Legal Technology | 3 min
September 17, 2021
Clients are embracing the digital shift. They now expect a better service, often for less, with technology playing a leading role. Expectations have changed following their experiences with other service industries, such as, insurance and banking.
Clients want technology systems that face them, that they can engage with and that fit their lifestyle. The Internet and its way of helping people conduct business across all aspects of their lives means that access to information about a firm – good, bad, or indifferent – is supplanting local word of mouth, as is the ability to source alternatives to their local firm, regardless of location.
Clients can now select firms online using Google reviews or Trust Pilot to guide them with recommendations about a firm. This provides law firms the opportunity to engage with reviewers, and show potential clients that they not only provide a good legal service but that they care about customer service. This is a paradigm shift in the way clients view law firms, a firm needs to come out of the ivory tower,engage and become involved with clients and accommodate the preferred method of communication.
Even now some law firms are not investing in technology, despite the rug having been pulled from under them by the pandemic. Law firms must consider the effect on their bottom line and for those investing in innovation. They can count the ways in which cloud working, now readily available to firms of all sizes, enables reliable access to integrated and powerful case management systems in a way which helps save money and increases profit margins.
One of the most evident technological client-facing changes involves the use of online client portals which can be held separate or be integrated within a firm’s website. A web portal can incorporate secure online document sharing capabilities and enables clients to self-serve 24/7. Clients can book appointments, pay bills online, send instructions, read their case documents and comment on them. All this without coming near the office.
If a law firm is concerned about the thought of clients self-serving through a web portal, consider this: it’s a reliable, fast-track way to client satisfaction as it removes the perpetual complaint that law firms don’t keep clients up-to-date. In real time the legal team can make documents and correspondence available to a client through a secure platform and the client can read them at their leisure.
Technology is also a great way to acquire new clients. Previously, good personal service which lead to strong word-of-mouth was required to increase local work. Now, alongside this, there is the ability to connect with prospects globally. Interaction and collaboration on documents online is accessible, and the use of Zoom or Microsoft Teams should be integrated with a law firm’s case management system to enable communication face-to-face from anywhere in the world.
Written by: Gareth Walker, Chief Executive Officer of LEAP UK
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