Whether you’re a solo attorney, part of a small practice, or a member of a large firm, billable hours are essential to getting paid for your services. But it’s not easy to keep those hours high and consistent, especially when you don’t have the right tools.
Even if you work hard for 10, 12, or more hours per day, you’re only human, and you can only bill clients for the hours you actually work. Consider all the hours beyond client work—the hours spent on business development meetings, conferences, commuting… And perish the thought of taking a sick day.
And then there are all the interruptions attorneys experience. Say you’re drafting a motion for a client. It’s going smoothly, you’re almost done, then—ring! ring!—it’s the phone. You need to stop what you’re doing and deal with whomever is on the other end.
Did you know that 30% of lawyers report being interrupted six to 10 times a day, and 25% report being interrupted more than 10 times a day? That means over half of the attorneys surveyed were being interrupted at least six times a day.
Interruptions are not only annoying; they eat up a lot of time. After you’ve dealt with the interruption, it can take an average of 23 minutes to get back to your original task. If you’re in the group with at least six daily interruptions, you’re losing over two hours of work time per day.
What do billable hours have to do with client experiences?
I’m glad you asked.
(Okay, I asked, but you were thinking it. Right? I’m just going to assume you were thinking it. Moving on…)
The link between billable hours and client experiences is trust.
Good client experiences are founded on trust. And the more meticulous you are in tracking your billable hours, the more you create trust.
Take a client-centered approach and think about it from the point of view of someone you serve. Hiring a legal provider is a significant cost. The client knows they need your legal expertise, but affording that expertise is another matter entirely, and they don’t want to overpay. They might enter the relationship with doubts or preconceived notions about attorney credibility due to prior experiences. In any event, they’ll be eyeing their bills carefully.
At the same time, clients want to feel like they can contact you when they need to, without paying more billable hours than necessary. By tracking your time carefully, you’re allowing clients to see exactly what they’re paying for, ensuring transparency and honest communication.
It’s one way that firms can become more client-centric—and outperform their competitors.
Due to all the reasons above, it’s vital to keep track of your phone calls and billable time. Of course, that’s yet another task to add to your already-laden plate…
Unless you delegate and automate it, that is.
Let Ruby and Clio handle time-consuming tasks—and increase productivity.
Ruby’s virtual receptionists take the burden of client communication off your shoulders while improving relationships, 24/7, 365 days per year. Your clients and prospects no longer need to leave messages and wait for calls back. Our team can answer questions about the services you offer, how billing works, and schedule appointments. This keeps interruptions to a minimum and allows you to maximize billable hours. Your clients will appreciate being able to get quick answers to simple questions, and we can seamlessly route them to you for more complex issues.
Appointments: made. Questions: answered. Calls: handled. It’s as simple as that.
But a client engagement solution like Ruby is just one way you can grow your practice. By using a legal practice management solution such as Clio, you’ll also boost efficiency, improve client intake and communication, and get paid faster.
With Clio’s time tracking capabilities, you can record how much time you spend on each task for a case. If you use one of several time tracking apps, you can sync them to Clio to keep track of time in one place for everyone in the firm. Clio also integrates with the tools you use so you can intelligently track your time spent communicating, researching, writing, and more. At the end of the month, you can easily pull all this information to quickly generate a detailed invoice.
It’s just one way that Clio streamlines your law practice and frees you up to do more billable work.
Together, Ruby and Clio are foundational tools for providing the best client experiences. Here’s a quick overview of how we work together:
Automatically intake new clients: Every call, voicemail, and message you receive via Ruby’s live receptionists automatically syncs to your Clio Grow Matter Pipeline.
Bill from communication logs, accurately: Ruby automatically syncs all your calls, voicemails, and messages with Clio so you can easily assign them to the appropriate matters.
Discover how Ruby and Clio work together to increase your practice’s productivity, maximize your billable hours, and ensure the best experiences for the people you serve. Learn more.