software. Similarly, when the client responds, the message should automatically be recorded as a note on the case, alerting the team of the new message. This streamlined integration empowers staff to focus on casework while effortlessly maintaining client engagement.
Automation also plays a crucial role as clients progress through various stages. When the team updates a stage in the case management software, the integration should automatically update the client with relevant information without staff intervention. Additionally, during periods when the case is progressing according to plan but there are fewer updates to share with the client, proactively notifying them that they are still on track helps maintain trust and confidence. Automatically informing clients about the ongoing work within the case management software fosters scalable and empathetic engagement.
If you are asking yourself what is the most popular legal software that exists today, many clients will rave to you about Case Status because of its ability to integrate with the major client intake apps and platforms available in the market. As the top client service software for law firms, Case Status is solely dedicated to client engagement through its robust legal client app. The integration effectively combines all the client engagement benefits of the client portal while seamlessly connecting into the back-office operation.
By leveraging integration between your client portal and case management application, you can optimize both staff and client adoption, achieve efficient automation, maintain trust and confidence, and enhance the overall client experience. This integration ensures that client engagement aligns with your case management processes, creating a harmonious and efficient ecosystem for your firm.
How much does legal software cost?
The cost of legal software can vary depending on several factors, such as the specific features and functionalities offered, the size and scale of the software provider, and the licensing model chosen. Legal software solutions are typically priced based on subscription plans or one-time licensing fees. While some software options may have lower costs, others may come with higher price tags due to advanced capabilities and tailored features. It is important for law firms to carefully evaluate their needs, budget, and the potential return on investment when considering the cost of legal software to ensure they choose a solution that aligns with their requirements and provides value for their practice.
It’s time to embrace the client portal
Giving clients access to their case information and the ability to communicate with their legal team are not just nice-to-have features; they are now expected and will be how lawyers get clients in the world moving forward. Empowering clients to self-serve their needs through a client portal allows your team to focus on driving results and efficiently running the case. Even if client portals are not on your radar, it's important to continually learn about their benefits and when they can effectively address real pain points.
Start by measuring the volume of emails and phone calls that ask the same question: "What's going on with my case?" Consider how much time your staff spends fielding these requests and how it affects their ability to focus on more critical tasks. Identify areas where cases might experience delays due to clients' lack of responsiveness or urgency. Evaluate your client satisfaction levels and the number of positive reviews your firm has on platforms like Google Business. This assessment will help you recognize client portals as a worthwhile investment that deliver rich dividends for your firm.
By embracing client portals and providing a transparent and convenient experience for your clients, you can enhance client satisfaction, streamline communication, and improve overall efficiency in managing cases. Keeping abreast of evolving client expectations and leveraging technology to create a client-centric approach will set your firm apart.