Login | July 21, 2018

How to use text messaging for client communications

RICHARD WEINER
Technology for Lawyers

Published: May 4, 2018

Text messaging can be a quick, precise and convenient way to communicate with clients. IMHO, texting (not while driving) can be easier and better than using email blasts or social media.

Texting has been replacing emailing and telephone calling for a long time. Personally, I tell everyone I give my number to that texting me is the best way to get a hold of me, and I’m sure that I’m not alone. According to the Law Technology Today site, five billion texts are sent every day. Texts have a 98 percent open rate versus email’s two percent, and texts have a 45 percent response rate to email’s, again, two percent. Even if you don’t do math, that tells you something.

So here are some tips on using texting in the profession, from the folks at LTT.

First and most important—use a secure, encrypted texting app. Or don’t bother. The texting app that came with your phone will not do. These apps also make it possible to see all of your contacts and messages in one place. There are a lot of them—some stand-alone and some as a part of a business suite of apps. A subscription texting app costs, but they organize your stuff better than you can. Stand-alones can work for smaller groups. You can do your research.

Use texting to save time, and to communicate in places where you can’t talk (public areas, courtrooms, etc.). Use texting to set meeting times, send links to documents, give court dates, deliver case updates, send payment reminders, have internal staff conversations, and other quick communications.

Next, set expectations/ parameters for using texting with clients. Make sure each client is comfortable with this format. They need to know when and if to reply, and how many to expect.

You can even send surveys about client satisfactions and other topics.

It goes without saying, but cut back on emojis and abbreviations. Use texting as an adjunct to office communications, and as an extension of your office’s professionalism. There shouldn’t be any difference in language between texting and any other office communication.


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