For lawyers and other legal professionals, time is expensive.
Every minute spent doing anything other than billable legal work is time and money lost. So, it’s no surprise that Apptoto is a popular appointment management app for law firms and offices. The automated appointment reminders and simplified online scheduling reduce the amount of manual work that needs to be done. It saves time and money.
Apptoto is being used in many new and exciting ways in the legal world. In talking with our customers, we’ve learned how the app is also helping firms better serve their clients and provide them with a competitive marketing advantage.
Meet Rodney Alberto
When Rodney Alberto read Tim Ferris’s book, “The 4-Hour Workweek,” he knew he had to make changes to his business. The book outlined how determined entrepreneurs and savvy business people could reduce their workload while having a better life.
Automation was the future. Removing “busy work” from his plate would give him more time to spend on important tasks and the rest of his life.
That’s one of the reasons he was so drawn to Apptoto.
Rodney Alberto is one of two attorneys at the immigration firm Alberto Brothers Law in New Jersey. He shared with us how they use Apptoto and the many ways it’s helping their business with appointments and beyond.
During our conversation, we identified five main ways that Alberto Brothers is using Apptoto in their business:
- Managing complex service reminders and messages for multiple appointment types.
- Providing customized, case-specific instructions and information.
- Communicating more clearly (overcoming language barriers).
- Creating a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
- Maximizing employee time and productivity.
As Rodney explains, Apptoto has allowed their practice to save time and money by automating much of the work that was previously done by paralegals and reception staff. But they also see it as much more than that. He explains how it has created tremendous value for their practice.
Handling multiple appointment types
One of the key reasons Alberto Brothers uses Apptoto is that it’s flexible enough to handle multiple appointment types.
In their practice, consultations, evidence drop-offs, and other client meetings all require different information, documents, and instructions. Apptoto handles all of these and gives the Alberto Brothers a simple tool to communicate the right information to clients at just the right time.
“We’re not like [other businesses] where we have one type of appointment,” Alberto explains. “We use it for a lot of different things.”
He explains that they have created very specific messaging sequences for different types of appointments, which helps them serve all of their clients more effectively.
Immigration law can be complex, and Alberto Brothers’ clients often have cases that hinge on meeting a specific deadline or appointment time. In many of these cases, you can’t just reschedule an appointment if you miss it. Missing it may change the outcome of a case and a client’s life.
Because of this, Apptoto’s ability to personalize and provide specific legal information is absolutely critical.
“Every single email, every single type of appointment that we send has instructions and disclosures that add a lot of value,” says Alberto.
He explains how the messages include the key specifics that each client needs for a successful appointment. There is also added value in knowing that the clients have received the right instructions; nothing has been overlooked or forgotten.
Their firm also uses a standard three-step sequence for appointment reminders:
- Email reminder (one week before the appointment)
- Text message reminder (three days before the appointment)
- Voice message (day of appointment)
From a legal standpoint, all of this provides a trail of the information provided to clients and allows the firm to document each communication, reducing the possibility of error or oversight and lowering the firm’s legal liability.
Crystal clear communication
As a firm that specializes in immigration law, Alberto Brothers had a very acute need for technology that could handle a diverse clientele. The multilingual messaging feature has helped to simplify this process tremendously and provided a way for Alberto Brothers to reliably communicate with clients regardless of their native language.
“Confirming appointments in both English and Spanish really impressed me,” says Alberto.
Clients receiving reminders can simply press a button to request a message in either language, with the corresponding recording created in advance.
Showing up the competition
Beyond the benefits to operations and clientele, Rodney says that Apptoto has also given them a big advantage in the marketplace. It’s allowed them to become more competitive and offer something that many other law firms don’t have.
He says that even though some people view automated messages as being less personal than individual phone calls, the convenience and reliability of the messages — and the hours of work saved — far, far outweigh that.
“We really highlight Apptoto as a feature [to clients],” he says, “It sends out the message that our business is super organized — that we’re a technologically advanced firm.”
He offers some advice to other Apptoto users, explaining that the key to a good reception from customers is simply explaining the technology during the onboarding process. Make it clear that they’ll be receiving automated messages from a specific number, and they’ll likely be comfortable receiving those messages later on.
“It’s a vital part of the business,” he says.
In addition to all of the other benefits, Alberto explained that using Apptoto has helped the firm save time and money on its administrative expenses. More importantly, it’s allowed them to make better use of the time and talents of their staff.
“My paralegals who would otherwise be confirming these phone calls are now doing other types of services [for our clients],” he says on our call.
Using Apptoto has changed the way their firm operates.
“Not only has it increased our revenue by eliminating missed appointments,” he explains, “it’s helped us get more out of [our employees] by putting people in their highest-value function.”
That critical step brings Apptoto’s role at Alberto Brothers Law Firm full circle. One of the core tenets of “The 4-Hour Workweek” is to eliminate distractions and reduce wasted time and effort. Their company has used the tool as a way to move in that direction—toward a more effective business that requires less time working.