New is a feeling people always seek. It is that feeling when you get a new pair of shoes and walking is a little bit more fun. It is the smell of that brand new vehicle that cannot be replicated by an air freshener. Just the same, New Year’s Day brings with it a feeling that cannot be replicated for the rest of the year.
For about the past month we have been pondering what “new” looks like at Osterbind Law. What can we do differently, or more accurately, what can we do better this year compared to last? The answer isn’t easy. It is going to mean more work for us. But at the end of the day, it will mean a better client experience.
So what could that be?
I mean, we already provide clients 24/7 access to their electronic files. We already share calendar events, documents, messages with encrypted bank-level security. We already automate timelines and documents to work cases faster. What else could we do to improve the client experience?
The answer: A lot.
There are several ways we can improve the client experience. We’ve spent considerable time thinking about that experience from the very first impression until the very last step in the litigation process. While there are many things we can do, we are committed to eating the elephant one bite at a time. Otherwise, overwhelm will kill progress.
When it comes to improving the client experience, starting now we will begin to implement some of the following ideas:
A Monthly Newsletter
This year, we are starting a monthly newsletter that will help you engage with our office, our team members, and our philosophy. We will give things away, we will share real-life stories, and we will have some fun.
We are committing to engage more with our friends, clients, and industry partners to open up our lives a bit more. That is because I firmly believe that a personal injury lawyer should not be a commodity. I have found that some of the best case results are with clients who know us and who we know well. This mutual relationship creates a trust that allows the case to move freely to completion. Artificial relationships seem to do the exact opposite.
Usually, when we meet with folks the focus is on them and not on us. And rightfully so. There really isn’t much time for us to share about who we are, what our philosophy is, and why we do what we do. But I do feel like it is important for clients to understand these things because it opens up communication and puts a lawyer/client in the “zone.”
A monthly newsletter will help with that. And it will also give us an opportunity to do some fun things like give things away!
One thing we feel is missing in our practice is an organized way of communicating our litigation strategy to our clients. So we are determined to send each current client a strategy update letter every quarter discussing what has been done in the last quarter and what will be done in the next quarter.
We usually have about 75-100 cases going on at any given moment. Each case is in various stages of litigation so every case status is unique. So this will mean a lot of extra work that we weren’t doing before. This is a big change. But I believe that every client should know what has happened in her case and what will happen in her case.
In the past, we have communicated this via phone calls, MyCase messages, or emails. But now we are stepping it up significantly. Your strategy letter will include the rationale for why we are doing what we are doing. Or why we are not doing something.
Overall, our clients will be better informed about where their case has been and where it is going.
Our website was created quickly to launch our practice in 2017. So in 2019, we are working with a web company for a complete overhaul of our website and, along with that, we are doubling down on providing free content that will make our clients’ injury journeys a little bit easier.
Our goal is to combat the information inequality that most people suffer from when they deal with insurance companies. Sometimes the answers to common questions are counterintuitive. The insurance companies know that, but most people do not.
Our goal is that if you visit our website, you can find an answer to your question. Or, if the question is too complicated to answer, then you will find a discussion about the question and a series of possible answers.
There are several other ideas that we have had and that we have discussed in depth. But for a start, this is a big commitment for a new year. Fortunately, we have a full team of personal injury professionals to tackle more tasks to move cases along faster. With three attorneys, two paralegals, and a settlement manager (former insurance adjuster), we are running full speed ahead on every case.
We would like to hear from you about these changes. What do you think about them? Is there anything else that you think would improve the client experience? Email us when you get a chance and let us know your thoughts.