Since opening the doors of Nelson Elder Care Law a little over two years ago in Woodstock, Georgia, Josh Nelson has helped grow the practice from a small team of two, into a firm that is now able to help far more families.
We interviewed Josh Nelson to learn how they leveraged Daylite to grow their practice, and why they upgraded to Daylite Cloud.
Josh Nelson: We started using Daylite on day one when we started our firm in September of 2014. We originally started with Daylite 5 and absolutely loved it. We’re a Mac only firm and everyone’s always on their iPhones and iPads so when we started looking for a CRM program, it was important to find something that worked with that. We heard good things about Daylite. We don’t use all the features that we’d like to, but it’s definitely a program that grows with us as we do.
Josh: We did quite a bit of research into what other firms were using. There’s a lot of legal based CRMs specifically tailored to law firms but they’re extremely expensive and a lot of them don’t work well with Macs. They also don’t have some of the features that Daylite has.
We talked to some other firms that were all Mac through a networking group of elder law attorneys. There were about three other attorneys that were singing Daylite’s praises like you wouldn’t believe. There’s a little bit of pipeline creation and other customizations that we had to do with Daylite that we wouldn’t have had to do with a legal specific program, but I don’t think we have any regrets at all about choosing Daylite. It’s definitely saved us a bit over what most of the other legal programs would be.
Daylite has also been great at growing with us. When we started the firm two years ago we were a team of two and now we’ve grown considerably and have different departments we need to keep informed of case status and scheduling. Daylite has been able to expand with us as we grow. We have our marketing staff and our whole legal team on Daylite. Not all of our admin staff are hooked into it, so there’s a total of eight of us using Daylite.
Josh: First is the fact it’s Mac friendly. We didn’t want to be on PCs when we opened the firm. The other fact was the way we could easily integrate it into our firm. A lot of CRMs make it hard to onboard people. Trying to bring someone into a new program that they’ve never used before and get them up to speed fast is very important – especially for us being a small firm because we need people to hit the ground running.
The interface for Daylite is amazing. Daylite has a lot of similar functions as other CRMs but it’s more visually inviting and adds so much more power behind it.
Whenever we looked at other programs they didn’t have nearly as good an ability to generate reports as Daylite. With Daylite, we can filter people by different keywords and track where all our referrals are coming from. I also really love the way we can setup pipelines. When a customer first calls, we can add them to a pipeline and track them up until their initial consult. Once they’re in the initial consult stage, we can switch them to a different pipeline, depending on the specific services they need. That’s something that’s really helped us as we continue to grow and get more clients.
If somebody calls in and asks about the status of their matter, we can pull it up in Daylite instantly. We’ve seen other firms that try to keep track of everything with Excel or Outlook. The problem is they have to tell the client that they’ll call them back, whereas when people call us we can pull up their information right away.
Josh: It’s really three fold. The first is that we’re able to offer better customer service and our clients know that. Even if one of our attorneys is not available when a client calls, our staff can still pull up their info right away and tell them where their matter is and the next steps. This helps us avoid using attorney time to answer general questions. It also helps us so we don’t have to call back clients. We can give them the answer right away, which from a customer standpoint is amazing.
The second part is being able to track referrals. Over 80% of our business is referral based. If you refer someone to us and you want to know if they’ve called or come in, we can give you that information right over the phone. We don’t have to go to a file or search through an Excel spreadsheet. We can just pull that up right away – our referral sources love that.
The third thing is we can check and see the combination of referral sources to see which clients were the best fit for the firm. You can get a lot of referrals that aren’t your ideal client and you don’t want to spend a lot of your marketing funds chasing those – especially with us because we’re still a small firm. By looking at who sends us our ideal clients, we’ve been able to tailor our marketing to make sure we get a better close-rate because we’re doing a better job educating the referral source and qualifying the customer.
Josh: When someone first calls we get their information and put that in Daylite as a contact. At that point we put them in our pipeline and then send them a few emails about information about us, directions to our office, and some information they need to fill out before coming in for their consultation. One of those things is how they heard about us. As soon as we get that back, we plug that info in Daylite as our referral source. Under that pipeline we can track that and then see if it turns into money.
One of the things I love about Daylite 6 is I can run the report right away to see how many referrals someone has sent us, and see how many of those converted. We can see out of the ones we converted if they’re our ideal client or not. Then we can go back to the referral source and follow up with them so they’re part of the process.
