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7 Jul 2020 Download

Kelly Hayes on Using Webinars to Educate the Firm’s Clients

As Co-owner and Managing Partner of Stotler Hayes Group LLC, Kelly Hayes has a simple philosophy that speaks to the success her firm has achieved.

“Our goal is to have all of our clients be as happy as our happiest client,” she explains.

So, what does the firm do to make them happy? Hayes quips, “the answer is education.”

To that end, her team has built a client education strategy that works exceptionally well and has shown benefits across the board. From reviews on substantive law to walkthroughs of back-office procedures, Hayes’ firm uses education to improve on a vast range of vital metrics, including communications, onboarding and client ROI.

Using Webinars to Educate Clients

Hayes reveals that their education process is fueled by a key tool. “We came up with the idea of having monthly webinars,” she says. “Each month, we do a one-hour webinar hosted by two of our employees.” Hayes explains that the hosts are usually attorneys from Stotler Hayes Group, but it’s not uncommon for the firm’s non-attorney staff to join the call and help demonstrate processes like case management and administrative procedures.

The webinars are free for clients (and prospective clients) and there is a survey that goes out after each event to gauge the webinar’s effectiveness. The survey also seeks suggestions on improvements and future topics.

Picking Topics & Building a Webinar Schedule

The firm plans a year’s worth of webinars out in advance. “We look at the whole calendar sometime in October or November,” says Hayes. She continues by explaining that, after looking at the previous year’s themes, new topics are chosen based in large part on client feedback. Simply asking clients “is there anything you want to learn about?” has led to some excellent webinar topics.

Hayes explains that most of the webinars cover substantive law, including topics like “maximizing the efficiency of Medicaid applications” or “improving communications between clients and their local/state agencies.”

The remaining webinars address more procedural matters. While these may not be strictly legal topics, they do have significant value. For instance, Hayes says a webinar on “how to improve communications between teams” had massive benefits to client ROI. And, as you’d imagine, the firm’s “how to decrease your legal fees” webinar was pretty popular too.

Once the topics and dates are set for the year, a full calendar is sent to the firm’s clients so that they can incorporate it into their schedules. Included with the webinar calendar is a series of related “tips & tricks” relevant to each month’s webinar topic, buttressing the educational theme for each month.

In addition to the regularly scheduled monthly webinars, the firm will often add others that meet an industry need or address specific client feedback. For example, Hayes said the firm put together a three-part series on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic—a topic of the utmost importance given the firm’s healthcare-focused business.

How Webinars Have Helped the Law Firm

Simply saying that education helps is a pretty broad (yet accurate) statement, so Hayes is quick to give specifics.

“We realized that our happiest clients are the ones where the intake process is seamless, cases move quickly, communication is consistent and comprehensive, and cases resolve in the way which the client hopes.”

To expand those positive experiences, Hayes alludes to the benefits of equipping clients with knowledge in legal and administrative processes—and how that education helps them to understand things like timelines and billing.

In fact, she explains how something as basic as getting everyone to use the same terminology has greatly improved working relationships. All of these benefits lead to enhanced efficiency and a better ROI for the client.

Beyond Client Education

Perhaps most importantly, the webinars are an incredibly important act of goodwill, and an effective way to cultivate a rapport with clients.

Hayes isn’t shy about revealing how clients have embraced the webinars, either.

“They’ve been tremendously well-received, so incredibly successful,” she beams. And given the growth of Stotler Hayes Group since its inception in 2012, it’s clear that the webinars’ success has translated into a lot of happy clients.