Friday, July 10, 2015

Researching new software options can be a daunting task. Learn where to start!

Buying Software? Start By Evaluating Service!


You can practically hear your office hum with productivity when everyone is working – diligently plugging away. You strive to hear that sound every day, but little interruptions can stop productivity in its tracks. That’s one of the things that keeps firms from buying or updating their software. Anytime you start using new software, update to a new version, or even start to use new features in a program, you’ll have questions you want to ask an expert. Not to mention the panic you would feel if your computer or network crashes and you need to get everything back to the way it was. At that moment, having an expert on your team, ready to tackle the problem, is priceless.

You want your concerns understood and a solution presented to you within a reasonable amount of time. You don’t want to wait for an email response, wait on hold for 30 minutes before talking to someone, or end a conversation feeling you haven’t been helped. When evaluating practice management software, customer service is often the last thing on your mind, because you don’t need it right now. But when you have questions, you want to be sure that you can count on your software’s customer service.

Here are a few questions you should ask yourself before you buy.

  1. Who in my office will use the software the most?

    While managing partners are typically the ones who finalize the purchasing decision, they typically are not the ones who use the software most often. In order to purchase the best software solution for your firm, talk to those who will be your most frequent users – paralegals, support staff, billing managers, and practice administrators. They will be in the software every day, so discuss what they need, and make sure they know what resources are available and how to access them.

  2. Is support or training included?

    It is easy to assume that when you purchase software, support and training will automatically be included in that cost. However, this is not the case for all software. Know the resource options available. Can you call in for free, at least for several months, to ask questions on using the software even if there is nothing wrong? Are there manuals, online help articles, training videos, and webinars? More importantly, are they thorough, easy to understand, helpful resources, or are they a waste of your time?

  3. What is their reputation for service?

    If you want to find non-biased opinions on legal software, speak to your local Bar Association for their opinions on various software options. You can also check out legal technology blogs, review sites, and newsletters, such as TechnoLawyer, Capterra, and Legaltech News. If you still want more input on the reputation of a certain software provider, ask other law firms and see what software they’re using and how they would rate the software’s customer support. Going to one of these three different resources will provide you with valuable information to make an informed decision.


    This content is an abridged version of Buying Software? Start By Evaluating Service! by Tabs3 Software. To download the original white paper, visit

By Guest Blogger: Tabs3 Software