For an industry defined by tradition, the legal profession is undergoing a substantial amount of change and push back on the status quo. This is especially true when it comes to digital processes and client expectations. While it may seem as if client demands have abruptly shifted, they are simply gravitating to what has been a standard in their daily lives for quite some time. The truth is, law firms are actually playing catch up.
You may be thinking, “my clients are satisfied with the way things are going,” but a don’t fix what’s broken mindset can hinder your firm’s growth. If your law firm is having issues aligning with clients on payment terms, getting payments on time, or just acquiring and retaining clients, it could be that a lack of modern processes are creating obstacles in the attorney-client relationship and/or deterring prospects from retaining your law firm. Any of these could spell bad news for a business looking to grow.
In our on-demand world, it’s important for firms to incorporate modern digital processes, like online payments, to remain profitable. This blog will cover the importance of having more than one payment method with a focus on online payments and how this simple service can both save you time and increase your law firm revenue.
- Law firm clients are also consumers — and they want options
- You’ll spend less billable time chasing invoice payments
- New technology gives you higher visibility into your law firm’s revenue
- There’s more risk to law firm revenue in not having limited payment options
1. Law firm clients are also consumers — and they want options
It’s easy to think of your clients as just that, clients. While this is true, your firm is limiting itself by not realizing they’re also consumers. Long before your client secured business with your firm, they were a prospect; scouring the internet for legal services, reviewing your law firm and attorneys’ social media accounts (yes, you need to update your LinkedIn), your website, and whatever else Google could crawl. Consciously or subconsciously, during this research process, prospective clients form an opinion about what your law firm has to offer. This may come as no surprise, but more times than not, the services you promote, like your payments methods, can be the deciding factor in a client’s decision to secure business with your firm.
Having multiple payment options at your firm is a form of customer service that also benefits your billing and in turn, your bottom line. Clients are more likely to pay faster and on time when they can pay online or through a method they’re most comfortable with. It’s nearly impossible to discern what payment method a client prefers, making it imperative to have multiple options so you’re not excluding a subset of clients.
Bill4Time has made accepting multiple payment methods seamless to adopt with the built-in payments processor, Bill4Time Payments, which allows you to create custom payment links through Link2Pay. Simply add the secure payment link to invoices, your website, or other correspondence to allow clients to pay by credit card or eCheck payment in just a few clicks on any accessible device. To make collecting payments even easier, enable the client portal for clients so they can easily access and pay their invoices in a secure place.
2. You’ll spend less billable time chasing invoice payments
It’s easy to point the finger at clients for late payments, but let’s take a look inward. If your law firm’s payment process creates more obstacles than solutions for what should be a simple task, you could be detouring clients from making on-time payments and creating more work for your firm to chase down payments. For example, if your law firm only accepts paper checks, it’s time-consuming for a client to obtain checks if they don’t already have them and coordinate getting the check in the mail. This doesn’t account for the time it takes to be delivered by the post office and finally deposited by your accounting department.
This scenario poses a risk for your law firm’s revenue and the ability to accurately predict cash flow and for the reported 78% of consumers who prefer to pay online, an inconvenience that could make the attorney-client relationship unsustainable. This brings us back to why accepting multiple payment methods with special attention to online payments are crucial to client satisfaction, retention, productivity, and the overall financial health of your firm.
With Bill4Time’s Link2Pay, your firm can easily accept online payments by placing unique links on invoices, the firm website, or email correspondences. Link2Pay allows your clients to make direct payments to your firm no matter where they are. When clients can pay in a way they’re comfortable with, it makes paying your firm hassle-free. This directly impacts your firm’s productivity and cash flow by freeing up time spent chasing late invoices and allowing clients to pay you faster.
3. New technology gives you higher visibility into your law firm’s revenue
If you’ve caught on already, online payments come with a lot of perks for both you and your clients. One especially important benefit is the enhanced visibility of your firm’s revenue that an Excel sheet simply can’t provide. With Bill4Time Payments, you’ll gain access to exclusive payment reports that allow you to take a deeper look into your cash flow and make informed decisions that will increase your law firm revenue. Quickly review open invoices, retainer payments, refunds, track which client generates the most revenue, and more so you can make informed decisions to scale your business growth.
Another advantage of having a cloud-based billing solution is that you can access it wherever you go. Whether you’re in the office or the courtroom, you’ll always have a pulse on the inner workings of your firm.
4. There’s more risk to law firm revenue in not having limited payment options
As mentioned, a paper billing process poses several technical challenges for both the client and your firm. But, it also raises concerns about safety and compliance. With a paper billing process, checks can easily get lost in the mail or during the exchange of hands at your firm. This isn’t to say your firm is careless, however, in a world of uncertainty, human error is almost inevitable. And, while human error may be inevitable when it comes to compliance and closing your books each month, a lost check can quickly become problematic.
This is where having an online payment solution becomes more than just a nice-to-have. Bill4Time Payments was designed for the legal industry and is 100% compliant with IOLTA, the ABA, and lawyers’ online payment rules in all 50 states. The built-in payments processor is also trust account compliant, keeping earned and unearned fees separate and never pulled from trust accounts.
Bill4Time understands the importance of security and has a dedicated compliance team keeping a watchful eye to keep your firm’s data secure. Our team specializes in fraud prevention and actively keeps up with varying risk and compliance trends that impact our customers.
Increase your law firm revenue in a few steps
Your competitors are using online payments, why isn’t your firm? It’s not just jumping on the bandwagon — it’s making an investment in the success of your firm and providing top-tier experiences for your clients. While we only listed the top 4 reasons to have multiple payment methods, the benefits are endless.
Bill4Time’s Link2Pay feature covers all of your firm’s bases when it comes to closing gaps in your billing process and meeting client expectations. Incorporating Link2Pay into your billing process is seamless and can easily be embedded into emails and invoices, email signatures, or documents.
Pro Tip: We recommend adding Link2Pay as a feature on your website, incorporating it in onboarding documents, or marketing materials as an added convenience to working with your firm. An important aspect of offering online payments is actually showcasing that you have them. For example, if you’re incorporating the use of Link2Pay during client onboarding, it allows you to kickstart the conversation about your firm’s billing process in a natural way. Or if you’re adding Link2Pay as a feature on your website or marketing, it could act as a tactic to strengthen your lead generation strategy by highlighting the modern processes prospective clients are looking for.
Increase your law firm revenue and take control of your firm’s financial health by scheduling a demo of Bill4Time to see how the easy-to-use platform can simplify your processes and get you paid faster with Bill4Time Payments. If you’re already a Bill4Time customer, getting started with Bill4Time Payments is simple and the application can be accessed in your account today.