No-shows aren’t just frustrating, they’re costing your firm money.
The average billing rate for lawyers in the top 10 cities in the US is over $270 per hour. But current clients missing appointments isn’t all you have to worry about. Since 25% of initial consultations don’t show up, you could also be losing out on potential future revenue when a client misses this initial appointment. Chances are they aren’t coming back to explain their absence.
None of us have enough hours in the day. Why allow no-shows to cost you time and money when you don’t have to?
No Shows and Utilization Rates
According to Clio’s 2018 Legal Trends Report, the average utilization rate is 30%, which means on any given day, lawyers are only spending 2.4 hours dedicated time to work that is actually billable. That averages out to only about 52 hours per month per attorney that will result in revenue for your firm. If your firm has a no-show rate of 15%, you could be missing out on over $25,000 in revenue over the course of the year for each attorney in your practice.
Reducing no-shows by only 1% could save a firm almost $1700 annually per attorney
Why Clients Miss Appointments
Let’s face it, meeting with a lawyer isn’t on most people’s bucket list. In fact, Clio’s annual report showed that, 57% of people have dealt with a life issue that could have been handled legally but wasn’t. Issues that require legal assistance are rarely free of emotions, and it can be easier to sweep it under the rug. Oftentimes, clients will schedule initial consultations in the heat of the moment, but without proper follow-up from the lawyers, many will talk themselves out of legal services before the initial consultation takes place.
How to Reduce No Shows
It’s important to stay top-of-mind with your clients and potential clients. If you have made a personal connection with them, they’ll be less likely to cancel on you last minute. But who has the time? As a lawyer, you’re expected to work with clients, increase billable hours, deal with back office paperwork and somehow find time to eat lunch every once in awhile. Some of those tasks like meeting with your current clients require you to be present. Other tasks, however, can actually be automated to save you time, while still getting everything done. For instance, using an online scheduling tool will eliminate the back and forth emails spent trying to nail down a time. Then, you can automate appointment reminders and confirmations to ensure your clients show up on time and prepared, without spending hours each afternoon emailing and calling your next day’s appointments, or hiring additional front office staff.
How to Send Automated Appointment Reminders
Your clients all prefer different communication methods, but one thing is clear: everyone needs reminders. With an automated appointment reminder service, you can send a customized cadence of emails, SMS texts or voice call reminders. We recommend sending a mixture. Typically an email or text immediately after booking that contains all of the appointment information and a text or voice call the day before are the minimum that we recommend to see a decrease in your no show rates. Depending on how far out someone has scheduled with you, adding in a text, which have a 90% open rate, a week prior to the appointment will also help make sure your client shows up.
Fact: 90% of text messages are read within 3 seconds of being sent.
Not sold on automated appointment reminders? Check out our Top 5 Benefits to Use Personalized Appointment Reminders.