Why Your Legal Scheduling Software Needs Calendar Sync
Author: Kristina Proffitt
21st May 2019
Legal professionals spend up to 48% of their time doing administrative tasks. That’s time they aren’t working on cases and helping their clients. It also impacts their business as it reduces their billable hours. Instead, they spend their time on tasks that have nothing to do with their area of expertize, such as booking meeting rooms or finding time slots to schedule calls.
Law firms use software to help lawyers manage their schedules, client relationships, and their working day in general. These often feature a calendar interface, but when these calendars aren’t synced to the lawyers’ calendars, it means that meetings and other commitments are present in two or more places. It can lead to double bookings, missed appointments, and poor customer service. In a sector that deals with urgent situations and sensitive information, it’s important that firms do all they can to deliver the best customer experience possible.
Calendar sync technology allows legal professionals to sync their calendars with your software. It means that once they authorize your software to connect to their calendars, they don’t need to duplicate events. When a user creates an event in one calendar, it’s automatically added to the other synced calendars. Schedules are always up-to-date.
It also reduces the risk of manual duplication errors. It’s a cleaner, more user-friendly process that requires less training. There’s no risk of double bookings, and any last-minute cancellations can be reopened and used for other appointments. Most importantly? It saves everyone time and unlocks powerful scheduling use cases like real-time scheduling and self-booking.
Employees of all levels spend more of their time on high-value tasks and feel rewarded and empowered to provide a better service. Clients enjoy a better experience and so leave feeling happier. Happier clients means better reviews and greater business growth.
Better scheduling can benefit everyone within the legal industry.
Add calendar sync and real-time scheduling to your legal software and applications to give your staff and clients more time to spend on what really matters – both in their professional and personal lives.
Here are some examples of how Cronofy-powered scheduling features can help you transform the scheduling experience of your users.
Keeping track of dozens – if not hundreds – of cases while communicating clearly with clients can be tough. CRMs provide all the features law firms need to manage day-to-day activities.
These features usually include case management, client communication, and appointment booking tools. Ideally a lawyer shouldn’t have to log in to another tool to organize their day, which is why letting them sync their calendars to their CRM is key.
When their calendars are synced, lawyers don’t have to waste time flitting between different SaaS tools or cross-referencing information. They can access everything they need from the same place.
You can add calendar sync to your software with our Unified Calendar API.
Lawyers and other staff in law firms can then connect their calendars to your software no matter what calendar service provider they use. It works with all major calendar services – Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Exchange, Office 365, Google, and Apple.
Two-way calendar sync – meaning that events created on your software are also added to the synced calendars – is only the first step though. It allows you to add more scheduling features to your software.
A popular feature in CRMs is online appointment booking. Once your software sees what’s in a lawyer’s calendars, that data can be used to power booking interfaces.
Using our Slot Picker, you can provide legal firms with an embeddable booking component for their website – it’s ideal to add on the profile page of lawyer. The time slots that are offered update based on the lawyer’s availability, preventing any slots from being double booked.
It can often be difficult for clients to find a time to meet with their lawyer. With solutions like the Slot Picker, potential clients can choose the time slot that work best for them. This removes the need for back-and-forth email chains or phone calls. Staff are freed up to work on other, higher value tasks.
But online booking isn’t the ideal solution for everyone. Cronofy also let your clients generate unique self-booking links that can be shared by email, text, or chat. Admin staff can share these links with clients to let them book meetings in seconds.
Clients can book meetings at their own convenience with their legal counsel. This is a more personal way for clients to book appointments than for them to call up and speak to a generic virtual assistant, which many law firms use.
Case management software
Case management software makes it easier for lawyers to keep track of the cases that they’re working on. It provides alerts, progress updates, and deadline tracking relating to the various cases that lawyers always have, on the go. This info can also be shared with clients to keep them updated on the cases.
But to help lawyers and attorneys manage their schedules, the case management software needs to know what’s in the calendars of these professionals. Especially when talking about very busy people who have a lot of commitments in their personal calendars.
Lawyers often end-up having to switch between their case management software and their calendars to see which task they can take on or if they can book a client meeting. This isn’t practical and can lead to double-bookings, cancellations and a poor customer experience.
