According to the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s, The Future of Immigration Report, business clients, require “ ongoing innovation, responsive communication, and efficient delivery of services.”
The American Tech industry is one of the biggest consumers of business-related immigration services, such as work visa applications. Tech companies need the best talent from across the world to consistently compete in their industry. As a result, landing such a client will lead to a steady stream of revenue for your immigration law firm.
Naturally, this industry holds immigration law practices to high standards when it comes to software capabilities. So we’ve put together a list of tech-based considerations immigration law firms need to keep in mind if they wish to land a business client.
Securing the client
Before we jump into the technology you need to have to satisfy customers, we need to address the technical considerations you need to think about at the client acquisition stage. Back in the day when someone needed a lawyer, they would pick based mostly on geography and referrals. Now with search engines, review sites and social media, potential clients have access to so many more choices. Business clients especially love to do thorough research when they’re searching for an immigration law firm.
According to a study published by Ericsson titled The Networked Life, 38% [of consumers] believe that user reviews are more beneficial than expert reviews. Online reviews on platforms such as Google and Yelp can make or break a small to medium-sized business; immigration law firms are no exception. If you have an influx of reviews to manage from several platforms we recommend a website like podium.com to make review management a whole lot easier.
Once a client has added you to their mental list of potential immigration practices to do business with, the next step would be to determine if you can help with their case. The speed at which you’re able to help a client make that determination is vital. We’ve seen that often the firm that gets back to an immigration firm and agrees to take their case the fastest, usually ends up with the business. We recommend having a questionnaire on your website that is both detailed and customized to help you quickly determine if you’re able to take on a case or not. At the very least your website should have a simple ‘Contact Us’ form.
Finally, with a majority of potential clients starting their search for a law firm through a google search we recommend everyone at least dip their toe into SEO. For a full list of strategies and checklists on this subject, specifically for immigration law firms, check out our eBook, Acquire More Clients by Leveraging your Immigration Law Firm's Website.
Web-based Client Portals
Technological innovations recently began to focus on improving client experiences in addition to improving the law firm’s experience. As a result of this newfound focus, web-based client portals have become a popular feature of case management systems. FastVisa’s client portal has been fined tuned to fit the needs of immigration firms and their business clients. According to the American Immigration Lawyers Association, nearly half (47%) of consumers would be more likely to retain the services of a firm that offered the convenience of online access to legal services and documents.
After testing out and upgrading our own client portal, we’ve identified 3 key features every client based web-portal should have.
Clients should be able to keep track of payment activities such as payment due dates and payment history.
Similarly to payment tracking, you need to be able to present to your client some browser-based task tracking capability. This is an especially important feature for business clients, as several people within the organization will be responsible for completing different tasks.
Instant file sharing
A phone call away is too long for these clients when it comes to having access to documents. A client portal with file-sharing capabilities is the solution. File-sharing client portals negate the need for unnecessary and time-consuming email chains.
A web-based client portal cuts out the need for unnecessary communication and increases efficiency for both the client and the firm. There is still, however, a plethora of times when efficient communication is needed and expected by business clients. So here are the communication capabilities your firm must have to increase your chances of landing big business clients
From invoices to notification you need to be able to notify a team or group of people quickly and efficiently.
Your case management software will need to keep records of all communications between you and your client in a searchable database.
We all know that in the legal industry security is of utmost importance. So you’ll need to be able to assure clients that even digital communications will remain secure.
With so much competition in the legal space from other firms and the amount of information available to potential clients for free online, consumers are pickier than ever. If you’re able to offer the features from this article and create better client experiences, then you’ll stand out among your competition.
Statistics via The American Immigration Lawyer Association's The Future of Immigration Report