One of the most effective ways of paring down your list even further is to take advantage of the free demonstrations that many companies offer. Here are 3 tips to get the most out of those demos.
Step 1. Build your firm’s wish list (now)
Before you start, sit down with a few people from different areas in your firm – from reception to leadership – to assess what it is that they would like their software to do. Look for problems they face that software might be able to solve. Here are a few questions you could ask:
- Are there any instances in your current workflow where you have to enter the same information twice? Or copy/paste information from one location to another?
- Which types of reports or information would make your job easier?
- What do you spend most of your time doing? Are there tools that might help you get these things done faster? Any current practices that could be automated?
- Where do you most often see human errors in creating documents or updating records?
- What software issues are causing delays and bogging down productivity?
- In general, what are some things that would help you do your job a little better?
Step 2. Come with questions
Based upon your wishlist, you know the things that are important to you. The most valuable piece of advice I can give you is to ask the product expert to show you how those things work. Whenever possible, use an open ended question. “Show me how we would do this.” “How would that work with our data?” In my experience, the best demos I’ve given were when our customers came with questions. It opens up dialog between you and the product expert. Take a look at some recent thoughts on the the importance of ROI, and he has included some great questions to add to your arsenal.
Step 3. Don’t go it alone
Changing case management software is asking everyone in your firm to make a major change, and likely do it while they keep juggling their already busy workload. The easiest way to facilitate this process is to build buy-in around the choice from the beginning. One of the things we always recommend you have is to have your most vocal staff members join you for demos.
We’ve found that by including them in the initial decision, you will usually have a much smoother onboarding process later on. It also helps take the burden off of you to catch everything being presented. The most vocal detractors often ask questions you may not have thought about!
Searching for legal case management software is incredibly time-consuming. A little preparation and asking the right questions will help you make the most of your investment. It may seem overwhelming now, but if you come in prepared, you’ll be surprised by how quickly you can weed out the winners from the losers. Best of luck in your search!
Mary-Sara Camerino is the Chief Operating Officer of GrowPath.
With a strong background in high-tech product vision and marketing, operational strategy, project management, and workforce planning, Mary-Sara has a robust and enviable history helping to build and fortify both start-up and large established organizations and launch new products that have thrived in the marketplace.