The extensive checklist of steps required in a NY state guardianship (Article81) are a great example where Time Matters may be applied to help automate and control the process through use of the ‘chain’ feature.
In this real world example, The ‘fun’ is when each of the 61 steps are applied automatically when a new guardianship matter is added. The ‘profit’ comes from your ability to more easily manage the steps and create billing records, simply by checking each item complete, ie check it done. Another example, is when the task for File Papers is marked done, use of an automatic message (using the ‘trigger’ feature) to notify the user to enter the reimbursable filing fee.
Eliminate the time and chaos of not having a system, get started by making an outline. If you have a set of tasks similar to these, consider making a list of items. Eack item may have a parent/child ordinate/subordinate relationship to another item. So, to get started, create a spreadsheet with columns for item description, the parent item it is related to and a column for the number of days before or after the parent item.
You may even create a convenient, collapsible Outline containing each item of the chain of related steps to see howthe matter is progressing and to tag mark done and bill multiple completed steps.
It doesn’t matter if your software is on-site or on-line if you don’t have the tools you need when you need them. I suspect that the term ‘The Cloud’ is taken by many to mean that all of your technology problems will be precluded or magically solved and eliminated. Any system might have the tools but just as likely may not.
Don’t be fooled. It is not a given that a ‘Cloud’ type system automatically equates to comprehensive, well designed software.
Case in Point: Users will make mistakes in any system.
Therefore, it is important to have tools and support to quickly find and resolve problems. Otherwise confidence in the accuracy your systems data is lost.
Do you know if your software has an accessible audit log of all record changes?
And an audit tab in each record of changes?
And a system deleted items/recycle bin?
And system archived records area?
And a global search feature?
Consider the following example that just occurred with our client and their practice management software1.
Our client reports ‘The matter record disappeared’ They were knowledgeable enough to check the systems recycle bin for deleted items. But the matter was not to be found.
What to do…
There were other tools available. The global search feature and the archived records feature. I logged in on-line to their system, ran a search for the matter # across all records – not there. Oh No.
I then ran a search for the client name – found it 10 times in ten matters, (firm opened a matter once for each year that work was done… but apparently not for this year.)
I looked at the ‘audit’ tab for matter record the 04xxxx matter record an found that user xyz changed the matter number from 14xxx to 04xxx. Mystery Solved!
These tools are typical of the quality of design items an experienced user or consultant will intuitively look for. Sooner or later an issue will arise. Check now so you’ll know you have the tools you’ll need … make sure you have a quality system.
1 Score one for Time Matters.
We now have a Nextiva voip phone system. The Nextiva integration with Outlook, and then Outlook with Time Matters is very useful. Placing an Outgoing call is easy. There are PC and smartphone apps. An Incoming call has two screen pops, one allows the option to take the call, and another includes an option to click to open the Outlook contact record. Time Matters has its own ‘Open Contact’ icon from the Outlook record which gives full access to the contact record in Time Matters. You can view and add all related records (calendar, email, docs, phone, notes, billing). Isn’t that better than the old pop a contact and/or a Phone record.
We are still learning all the options in the phone system but so far it is a good user experience. Also Nextiva has very responsive support right out of Scottsdale, AZ.
I would be interested in uses or challenges others have found with integrating voip, Outlook and and TM (or their favorite Pract Mgt program).
Premier Software is not your prime source as a law firm marketing guru, however, we are experts in tracking legal marketing activity and have a few comments, especially for those lawyers who are looking for new ways to attract clients.
Today potential clients use the internet to search for and make instant judgments about the lawyer that they will select. Access to useful information (aka content), and judgments based on trust (aka reputation) are critical in guiding the web based prospect to your firm. So what does the web say of you?
Is Your Stream of New Clients Drying Up?
I am reminded of an old movie where a white hat rancher suddenly has no water for his cattle because Read the rest of this entry
Code42is the company behind CrashPlan, an excellent backup service that Premier is now using for it’s clients . Many of our clients are incorporating video presentations and I thought this particular video sets a high standard for getting a message across quickly and effectively. To Watch it Click Here
I came into the office the other day and saw a card in my mail slot, and it really grabbed my attention. I found myself picking it up and saying hey this looks really good. Why? Because it was my own company’s home page on the face of the card.
This company, www.prospectsmarter.com, apparently lets you log-in and quickly construct a unique card, for example, a contacts photo and Google profile – you can quickly place it on a card, include a brief to the point message – include a link to a brief 1 minute video where you offer a web based or in person 1-on-1 meeting. It is not your average, generic direct mail piece. It costs about $10.00 per card but I have to say it really seems to be a unique and effective approach. I have heard experts say that the sweetest sound to a person is that of their own name, and to me this personalized card is the direct mail tied to web/social media equivalent.
I have a client who twenty years ago left a large law firm and started his solo litigation practice with only a part time secretary. His passion and avocation is a flying so let’s say he
started his medical malpractice practice ‘on a wing and a prayer’.
Part of his unique marketing was a $10.00 per copy firm brochure that included licensed use of images of the famous painter Thomas Akins paintings. The point is he differentiated himself.
Fast forward, he now owns ten (10) WWII war birds including a P-51 Mustang. Oh, he is also a great trial lawyer.
It begs the question, do you know the ‘cost of acquisition’ for your best clients or highest quality referral sources. Perhaps that is Premier Software and my link to all of this – we can show you the cost and revenue from your best clients and referral sources.
(I currently have no relationship with www.prospectsmarter.com)