COVID-19, or commonly referred to as coronavirus, is a pandemic unlike any other. While questions still surround the infection, Americans are adhering to specific recommendations from local, state, and federal branches of government. In an effort to slow the spread, social distancing has become a critical factor in helping protect both the economy and health of the people.
This has resulted in restrictions on travel and group gatherings larger than 10, as well as the closure of bars and restaurants. Maybe the biggest impact on the corporate world has come in the form of remote working. The federal government has suggested that businesses telecommute in the wake of increasing COVID-19 cases. These personal and professional on-the-fly adjustments are causing businesses to create new standard operating procedures to ensure their work can be carried out.
Law firms are built on the back of good client relationships, but as COVID-19 continues to shrink modern-day normalcy, how are you handling client communications? Casework is still continuing and clients deserve transparent communication more than ever.
Tips for Communicating With Clients
1. Communicate Often
There is currently a lot of information being spread about the virus and its effect on businesses. Undoubtedly your clients have questions. Now is the time to over-communicate and be proactive in your client service. Do not limit your communication to major case updates or bill notifications. If you have clients in areas that have seen large amounts of COVID-19 cases or clients that fall into at-risk populations, checking in on them via phone or email is appropriate. Don’t overlook the value of being the first to reach out.
2. Use New Communication Channels
Today, there are endless ways to communicate with your clients that don’t involve in-person interaction. Innovative apps like Drift and Loom allow you to send video messages —an easy way to send personalized communication from home. Text messaging and video conference calling are also great ways to supplement email and phone calls. Use whatever avenue best connects you with your client.
3. Proactively Answer Questions
A lot of your clients are going to have the same questions. In an effort to save time for both you and them, creating an FAQ page or outline can help alleviate an influx of emails and phone calls. Clearly note how your firm is handling the situation and what possible delays or cancellations may occur, and how that may pertain to their case.
4. Be Empathetic
COVID-19 has ignited a lot of fear and angst among the public. From the severity of the disease to the economic impact seen on households, people are concerned. Keep this in mind in all your communications with your clients. Address their concerns head-on, be transparent, patient, and understanding of their personal situation.
5. Re-Evaluate Marketing Campaigns
What marketing campaigns are you currently running? Is it possible for any of them to be viewed as inappropriate or insensitive given the current national climate? Check all platforms, from Facebook to outdoor ads, and if something can be seen as inconsiderate due to the impact of the coronavirus, pull it immediately.
6. Be Helpful
If your firm is in a position to aid your clients during this outbreak, now is the time to do so. Whether that is providing informative information about worker’s rights and labor laws, or donating goods/monetary gifts to your local community organizations and businesses, these acts of kindness will not go unnoticed.
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