When lawyers connect their calendars – both business and personal – to case management software, it avoids any double-bookings in their schedules. Cases can be assigned to the lawyers who have the availability to deal with them.
For example, if a client meeting needs to take place it can be added to the schedule of a lawyer who has a free time slot in their calendar. The case can then be assigned to them.
Cronofy’s technology can be used to let lawyers connect their personal calendars to their case management software. All their events and commitments can then be displayed on the software calendar interface. If events are edited on the software they will also be edited on the calendar that they lawyer synced and vice versa.
Lawyers don’t have to worry about duplicating information, data loss, and missed appointments. They can focus on their cases and on providing advice and value to their clients.
An entire law firm can grant your case management software access to their calendars in just a few clicks with Enterprise Connect. Any calendar hosted on their company’s domain can connect, but IT departments have full control over who is calendar connected and when. It takes out all the hassle of individual authorization, allowing everyone to benefit from calendar sync right away.
You deal with sensitive information on behalf of your clients every day, and protecting that data is paramount. We’re fully GDPR compliant and you only ever see the data that you need.
Legal online marketplaces
Finding the right lawyer when a problem arise can be tough. And for lawyers operating in a competitive sector, growing their clientele isn’t easy either.
Legal marketplaces drive 25% of new leads to law firms. As the popularity of online marketplaces continues to grow this stat is likely to increase. That’s why it’s key for lawyers to convert as many qualified leads into clients.
Adding real-time scheduling and booking solutions to an online legal marketplace helps to differentiate it from competitors while increasing the lead conversion rate.
The first step is to ask lawyers if they’d like to connect one or several calendars to their profile when they sign-up. Once these calendars are authorized their marketplace schedule will sync with their other calendars. They won’t need to manually duplicate events.
Lawyers can connect as many calendars as they need, which further ensures they won’t get caught up in double-bookings. Your software doesn’t have to see what these appointments are, though – you can set it up so that you only see their free/busy information, ensuring that private and sensitive data is protected.
You can use that calendar information to add a booking interface to lawyers’ profiles that potential clients can use to schedule initial calls or appointments. They don’t have to do it during work hours – they can do it from home in the evening or first thing, before going to work.
Lawyers, meanwhile, can acquire leads and raise their online profile. They get more leads without having to worry about organizing their schedule.
Court management software
Courts are busy, fast-moving places. That’s why court management software is so important. They help admin staff to better manage every aspect of running a court smoothly, from schedules to paperwork to resource management.
In a large organization such as the courts, employees need calendars to organize their time. It can also be useful to allocate calendars to various meeting rooms and resources.
When these calendars are synced to court management software, staff can track who and what is available and when. They can book a room to hold a staff meeting and ensure that a projector is free. If someone is off sick the person in charge of shifts can find someone who is available to cover them.
Resources can be booked in advance without the risk of double-bookings. Every aspect of a court runs as smoothly as possible, reducing delays and the need for rescheduling.
Any event added to an employee’s calendar will be added to the calendar interface on the court management software and vice versa.
No-shows to court appearances can also be reduced using Smart Invites. With Smart Invites, staff can see if the invite has been accepted, declined, or moved. If it hasn’t been accepted, they can chase up accordingly. This helps to reduce no-shows, which can cost courts thousands every year, and results in automatic arrest warrants in many US jurisdictions.
From paralegals to lawyers to judges, better scheduling gives time back to everyone. They can then use this time saved to work their cases and provide a better experience to their customers.
With real-time, two-way, calendar sync, lawyers can focus on growing their clientele without having to worry about double-bookings or duplicating events between their software and their calendars. Everything syncs automatically.
You can add powerful online booking features to your legal software and let clients choose the time slots they want, based on the real-time availability of the legal professionals they want to meet using Cronofy.
Our Calendar and Scheduling APIs work with all major calendar services, helping to speed up your development time. We take care of the maintenance too, so that your team can focus on building better scheduling for your users.
We built our API with security in mind, meaning that your data – and that of your users – will always be protected.
To find out more about what features legal software companies are adding to their software with calendar sync, visit our case studies.