Client Focus: Should SMB Client Needs Be Driving Your Technology Decisions?
Chances are, your law firm serves business clients in the SMB (small and medium business) segment. An estimated 99.9 percent of all U.S. businesses are defined as SMBs, with fewer than 500 clients; and 89 percent of those have fewer than 20 employees. SMBs account for 44 percent of GDP – a significant part of the U.S. economy. As a law firm representing SMB clients, it’s important that you remain proactive and understand how to adjust your business model and service offerings to address their particular needs.
Legal Technology Enables Law Firms to Better Support SMB Owners
So, how can your firm leverage legal technology to better support your SMB clients? By using a practice management system to free up your teams’ time to focus on value-added advisory and other services.
How Legal Practice Management Systems Make Firms More Productive
Here are just a few ways legal practice management solutions can be used to make your law firm more client-focused:
Efficient, Responsive Service
Just like their large corporate counterparts, SMBs demand efficiency when it comes to their legal spend. This means getting a quick turnaround on questions and information. An automated legal practice management system offers advantages that allow law firms to provide responsive service:
- Stay organized with case management. Case or matter management is the heart of law firm operations. An effective case management system keeps all client cases, related documents, communications and deadlines at your fingertips.
- Have answers at your fingertips. Every document is digital and easily searchable, so you can respond to a client request in a single phone call.
- Keep your specialty top of mind. Choose a practice management system that aligns with the type of law you practice. One size fits all is an unlikely path. Look for custom reports, input screens, automation rules, documents, and special input forms using specific terminology for litigation, family law, immigration law, estate planning, or your area of expertise. You’ll find these resources in AbacusLaw Practice Area Legal Solutions (”PALS”).
- Encourage staff collaboration. Integration with email programs, Google Docs, QuickBooks accounting, and other frequently used programs makes task management easier, more intuitive and more efficient for accountants and staff. Calendars and deadline tracking keep everyone on task.
Remote Work Capabilities
Like their law firms, most small businesses transitioned to a remote workforce model during the pandemic, and many don’t plan to go back to the office. Practice management systems enable law firms to create secure portal sites where they can safely share documents and communicate with clients.
Flexible Payment Options
It’s no secret that cash flow management is critical for small businesses, and even more so in these challenging times. Online payment processing allows firms to process credit card payments and ACH transactions right from your practice management software. Clients love the convenience of paying online, and having the credit card option.
The Needs of Your SMB Clients Should Impact Your Legal Technology Decisions
When you evaluate and select practice management tools based on a clear understanding of client needs and preferences, you’re on your way to being a client-focused firm. In addition to listening to your own clients, seek out input from other law firms who are using the practice management software you are considering.
Using G2 Crowd for Vetting and Selecting Legal Practice Management Systems
A wealth of information can be found in law firm reviews, like the ones posted online at G2 Crowd, a platform that lets businesses search for, compare reviews and pricing for, and then buy software and other IT services.
The G2 Crowd Legal Case Management Grid® represents the democratic voice of real software users, rather than the subjective opinion of one analyst. G2 rates products from the Legal Case Management category algorithmically based on data sourced from product reviews shared by G2 users and data aggregated from online sources and social networks.
The G2 Summer Report for 2020 is out and AbacusLaw and Amicus Attorney have been recognized as Leaders in the Legal Case Management and Legal Practice Management G2 Grids. Products listed in the Grid Reports are ranked by customer satisfaction and market presence including market share, vendor size, and social impact. The Grid Reports can be used to help buyers select the best products for their businesses by providing benchmarks for product comparison and market trend analysis.
As a company, we at AbacusNext take these listings very seriously. G2 recognition showcases the efforts made by our team to provide the best technology and customer support.
Need help finding the right legal technology for your firm? Check out our online Solution Finder and answer a few questions to get you pointed in the right direction.