Onboarding new clients can happen in many different ways and more often than not it depends on what you want. Before you even think about onboarding new clients, determine what is most important, how you are going to communicate with the client and what they need to know.
After those three basics are completed then the rest of the onboarding can continue. However, just imagine how much easier that would be if you used an answering service (like this one) or some sort of project management system. Instead of handling insane amounts of paperwork, and spending hours and hours on the phone you can automate these steps.
Communicate Expectations and Services
When it comes to starting your onboarding process, one of the most important factors is ensuring that your client is aware of what services you provide. The second most important step is ensuring that both you and your client are aware of the expectations of one another.
There are several ways that you can do this. Databases that hold all information are great to have so that you can send a sort of welcome packet/email to your client. Providing access or an account for your clients where they can locate videos, FAQs and more will also help streamline the process and keep your clients informed.
Review the State of the Case and Additional Notes
Keeping your notes together in one place is paramount to ensuring you are prepared for any case. When you onboard your client, it is important to ensure that your notes match what they need and are coherent. This will let you review the case, and make sure you have all important information ready.
Hosting your notes with your client profiles is a great way to streamline processes. While I understand the value of writing by hand and how this assists in creating connections, it is hard to manage multiple notebooks.
Instead, house necessary notes that can be printed out if need be. This will also help the client feel more comfortable knowing that you know exactly where all of your notes are.
Only after you have clarified everything with your new client and ensured all terms and conditions are understood can you move forward. This step is one of the most vital as it is the contractual agreement that the client will employ you or your firm to represent them in a case.
While it is difficult to determine just how safe any information is when it is stored in databases, many programs exist that have additional safety measures for specific industries. There are those for law as well! It is extremely important to keep information as safe as possible while streamlining your onboarding process.
Once all documents have been signed, it is important to follow-up regularly with clients. If they aren’t aware of what is going on, next-steps, or where to find the information that they just heard, you will find yourself with one very lost client. Work against that by sending clients emails that give them access to the information that they need.
Perhaps one of the most complicated areas of the onboarding process is ensuring that you communicate regularly with your clients. Automated messages, follow-ups and automated scheduling are great ways to increase the professional outlook of your practice while ensuring that there is far more contact with the client.
Without that contact, the client will feel unsure and may back out of the deal. This is one of the major reasons that automation and streamlining are so important. The client needs to feel secure in the fact that they have chosen your firm. Creating that sense of safety is done by increased contact, availability, and regular scheduling.
Streamlining the onboarding process in law is a difficult process, but it is necessary. To remain competitive in the field, you have to ensure that your clients have access to information and someone to respond to calls at all times.
From automated scheduling to automated emails, each of these steps are there to help your client be seen and heard during a trying time. Not all cases are positive and not all are negative; no matter what kind of case you have on your hands, you want the client to have access to necessary information and all documentation.
Hopefully, as you continue to streamline your processes, you are able to use some of the ideas and guidelines here to help you on your way.