Ask any law firm, and they'll likely tell you that their ultimate goal is to become as profitable as possible. Yet, the key to profitability is efficiency, and this is where many law firms are lacking. Without an efficient system set in place, you can never reach your full potential as a practice. If we examine some of the most successful law firms, they share one thing in common besides profitability.
They use visual marketing analytics for law firms to their advantage by using it to make better-informed business decisions. Though despite the clear evidence that data analytics can skyrocket your business, a startling amount of law firms have not yet started incorporating visual analytics into their practice.
So, how do you use visual analytics, and what is it?
What Are Visual Analytics?
Visual analytics draws information from your law firm’s activity, from the number of open matters to bottlenecks in your client intake process. You can view your law firm's trends through easy-to-digest visuals on both macro and micro levels. Analyzing this data can help you better understand how processes work and apply the information to push the envelope even further in your law firm.
Data has always been there, of course— it’s nothing new. But modern technology now makes it more accessible for law firms to read and understand. What once might have taken a lawyer a painstaking amount of time to gather information relevant to what they hope to achieve now takes only a matter of minutes by running it through visual analytics software.
Visual analytics are incredibly easy to understand since it’s presented in a straightforward and easy-to-read format. You can compare everything from conversion rates from each marketing source to how many matters you have open today versus last year. By observing your law firm’s progress, you can gain important insights that give you an edge on the competition.
6 Signs Your Practice Can Benefit From Analytics
1 You’re Losing Track of Leads
Many law firms are under the impression that they're doing a satisfactory job when leads first make contact, but analytics can expose it’s not the case. The client journey begins the minute that a lead first contacts your law firm. It's your make-it-or-break-it moment to make a good impression.
A great way to tell if your client intake process is where it needs to be is by asking yourself how quickly you get back to calls, emails, and legal client intake forms. If your law firm is still relying on a paper and pen process to write down leads' information, then chances are this is a warning sign that you're in trouble. Running your practice off of sticky notes is a fast track to losing track of opportunities.
A closer look into your practice with law firm reporting software can help you recognize that your conversion rates are significantly lower than the number of calls coming in. In many cases, you may not even realize that the source of your low profits has to do with an area of your practice that you didn't even suspect. The right legal crm system can help you set things on track through features like automated appointment scheduling and audience segmentation software.
2 Your Clients Aren’t Happy
If there's one thing that you don't need for your law firm, it's a bad review. Unhappy clients are much more likely to talk about their experiences than happy ones — unfortunately, that's just the way that the world works. All it takes are a few unhappy clients to successfully tarnish your reputation.
It's easy to brush negative reviews off as difficult people impossible to please. However, if you start to take a closer look at your visual analytics, you may have better insight as to why they were unhappy and have a right to be so. Most of the time, it's a result of poor communication on the lawyer's part. Analytics can help you find places in the client journey that need improvement that can often be solved with the help of workflow automation for law firms.
3 You Have No Idea Where Your Clients are Coming From
So you have a few different marketing campaigns in place, but you're not really sure which ones are giving you what results — How can you be sure that you're spending your law firm's marketing resources wisely if you're not even sure which sources are getting you the greatest results? If you don't have a clear understanding of exactly where your leads and clients are coming from, then this is a clear indication that you're in trouble. Analytics can help you identify where your target audience is so that you can focus your energy more in that direction. Legal metrics can help you appropriately adjust your budget to wherever marketing your law firm gets you the most results.
4 Your Revenue Is Suffering
It is safe to say that the amount of revenue your law firm pulls in is one of the most critical elements of your business. If your revenue isn't close to where you'd like it to be, then there's no reason for you to settle for where it is. Tracking your revenue with the right software can help you make the necessary improvements where needed to increase it. By having a clear understanding of where your law firm stands in profitability, you can get a realistic idea of what changes need to be made.
5 You’re Losing Time on Administrative Tasks
Many lawyers get out of law school thinking that starting their own practice means they'll spend the majority of their time practicing law. Yet, they are in for a rude awakening when they realize that most of their week is spent on administrative tasks. Thanks to the help of technology, this no longer has to be the case. If you find yourself spending the bulk of your workweek on monotonous data entry, then you're doing it all wrong.
Visual analytics can help you see where your firm is devoting its time, and in turn, you can implement time-saving features like legal document automation. The right law firm client intake software and CRM for lawyers can input leads' information for you and even follow up with them without you having to lift a finger. That means more time for you to focus on what matters most at your law firm.
