Cloud-based apps have become a must-have for today’s savvy law firms. Innovative business apps help law firms simplify everything from managing client billing to attracting new clients, saving them valuable time and increasing revenue. Some of these apps, like business SMS platforms, go far beyond their primary purpose, empowering businesses to create centralized communications centers and interconnected app ecosystems.
Law firms that haven’t used business texting yet may wonder what this enterprise-grade software can do for them. Why should lawyers start texting clients in the first place? How is business text messaging different from sending texts through personal phones, anyway?
Let’s dive into the top 6 ways business SMS for law firms can improve case management, from streamlining client communications to preventing billing leakage.
Simplify Client Outreach by Enabling Business SMS for Existing Firm Numbers
The prospect of adopting business SMS can lead law firms to worry about their clients. After all, some clients already have their lawyers’ or law firms’ numbers programmed into their phones—won’t a new phone number cause confusion?
Not if you don’t change your number.
Business SMS platforms empower law firms to text enable landlines, toll-free, and most VoIP numbers. Both during and after the process, phone calls will work and continue to go through the business’s existing voice provider. However, after the process, your business will be able to send and receive business SMS from the number, too.
Because you will keep your existing business number, clients can begin to text the number they’ve programmed into their phones—a simple and convenient adjustment.
Encourage Quick Matter Follow-ups with Business SMS
Throughout the client relationship, law firms have to share a lot of non-urgent yet critical information, like contract review due dates, meetings, and court dates. As lawyers know all too well, these key communications are often forgotten or overlooked.
The channels used for legal communications are often the problem. For example, some law firms have their administrative staff call clients to share this information. Considering that over half (61%) of Americans regularly ignore phone calls, it’s no wonder that case-related calls are often stuck in voicemail. Only 18% of people listen to voicemails from numbers they don’t know. With an open rate of only 20% and response rate of 6%, email isn’t that much better.
On the other hand, text messages have an open rate of 98% and a response rate of 45%. With business SMS, law firms can ensure that timely communications reach clients, preventing missed due dates, meetings, and court appearances.
Use Business SMS to Automate Common Case Workflows
Calling and emailing clients to relay reminders, manage scheduling, and answer questions isn’t just ineffective—it is time-consuming for administrative teams. Business text messaging empowers administrative teams to automate key repetitive tasks so they can spend time on more complex projects.
Automated opt-ins. When a business texts a client, the client has to give written permission in order for the business to text them back. Business platforms can be set up to add clients to lists based on keywords that clients text in. For example, if a client texts in with your predetermined opt-in keyword (the trigger), the business texting software can automatically add your new contact to a list of your choice, like an “Opted In” list.
Scheduled reminders. When a lawyer or secretary completes a texted conversation with a client, they can easily schedule a follow-up through their business texting platform. For example, once a due date has been confirmed, the firm representative can quickly schedule a reminder text for the day prior to the deadline:
Hi Sherry, this is Bay Area Legal. Please don’t forget that your redline review is due tomorrow, June 14th, by 5pm PST.
Drip campaigns. New clients often go through the same processes as previous clients, especially at the beginning of their cases. With a business SMS platform, law firms can create customizable drip campaigns for these situations. For example, if a prospective client texts in with a question, they can be added to a “New Client” drip campaign. The campaign can send intermittent check-in texts to help a client stay on track with necessary paperwork or see whether a prospect is interested in continuing to pursue their case.
Prevent Billing Leakage and Stay Compliant with Automatic Business SMS Tracking
Business texting platforms are also critical for internal operations. Because top business SMS platforms connect with various practice management systems, like Clio, they can bolster law firms’ operations when it comes to billing and liability.
When lawyers and law firm administrators text through business SMS platforms with relevant integrations, their client conversations are automatically logged within their practice management system, complete with message body and time stamps. Such detailed tracking empowers teams to bill clients accordingly.
Business SMS platforms also allow businesses to carefully monitor messages that are both sent to clients and received from clients, just as carefully as they would any other written communications, such as email. These saved messages are always available and organized based on client and case, so that law firms can carefully monitor messages for any issues.
Streamline Firm Operations with Business SMS Integrations
Today, many law firms use cloud-based business apps for most of their operations. Modern business apps are sleek, customizable, and scalable—perfect for growing firms. However, lawyers and administrative staff can find themselves overwhelmed by the number of separate apps they use on a daily basis.
Cutting-edge business SMS platforms can integrate with many business apps, such as:
- Practice management apps, like Clio
- Integration apps, like Zapier
- Internal communications apps, like Slack
- Social media apps, like Facebook Messenger
- Email communication apps, like Help Scout and Zendesk
With the help of these integrations, law firms can send texts through their favorite apps, gain an overarching view of client and case communications, and unify their apps into a single, cohesive ecosystem.
Ready to improve your firm’s case management? Try out platform for free today.