Key communication tools to boost your office environment

Communication can make or break relationships in the legal industry. It might be time to consider how specific tools can help to support your efforts. Here are some ways to improve communication at your law firm.

In the legal industry, communication can make or break relationships among team members. Once you’ve established some best practices when communicating around your firm, it might be time to consider how specific tools can help to support your efforts.

Here are some ways to improve communication among employees at your law firm:

Receptionist services

When it comes to legal services, when a client is unable to reach a real person at your firm at a convenient time for them, they’ll likely call someone else.

If your office doesn’t have a receptionist, staff members are often too busy to pick up the phone, and out-of-office messaging isn’t doing the trick, a receptionist service could be the answer.

These services commonly provide the following assistance:

  • Live call answering and transfer
  • Message services
  • Intake collection
  • Improved client experience

Certain receptionist services also integrate with popular practice management tools, which is another way to potentially making the client experience (as well as your firm’s) more efficient.

Meeting tools

According to the results of one American Bar Association (ABA) survey, 77 percent of all attorneys regularly work from home. Thanks to significant advances in technology, numerous solutions are now available to hold remote meetings with clients and colleagues. Many of these platforms provide the following:

  • The ability to send e-vites to meetings through various email and social channels.
  • Secure screen and filing sharing capability.
  • Cloud-based web conferencing and video conferencing tools.
  • Automatic tracking, recording, and documentation of all information exchanged.

Organizing meetings across locations used to be a challenge, but these tools make long-distance communication foolproof.

Read more: Virtual meetings: The next big thing for your law firm?>>

Cloud computing resources

Attorneys spend much of their time on the go, sometimes making it challenging to keep in touch with colleagues. However, many cloud-based resources are intended specifically for law firms and the tools they offer can greatly simplify the day-to-day responsibilities of legal professionals. Here are some of the ways cloud services enhance communication and make collaboration much easier in the law firm:

  • Many services feature customer relationship management (CRM) software designed specifically for the legal industry that helps manage workflow, automates marketing activities, and allows emails to be sent to clients through a secure portal.
  • Cloud-based tools often work well with other applications, such as Office 365.
  • Some resources take a social media style approach that is popular with millennials.
  • The simple interfaces common in cloud-based tools allow teams to communicate and share files in one central location, greatly increasing productivity.

For law firms rightly concerned about data security, recent data has revealed that cloud technology is actually safer than an on-premise solution.

The practice of law involves bringing the right people and the right information together, and collaboration hubs – basically chat rooms for an entire law firm – are replacing email as an organization’s primary method of communication and sharing. Some law firms are moving away from traditional email toward applications like Slack for their primary form of communication inside the firm.

Here are some of the valuable services collaboration tools can provide for law firms:

  • A single place for messaging, tools, and files.
  • Channels that can be divided up by team, project, client, and more to replace lengthy email chains.
  • Collaboration with colleagues, clients, vendors, and partners.
  • Compliance with applicable certifications and regulations.

Tools like Slack help legal teams increase productivity and simplify communication.

Text message service

More and more legal clients prefer a short text to a voicemail or formal letter, and to meet this expectation, firms are exploring sending and receiving texts from their existing business number.

Some of the benefits of texting with legal clients include:

  • Clients can be messaged to confirm appointments, request documents, and provide court date reminders.
  • Text offers real-time communication to help cut down on delays when deadlines are tight.
  • Sending a quick text enables legal professionals to send status updates to multiple clients, keeping everyone in the loop and increasing client satisfaction.
  • Texting eliminates phone tag and the need for voicemail.
  • Communication can be conducted in noisy environments (even at the courthouse) without distraction.
  • All contacts and texts can be viewed in one interface, making finding and messaging clients extremely convenient.

To effectively manage all text communications with clients, a business-level text messaging service is highly recommended.

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Do you know of other communication tools to boost a law firm’s office environment? Tell us about them in the comments!

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