6 You Don’t Have Specific Goals
Many law firms believe that they may not be able to benefit from using analytics. When determining whether you need legal analytics for your law firm, it's essential to ask yourself what you'd like to achieve. If you're looking to make better use of your time and increase your profits, then law firm analytics are undoubtedly a good choice for you.
With data visualization tools, you can make better-informed decisions to help you stand out and deliver the best possible results for your clients.
Why Data-Driven Law Firms Are More Successful
A quick internet search will show you that there is a large range of prices when it comes to hiring legal services. Some charge by the hour, while others charge flat fees. Many lawyers may hesitate to transition into a flat fee pricing system because they fear it may fall short of the amount of work and hours that the job requires. Data can help you determine what kind of flat fees are best for your practice by looking closely at your previous cases, how many hours they took to complete, what they entailed, and ultimately how much you were compensated. In turn, you can use these figures to move towards a fixed fee system. So many legal professionals have begun offering alternative payment arrangements that failing to do the same can result in your leads turning elsewhere.
Improved Business Decisions
Businesses outside of the legal industry have been using data to make important decisions for years. And although it is relatively new to the legal industry, it's incredibly valuable. Becoming a data-driven law firm will equip you with the knowledge you need to measure how well you're doing, what problems you need to address, and what plans you can make for a better future. With this valuable information, you can analyze your own data combined with market trends and make better-informed business decisions.
Ultimately, a law firm isn't any different from a traditional business. In order to grow, you'll need to regularly review how well your performance is in order to plan for the future. The most successful firms that have experienced significant growth didn't get there by accident—they ran their firm like a business. They used technology to their advantage to develop better strategies. Data analytics for lawyers give you a birdseye view for better forecasting the future of your law firm and what you can expect in terms of growth.
Better Time Management
Statistics show that lawyers spend only a small portion of their workweek actually practicing law. When you start thinking like a CEO, you start to realize that lost time equals lost money. Generating more revenue begins with using your time wisely. Visual analytics provide the information you need to determine whether you're using your resources as well as you could be. The end result is making the best possible use of your time in the most profitable way.
If you fall into the category of law firms that haven't yet leveraged data, then here are some of the things that your law firm can expect to gain by using visual analytics.
7 Reasons to Start Utilizing Visual Analytics at Your Law Firm
1 Increased Revenue
When you begin to incorporate data analytics into your law firm's process, you start to realize where you stand currently and where you have opportunities to improve. Closely tracking where your firm can make improvements will ultimately improve your understanding of how to get results, therefore increasing your revenue.
Before implementing data and analytics into their process, many law firms learn that their numbers aren't even close to being where they could be. Data often reveals that leads are falling through the cracks instead of being converted into clients. By tracking your client acquisition rate, you can see how well you're converting leads. From how many matters you have open to how many new clients you've received recently and where they're coming from, you can determine the total value of where you stand.
The great news is, it's often as simple as implementing a systematic client intake process to boost your lead-to-sale conversion rate. An attorney intake software will help you get your numbers to where they should be by having a clear view of where each leading client stands and by using the power of automation. You can significantly improve your law firm's legal intake process, all thanks to the insights provided by visual analytics.
2 Better Formed Strategies
Reaching your firm's goals starts with having a plan. Relying on your intuition to form business strategies is a flawed system. Without data, your plan will be nothing but guesswork. Strategic planning is essential if you hope to grow your law firm. The best way to form strategies for the future of your law firm is by using valuable insight provided through data and looking for patterns that can be useful for the future. By harnessing the information presented to you in an easy-to-read format, visual analytics make it possible to make data-driven decisions in all aspects of your law firm.
An in-depth analysis with goal tracking for law firms will help you identify opportunities that wouldn’t be possible without the help of data.
For example, if your data reveals that certain months of the year tend to be slower than others, you can prepare for these months in advance by pushing your law firm marketing methods hard to bring in more clients before those months hit.
The idea is to gain as much insight as possible in every area of your business in order to ensure your law firm's success.
3 Improved Marketing
Visual analytics can help you identify any holes in your marketing. Ultimately, you want a return on your investment for your marketing efforts— otherwise, you're just spinning your wheels. Once you identify the best ways to effectively target your ideal audience, you can improve your current marketing efforts and increase your ROI. With data analytics, you'll have a much broader understanding of which areas of marketing you should continue to spend in and which areas you should scrap. Simply put, legal marketing analytics help you understand who your ideal client is and where they’re coming from. The end result is gaining the know-how to create the most effective marketing strategy possible to reach your target audience.
