Welcome back and thank you for joining us for the next installment on Customizing Your Case Management System to Improve Efficiency. The next several blogs will guide you through the benefits of customizing INSZoom to meet your firm specific needs. Each blog will focus on one specific area of INSZoom and will convey why it is important to utilize that area and what benefits you will reap from taking the necessary steps.
Email templates are my most favorite thing to use in INSZoom. They are easy to create and there seems to be no end in how they can be used. We all communicate with our clients through emails but with immigration there are many emails that get sent out to clients at certain milestones in the immigration process. I bet that if I asked for a show of hands how many people have email templates created in Word that they copy and paste into Outlook everyone would raise their hand. Firms and employees alike want to improve their own efficiency. There is always a handful of emails that get sent out to clients and nobody wants to reinvent the wheel so they copy and paste from Word to Outlook.
What would you say if I told you I can take things to the next level? Copying and pasting from Word to Outlook might make things easier but it is not fool proof. Those emails still need to be edited, details added, and there is always the dreaded “formitis” where the last client’s details did not get deleted and you just called your current client, Martha, and she is really a he, named Andrew.
Not yet convinced that email templates can help you improve efficiency? Here are several more reasons why you should utilize email templates.
- Uniformity in communicating with clients. This is an easy way to ensure your entire firm is communicating with clients in a uniform and professional manner.
- Knowledge sharing. Building email templates in INSZoom ensures that everyone in the office can use them. Gone are the days where someone has all the knowledge on their computer and others are struggling to draft well written emails. Create email templates for all to use and if the template is updated, everyone is using the most recent version.
- Clear communication. If you have non-native English speakers who are excellent paralegals but struggle to communicate clearly then email templates is the answer to help them feel confident in communicating.
- No more copying and pasting from Word Documents into an email. Formatting can get messed up and the emails still need to be edited to add the Foreign Nationals details.
- Keywords, when used in email templates, automatically populate the Foreign Nationals details into the email. With the click of a button you can draft an intro email to your client. Talk about efficient, this is the only way to go!
- Emails are captured in INSZoom so everyone in the office has access to view the client’s history. If someone is out sick, departs, or if you need to do a root cause analysis, all of the key milestone emails are located in one place with a time and date stamp.
- Keep clients updated when key milestones are met. In today’s world everyone wants to be informed and kept updated. This is no longer a luxury but a requirement that clients expect. Create milestone email templates that can easily be sent to your clients. This small step goes a long way in taking your firm to the next level.
- Documents can be attached to email templates. This is one more way to save time. If you send process overviews or documents to your clients when you send an intro email, attach it to the email template. When you generate the email template the attachment will be there and there is no need to take the time to upload it.
As you can see, the benefits of using email templates are many. If you are now thinking “I only have 3 or 4 emails that I copy and paste from Word to Outlook so I don’t know if this is a problem for me”. What?! Take a second and think outside the box for second. What emails could you turn into email templates?
Let me help you get warmed up with some ideas:
- Intro email to foreign national when starting a new immigration process – if you have 10 different services you offer to clients you will have 10 different intro emails.
- Follow up email to foreign national reminding them to send you requested items
- Email to HR asking for supporting documents and you will need different emails for different immigration processes
- Email to foreign national letting them know that you have received all documents and are processing or putting their application together
- Email to foreign national advising that their application has been filed
- Email to foreign national that case has been approved
- Email to your internal accounts team or billing specialist that the file is ready to be billed
- Email to foreign national on the next steps once they enter the destination country
- Email to foreign national when passport is about to expire and needs renewal (possible repeat business)
- Email to foreign national when visa is about to expire
- Email to foreign national when work permit, residence permit and work authorization is about to expire
- Email to HR seeking approval to renew the foreign nationals immigration documents
Now that I have you in thinking mode, what other email templates could you create that would help you improve efficiency and consistency at your firm?
Here is a quick look at how an email template looks when you create one in the knowledge base.
This is an example how what an email template looks like once generated.
Email templates are a great start to improving efficiency, improving consistency and conveying a professional message to your clients. In the next blog I will take the use of email templates to the next level and explain the importance of creating case steps/milestone (work flows) and attaching events to the case steps. An event is something that occurs when you mark off a case step as completed, like an email, which automatically gets generated when you mark off the case step.
If you would like more information on creating email templates in the knowledge base please reach out to me, Christen Gause, for more information. I am happy to help and look forward to hearing from you.
Christen Gause, MBA
Manager, Business Development & Solutions | INSZoom.com, Inc. | firstname.lastname@example.org
Main: 925 244-0600 Ext 285