It’s hard to believe it’s nearly December and you know what that means – time to bid adieu to 2017 and welcome 2018 with open arms. There’s nothing more satisfying than counting down to the new year with a glass of champagne in hand and the peace of mind that you’ve successfully closed out your firm’s AR with a bang. Unfortunately for most attorneys, the close out process can be full of awkward collection calls for overdue invoices and involve a painful amount of precious non-billable time. I’m guessing that is not how you want to spend the holidays.
Luckily, the Headnote team recently released several new features to help our members collect as much of their outstanding AR as possible, incorporating the personal touches that everyone remembers and appreciates, all while giving their clients the easiest payment experience ever. Read on for a few quick and easy tips that will help you get the job done and still leave you ample time to attend all those holiday parties on your calendar.
Tip #1: Re-Send Invoices With A Friendly, Personalized Thank You Note Or Holiday Greeting
Providing top notch customer service is paramount for solo and small firm attorneys. Some firms send a holiday card at the end of the year, but doing so can be extremely time consuming, costly and wasteful (let’s be honest, those cards always end up in the trash as soon as the needles are drying out on the Christmas tree). Many firms have started sending electronic notes or cards instead as an environmentally friendly option that most clients truly appreciate.
We know that if you’re already using Headnote, your dashboard tells you instantly upon log in which invoices are paid, unpaid or overdue. Now is the perfect time to re-send those unpaid or overdue invoices to ensure payment before the end of 2017 and to reset the (friendly) automated reminders that Headnote sends to collect on your behalf. But just re-sending the invoice isn’t enough and doesn’t feel very personal.
Headnote members who send invoices with personalized emails to their clients – giving specifics on and background of the services provided and thanking them for their business – report that they get paid faster and have a higher realization rate on every dollar, compared to sending impersonal invoices for services rendered.
With this in mind, Headnote now gives members the ability to re-send overdue invoices that include a personalized note. We recommend re-sending those unpaid or overdue invoices ASAP including a holiday message and a ‘Thank You’ for being such a great client. Don’t forget to mention that you’re looking forward to continuing the relationship in the new year, and it never hurts to throw in those personal details that show your client that you really care. That’s the type of white-glove service large, impersonal firms can’t offer and it gives you a major competitive advantage.
Tip #2: Enable Partial Payments For Clients
Here’s another tip when re-sending invoices; consider offering your clients the option to make a partial payment on an overdue invoice. While you may not collect the entire past due amount in 2017, all attorneys will agree that something is better than nothing when it comes to their firm’s AR. Giving clients the ability to pay some of their invoice now and some later may help tip the scales in your favor and get the ball rolling towards complete payment and a 100% realization rate on the bill in 2018. Simply click on the overdue invoice in your Headnote dashboard and select the option to allow partial payments prior to re-sending with your personalized note.
Tip #3: Keep Track Of And Remember Personal Details With The Client Notes Feature
Since we’re on the topic of providing clients the best possible service with a personal touch they’ll remember, allow us to introduce another useful feature to help you close our 2017 and start 2018 on the right foot. Our members consistently say that when they invest in providing more personalized service to their clients, it results in higher client satisfaction and a higher client return rate. But how can you possibly keep track of every detail about each client?
Well quite simply, you can’t. But Headnote can help, so fret not. We recently introduced the ability to enter personal notes in each client profile. This is the perfect place to list a client’s birthday, spouse or children’s names, billing or salutation preferences, annual traditions, favorite wine, restaurants, vacation spots, hobbies, golf course, etc. We’ve also had members list their client’s history with the firm in the notes (prior cases, judgment and settlement amounts, etc.). If you start using Client Notes to keep track of this type of info, the next time you see the client for either work or a social engagement you’ll be able to easily reference details that show them that you take the time to invest in them both personally and professionally.
*Bonus: Try using “Client Notes” to include an incredibly easy record of funds deposited to your firm’s trust account and ledger of when those trust funds are converted to earned fees.
Tip #4: Upload Your Logo To Give Clients A Branded Experience
Re-sending invoices with personalized notes and client details as often as possible is key for higher AR actualization rates, but let’s briefly touch upon the importance of packaging all of your invoices in the most professional package possible. Everything from your website to your business cards to your letterhead (paper and electronic) reflects a well-rounded, branded experience that’s in line with the high quality of the services you provide your clients.
Headnote members who have a clean, professional logo uploaded to their profile (which appears on all invoices sent to clients) report a faster payment time than those without a branded logo. So take a moment and add yours to your Headnote profile before you start re-sending invoices and personalized holiday and ‘Thank You’ messages. It takes almost no time and although a small touch, it makes a really valuable and lasting impression. You can add your logo to your Headnote account via the ‘Firm Settings’ tab in the upper right hand corner or by simply creating a new invoice and uploading it in the letterhead.
Don’t have a logo for your firm or feel like you could use a reboot? As a thank you for being a Headnote member, we’ll give you the gift of a fee personalized logo design (or redesign) through the end of 2017. It can be uploaded to your Headnote account and used at your discretion for any other purpose. We want you to make the best possible impression, and it’s our way of showing how grateful we are for you and your firm. If you’re interested, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org with the “Logo Request” in the subject line and a member of our design team we’ll get back to you asap.