4 Improved Time Management
If your law firm isn't producing the kind of results that you'd like to see, then it's vital that you figure out where the problems lie immediately. Instead of wasting precious time brainstorming and speculating where the bottlenecks are in your law firm, you could be spending that time practicing law.
There's no need for speculation or guesswork when you rely on data. Tracking your law firm's performance pinpoints precisely where you have room to grow. It's as easy as running a report once or twice a month and going over what needs improvements.
5 Better Overview of Your Performance
A lot of people get startled when they hear the word data. However, Lawmatics reporting and insights software is so incredibly easy to use that anyone in your office can read it. It's delivered in an easy-to-digest format that covers the most critical metrics for your law firm.
Easily break your lead sources up into actionable data points and work towards your long-term revenue goals. Monitor your staff's productivity and uncover where each staff member has room to grow. No need to read complicated technical jargon— it's all laid out in an easy-to-view format that will give you total control over your progress.
6 Superior Client Experience
Knowledge is power, so once you know exactly what's working and what isn't, you can make improvements where necessary. Viewing your stats allows you to make smarter decisions that ultimately improve your clients' experience. With clear visuals and insights into your internal processes, you can boost your clients' journey and take your law firm to the next level.
7 Improved Planning for the Future
The only way that you can plan for the future is by having the proper insight. Without data, business decisions are nothing but guesswork. However, when you have all of the figures laid out in front of you, you can strategize and make predictions based on actual statistics, not just educated guesses. The end result is knowing exactly what's working right now and what is most likely to work in the future. With legal reporting software, you can focus on what's driving revenue and what creates repeat business— today and tomorrow.
Best Tips and Practices For Utilizing Visual Analytics
Set Specific Goals
Legal professionals have found all sorts of obstacles in their path since the outbreak of Coronavirus. It's more important than ever for attorneys to learn how to thrive in the legal industry. The most reliable way to set yourself up for success is to create specific goals for your law firm. The more specific that you can be, the better. When setting goals for your practice, you should first determine things like:
✓ Why You’ve Chosen a Particular Goal For Your Law Firm
✓ Any Challenges That You Predict May Arise
✓ How You Plant on Accomplishing Your Goals
When setting your targets, make sure that they are realistic. Although it's admirable to shoot for the stars, trying to achieve unrealistic goals can leave you feeling frustrated. Consider finding a balance between ambitious and realistic.
Measure Results Regularly
The only way to ensure that you're reaching your goals is to measure them regularly. Check your law firm data analytics frequently to gain better insights into your firm's performance. Visual analytics make it possible to track whatever custom information you would like. Center your analytics around where your goals are to ensure that you're staying accountable.
Consider measuring your goals on a routine basis, like every month. That way, you know if there are any red flags indicating that you need to make changes.
Make Changes Immediately
One of the biggest mistakes that people make with their data is failing to take action. Without taking action, data is useless. It's vital that as soon as you find problem areas in your practice, you take action as quickly as possible. The longer you take to make changes where necessary, the more revenue you're losing by the minute. Stop floundering your time and prioritize making changes, even if it means having to completely upgrade the way you operate.
Naturally, your goals will evolve. Therefore, you won't need to track the same metrics all the time. It's crucial that you update your goals regularly and your metrics accordingly. That way, you're not wasting your time looking at data that is no longer relevant to your current plans.
Grow Your Law Firm With Lawmatics Reporting and Insights Software
Gone are the days of running your law practice out of your email inbox and spreadsheets. It's time to embrace technology and optimize the way that your law firm does things.
There's already enough pressure on your practice as it is. Becoming data-driven can lift a considerable amount of pressure off of your shoulders and provide the right insight for you to make changes where it counts most. Increased cash flow and more clients start with knowing which efforts you need to implement.
By mapping out where the problem areas lie and where opportunities are hidden, You can rethink your law practice and blow your goals out of the water. Not only will you make things easier for yourself, but you'll also make it much more convenient for your clients. Unleash the true potential of your law firm and harness technology to reach your goals through a systematic and efficient process.
feAre you ready to see how Lawmatics Reporting and Insights Software can help you grow your practice? Sign up for a free product demo today!