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Keep up-to-date client contact through texting

Technology for Lawyers

Published: April 19, 2019

As we all know, the chief complaint that lawyers deal with, especially in disciplinary actions, is a lack of client contact. And while nobody really wants to sit up and text every client 24/7, texting can provide a quick and easy way to contact clients while away from the office.

In fact, it’s probably a good idea to work client texting in as a primary contact point with clients—especially those under 50, who text as a matter of course—95 percent of them own a cell phone, and 75 percent of those are smartphones. We send 8.5 billion texts a day, and they have a 98 percent open rate (as opposed to less than 50 percent for emails). And as a father to 4 millennials, I can personally attest that texting is their main form of communication.

Two cautions, though. Don’t let this overwhelm your life. And make sure that the texting is coordinated with the office, particularly with the client file.

That said, here are some tips for interlineating texting with the rest of your client contact process.

How to do it? First off, if you have law practice management software like Clio or PracticePanther, you probably have a texting app embedded into it. Likewise, if you have or use CRM, client intake, or marketing automation software, texting capabilities can be built in.

There are also useful stand-alone texting apps. Signal allows encrypted texting (but it isn’t stored in an encrypted fashion, which is why Paul Manafort is in jail, so be careful.

There is an app called Mighty Text, which allows a user to text and download attachments from the desktop. It functions as an extension to a Chrome browser. I just downloaded it.

And there is a cool-looking app that does client relationship and review-management functions from a smartphone called Podium (www.podium.com). Clients can check case status from a phone, and text from a live webchat.

In all of this, make sure that any such app you use records all texts. And also make sure you’re using mobile billing to keep track of the time spent keeping up with your clients.