Litify’s referral network is one of the most game-changing yet underrated products in it’s repertoire. It can be tricky to master, but if leveraged properly, can help a law firm significantly manage and grow its referral business.
Some firms will choose to jump right in and set it up during their initial implementation. Some firms prefer to table it until a subsequent phase. Some firms never thought about it, but are now live and wondering what more they can do to optimize their referral business. Regardless of your situation, this article serves to explain what the LRN is, how it works, the benefits of integrating with the LRN and the considerations you should be aware of to make the best decision for your firm.
But first, a brief history of the Litify Referral Network:
The Litify Referral Network (or LRN, for short), was the first product that Litify developed, well before they made the decision to go full-blown practice management. It was initially developed to help Morgan & Morgan manage it’s outbound referral cases by creating a free portal for its referral partners to update cases in real time. As Litify introduced its intake and matter management products and began building its customer base, more firms began using the LRN to send (and receive) their referrals as well, and have seen some pretty incredible results. That said, although using the LRN can significantly change your referral business, many firms opt not to use it, or use it but not integrate it within Litify (the Salesforce side, that is).
Let’s quickly define the terms:
LRN- The Litify Referral Network, a free web portal that any firm can sign up for to send, receive and manage their referral cases. Litify- The paid Litify product, which includes intakes, matters, docrio, financials and more- all built on the Salesforce platform. LRN Integration- The act of connecting the LRN with Litify in a way that will sync your referral data, allow you to convert intakes/matters into referrals (and vice versa), and manage your referrals directly within Litify.
How the LRN will take your referral business to the next level:
When used in the right way, the LRN can have a significant impact on your referral business. Here are the main key areas that will see immediate improvement:
1️⃣ No more duplicate entry- in almost every firm I’ve worked with, firms who refer out cases need to re-type the facts of the case into another system (typically email) to send it over to a partner firm. With the LRN, you can convert an intake to a referral with the click of a button.
2️⃣ No more monster spreadsheets 👹! Referral updates happen in real time, so you can see what’s happening on your referrals at any moment instead of a ‘please-fill-this-out-with-an-update-for-all-cases-we’ve-ever-sent-you’ spreadsheet.
3️⃣ You will have transparency into your referral business like never before. Who is sending you the most referrals? Which of your partners respond the fastest (perhaps you want to send those the most pressing cases)? Which partners have the highest chance of signing up your referrals? And how much money are you collecting based on these cases that you’ve decided to refer out instead of rejecting?
Considerations for using the LRN
Given the postive benefits, it is important to note that the LRN is not for everyone. In my experience, I have come across three main reasons that give firms pause about adopting the LRN:
1️⃣ To use the system properly, you need your referral partners to have LRN accounts as well. It is free and fairly easy to set up an account, but it does require some guts to ask a partner firm to adopt new technology to maintain their referral relationship with you. [Note: It is technically possible to refer some cases through the LRN and refer others manually, but this will be very difficult to maintain and I do not recommend this approach.]
2️⃣ The LRN is, for the most part, hardcoded and leaves little room for customization. You will need to adopt their case types, statuses, and automated reminders. If you ask me, I think it’s probably a good thing as it maintains one universal referral language among anyone using the network (did you say motor vehicle accident? Sorry, I only handle automobile incidents at my firm).
3️⃣ Some features are still better in the LRN… remember, it was the first product that Litify built, and the Salesforce version of Litify Referrals was just built to sync up with it. As such, you may find yourself needing to switch back to the LRN occasionally.
Tips to Using the LRN in the Right Way
Once you’ve decided that the LRN is the way to go(👏 👏👏), here are some things that you should have in mind as you set it up for your firm:
1️⃣ Make sure that you have your questionnaires set up to route to a Referral Questionnaire if you decide that this is not a case for your firm. The referral questionnaire should be 1-3 nodes that simple show the questions/fields that are needed for the outbound referral (this article outlines those fields: Refer Out an Intake – Litify Help).
2️⃣ If you prefer to add the information you’ve already captured to that referral (aka, your questionnaire), add some automation to take your questionnaire output (there is a field called ‘Questionnaire Output’ that aggregates all of your questions and answers) and copy it into the ‘Description’ field.
3️⃣ Set expectations with your partners before you send them referrals. Have a discussion with them and make sure they know, at the very least:
👉 What the LRN is
👉 Why your firm is adopting it
👉 Why it will benefit their firm
👉 How to interact with the referrals you are sending them
👉 How they can send you referrals (remember, the data becomes more powerful if it’s used for all referrals, outbound and inbound).
👉 What expectations you have around their response times for new referrals
👉 What expectations you have around updating existing referrals
4️⃣ Stay on top of your referrals that were not accepted. If you see that a referral partner left a referral unanswered, or denied for reasons other than the quality of the case, send it out again! Second look referrals are brand new territory for many firms but can significantly increase the chances that your referral will be signed up. Make sure you are keeping an eye on those referrals, and have a plan for which firms to be sending your first-look referrals and which to send your second-look referrals.
Thanks to the Litify Referral Network, no claimant with a viable case should ever be denied for geographic, practice or bandwidth-related reasons. Leveraging the LRN to manage your referrals will help you sign more cases, grow your referral business, and find the right legal representation for all.