Working remotely means your team needs to be more efficient than ever. In the previous blogs, I’ve talked to you about continuing to hire and the need to delegate. You need it to keep growing and keep serving new clients.
If you have new hires or new clients, they’re going to have questions. And who answers these questions? Not you. It should NOT be you. And not your paralegal or other team members either.
This is where the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) comes in.
When you think of compiling a list of FAQs, you think of what prospects usually want to know so they can hire you. You put it up on your website. What I discuss here is something completely different. I’m talking about internal frequently asked questions, not the questions prospects typically ask.
These are questions that your existing clients are constantly calling and asking you. They’re already your clients, not prospects. So these are the people you serve, and you’re probably getting a lot of the same questions from them, and because they’re your clients, you or your team keep answering these questions, of course.
That’s a waste of time.
So let me tell you a little bit about the process in my firm and how I came up with this idea.
In my law firm, we have really strict procedures. We have everything automated and streamlined as best as we can.
And one of the things that has made a big difference for me is that I do not take client phone calls as they come in. The only way that a client will get access to me on the phone is through a scheduled phone meeting.
Now, this has a lot of benefits, the main one being that I’m not constantly interrupted by phone calls.
Eventually, I did set up 15-minute phone calls with clients. Because I’m intentional about these calls, it took me some time to notice they were all asking me the same thing.
And when I became aware of this, I realized that my receptionist or even my legal assistants and paralegals also ask me the same questions all the time, “Would this affect a case?”
Finally, I got tired of repeating myself.
Remember you shouldn’t be the keeper of information
Part of growth is to take yourself out of the middle of your law firm so you can strategize and pursue growth. And part of taking yourself out of the middle and creating a law firm that can run without you, is that you cannot and should not be the keeper of information.
When you are the keeper of all of the information, you are going to be constantly interrupted all day every day, because everyone’s going to be asking you questions all day long.
So the solution is a FAQs list. This is a living document. We keep it on our server, and every single person has access to it and everyone can add to it.
I instructed my receptionist to create a new document that everyone could have access to on my server titled Frequently Asked Questions. I said, “I’m going to send you the questions that I receive from clients. I’m going to send you the questions, and I’m going to give you my answers.”
“And when they call and they ask that question, I want you to read the answer to them and say, ‘The lawyer says this.’ And read it exactly like that. And as we go, and as questions come up, I want you to add it to the frequently asked questions list.”
And that’s how it went.
So now the Frequently Asked Questions list is a godsend.
An FAQ list makes a big difference
First of all, it cuts down tremendously on the need for me to have phone meetings with clients, only to answer questions that someone else could have answered for me. I do not need to be the person who answers every single question and you do not need to be that person either.
99% of the time, clients are calling with non-legal questions that anybody in your firm can answer.
- How’s my case going?
- What’s the next step?
- How does such and such event affect me?
- What about divorce? Getting fired? Getting unemployment?
- How do these things affect me?
I get all of these questions every single day, so we started writing them down.
Our list of FAQs is, as I said, a living document. We’re always adding to it.
The 15-minute meeting with a client is usually a last resort.
We try to have receptionists be able to answer the questions first. If they can’t, then the paralegal, and if they can’t, then I do it.
We constantly add to the FAQs. The receptionist will shoot me a message through our case management system, asking me a question, “The client asked if such and such thing will affect them,” or “The client wants to know X thing.”
And so I will respond saying, “Please add this question to the frequently asked questions list. This is my response, please add it there.”
That way, I’ll never have to answer that question again.
Make sure your team DOES use the FAQs
Here’s the kicker: make sure that your team is looking at this frequently asked questions list before they bring these questions to you.
Especially now when we’re all working remotely, it’s so easy to shoot a question via a messaging platform– you don’t even have to step away from your desk. Most collaboration tools have messaging capabilities, and you don’t want your team sending you messages all the time.
So here’s what you can do:
- If your staff asks you a question that you know is on the frequently asked questions list, do not answer that question.
- Just say, “This is a question that’s on the frequently asked questions list. Please refer to it.”
- You can even have a code that if you don’t reply to a question, it means it IS on the FAQs.
If you continue answering questions, if you don’t refer your entire team to the FAQ list, then you’ll continue being the keeper of information, they’ll continue interrupting you, which defeats the purpose of compiling the FAQ, and ultimately diminish your productivity.
Always direct everyone with a question to the FAQs.
This will have a huge impact on your firm. Everyone will be on the same page, everyone will be better trained. You’ll love it. You’ll love your productivity. Your clients are going to love having their questions answered. Everyone is informed!
So start that FAQ list and use it.
If you can believe it, I have even more knowledge to share on this topic! If you’d like to learn more about remote work and FAQs, sign up for my Six Figure Solo program! Six Figure Solo now comes in three tiers – Executive, Solopreneur, and CEO. Sign up here!