What 5 Changes Law Fraternity Must Adopt Right Away for a Better 2017?
It’s the end of a year and beginning of another.
As mother earth completed a progression around the sun and sprung towards another, somewhere amidst the duration (Read Holiday season), we all had the chance to relax, enjoy and reflect on the year behind and assess our successes, failures, and major milestones.
Unflattered by successes and unfaltered by failures – New years are a perfect time to start afresh learning from experiences of the past to carve a better future for ourselves and our organizations.
As we all set ourselves to a fresh start this year, we came up with a list of 5 tips that would help law fraternity carve a better 2017, both personally and professionally.
5. Embrace New Technologies and Trends
It goes unsaid that we live in an era of cut-throat competition that gets intense with each passing day. Having stepped into another year, in the realm of technological explosion, it has become very important for law fraternity to have a hold of technological trends and embrace it.
Technologies like machine learning, analytics, and data processing and storage systems have resulted in a plethora of tools that makes life a lot easier. Be it managing IP portfolios or managing IP practice, understanding examiner behavior or calculating the value of a patent – there are tools for almost every aspect of IP law practice that could make your work hassle-free.
For instance, consider that you might want to understand the grant rate of applications for a particular examiner or the methodology followed by an examiner prior granting an application, examiner analytics tools would be of help. If you are an attorney responsible for handling multiple portfolios of various clients, IDS management systems would make managing multifold better.
Further practice management tools like Inprotech® and Patrawin® could help schedule workflows and automate tasks saving time for valuable tasks that do need attention. And when it comes to winning a client, business intelligence tools with their point and click reports help get the point across, offering a component of customization based on needs of the client.
In the IP domain, there is a tool for almost everything. All you need to do to make life better is to leverage those tools and in no time, work would be a piece of cake.
Editor’s Note: We are putting together a list of all the available tools that would make your work a cakewalk. But that piece of information would only be made available to our subscribers. Haven’t subscribed yet? Get on the list. Don’t put it off on Tomorrow.
4. Build Customer Satisfaction
“Customer is the king”, despite being an age old adage, stands as an unfaltering truth in our field of practice. Terms like customer satisfaction, despite having being marked as cliché is an important aspect to concentrate on. As Michael LeBouf put it- “A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.”
So how do you achieve high levels of customer satisfaction?
By exceeding expectations of your clients. Research reveals that there is a correlation between expectation and customer satisfaction. The more you exceed the expectations set on you by your client, the better.
Below are two actionable steps that would help you delight your clients.
- Quick-Response rule: Time is precious, and for us who work in the IP domain understands the value of it way better. Having said that, it is highly unfair to undermine other’s time. A quick response rule can help you go a long way on the path to customer satisfaction. In the era of internet, where we all carry almost half-a-computer in our pockets, responding via mail or any other form of communication within minutes is not impossible. Also, being quick to reply could help earn the trust of clients and other future business from them too.
- Provide Strategic level suggestions: Finding a solution to a current problem might not a big deal but providing suggestions for the long term help both the parties go a long way. In the domain of Intellectual property where patents serve as important weapons of choice, providing strategic level suggestions related to the stage of patent lifecycle can be a great move.
For instance, your client’s applications keep getting rejected in a particular art unit? Suggest another art unit. Do they have a huge portfolio of patents lying useless? Cite ways in which they could be commercialized. Extract the list of potential buyers, the current stage of technology and how much the portfolio could fetch. Go the long way.
Exceeding your client’s expectations will not just help earn loyal customers, but also fetch a lot of business by word-of-mouth. After all, “A satisfied customer is the best advertisement.”
3. Build camaraderie on both social and professional levels
In a work environment, you need to be able to rely on everyone, including non-attorney staff, to run a successful firm that keeps the clients coming.
Work on maintaining good relationships, even friendships, with your colleagues on both social and professional levels. Socially, this means remembering major events taking place in their life’s like- birthdays, anniversaries, promotions and caring about what’s going on in their lives without overstepping any personal boundaries. Tools like Buffer or Hoot suite could be used to manage all the social media connections in one place.
Professionally, this means being patient, checking your temper at the door and mentoring can go a long way.
2. Put Your Best Foot Forward
The New Year is a great time to update your firm’s look.
Your website, for example, is one of the ways in which new clients will judge you, so take some time this year to update your website. Also, adding chat functionality or sending regular newsletters will go long way in creating a lasting experience and building your brand image.
If you’re using social networks like LinkedIn to connect with potential clients and other professionals, then you should take time to update your profile pages on those sites.
Further, you can create a brand of your own by writing blog posts, teaching a class at law school or presenting webinars, that targets a particular audience.
If you’re sick of making cold calls to potential clients, you should try speaking at an event or having your marketing department help you find such an opportunity. After all, 2017 is the year of inbound marketing. It’s time you join the race too.
1. Place importance on Health
You can’t work if you’re sick- This is the line that should remind you to give equal emphasis to health. In an industry that is stress-prone, and where working long hours can be quite a norm; there are good chances that you might wear down before your time.
So this year, with other professional and personal changes, invest in yourself. Invest in your health. We won’t get all motherly and reiterate everything you already know. Rather, we are going to stick to the age old adage “Health is wealth” and would advise you to Evernote it too.
Hope this year brings in a lot of happiness and prosperity for each one of us!
Next Step: Explore our Patent Prosecution Strategy articles and create your own smart patent prosecution strategy using these tactics.
Authored By: Arpana Kondal, Client Engagement Manager, IP Solutions