It’s an opportunity for us to make sure anyone who refers business to us gets thanked. This way they know we appreciate their referrals, and we can help coach them if they’re sending us referrals that aren’t our ideal client. For example, if they’re sending over referrals needing services for an area of law that we don’t practice, we can let them know that’s not our area and make sure they have a resource for who to send those type of referrals to. This helps us be efficient with our resources because it really comes down to a capacity issue.
Josh: We do a lot of speaking events. We keep track of which speaking events people have attended by tagging them with specific keywords for that topic. This way we can filter them out and avoid emailing someone about a speaking event they’ve already been to. This helps us make the emails really specific. For example, if they’ve never been to an event we can send them a list of all of the events and topics coming up.
If they’ve attended one event, we can email them to say we know they’ve attended an event on navigating the senior years for example, and let them know about another event topic coming up that they may be interested in. It makes it more personalize and these get a way higher click-through.
From the filtered list in Daylite, we use MailChimp to send everything out. We’d like to eventually start using Daylite Letter Templates more for this.
Josh: Really, everything. We do everything through Daylite. It’s the backbone of the company. We use Daylite to check the status of all of our matters. We can pull up and see how people are related so if we have a client and her daughter calls in, even with a different last name, we can see right away if we have permission to talk to the daughter or not– things like that.
Josh: About half of our staff works outside the office for a good portion of their day. We can check and see if each other have made calls, if they got in touch with a client or not, and what meetings they have. We can even check notes from their meetings that day. It really helps us to manage the overall flow.
We have Daylite on everyone’s iPhones. It’s really good for us especially for coordinating when schedules change, which happens a lot.
Josh: The main reason for moving to Daylite Cloud was to make sure everything syncs seamlessly. Before we moved to Daylite Cloud, we had problems with things not syncing on people’s iPhones. Now that we’re on Daylite Cloud, everything just syncs automatically. We don’t have to worry about someone being in the office and syncing with the server. From the standpoint of reducing frustration, Daylite Cloud has been amazing.
One of the cool things about Daylite Cloud is we can add tasks from our iPhones and get updates for each other when things are done. The syncing with Daylite Cloud and ability to have all our data on our iPhones is really great.
Josh: The batch preference has probably been the thing we love most. When we started using Daylite and adding keywords, we weren’t specific about the different speaking events because we were newer to the program. If we were back on Daylite 5, it would take forever to go through and edit those keywords but now with Daylite 6 we can batch edit those keywords in our preferences so quickly. It turns what would have been a long task in Daylite 5 to something very quick in Daylite 6.
In Daylite 5, we found it a bit clunky to delegate things. In Daylite 6 it seems easier to go through the tasks in a pipeline and easily assign them to the right people. The little tweaks in Daylite 6 make it that much better. Applying pipelines in Daylite 6 also seems much smoother.
There’s probably a lot of features in Daylite 6 we haven’t taken full advantage of, but we’re always looking forward to what crazy improvements you guys are adding.
Josh: The number one thing Daylite has helped us with is efficiency. Whenever we’re talking to other firms, they have to dig through files or they don’t know the status of their cases. Most of the small firms don’t have the functionality of a CRM that Daylite provides like being able to check the status of cases, know who’s referred you business, where your business is coming from, and how many clients you have in the pipeline.
All that extra info really allows you the efficiency to be a smaller firm but still help more people. We’re able to help a lot more clients with the same amount of resources and we wouldn’t be able to do that without Daylite.
Josh: I think it’s more of a geographical expansion for us. Right now we focus on two main counties in Georgia and we’d really like to expand that. When we start moving to satellite offices, I think Daylite will be really beneficial to help the different offices communicate with each other. It’s easier to manage multiple offices with a tool like Daylite and that’s really where we see our company growing.
We’ve seen amazing growth in the last two years since we started – both with growing our team and client base. As far as clients we can help, we’ve been able to grow from managing a few a week to averaging almost 20 a week. We’ve seen amazing growth and Daylite has been a pivotal part of that success by allowing us to really ramp up our capacity and keep track of everything.
Josh: We hired the right people that had experience with growing. We also focus on making sure our customer experience is amazing. Having referral sources really understanding what you do is part of that. When people referred to you go back and tell them that you did a great job, they keep sending more business.
We do a lot of marketing and a lot of education for the public to make sure they know what we do. The education practice is probably one of the biggest hurdles for us – helping people know what options are out there. Once they know what we do, we’ve had great success with retaining them as customers. We also do some CEU events as well as public speaking to specific groups and education that is open to the public. That’s where we’ve been able to get a lot of our business.