Every element of our lives has been impacted by technology, including the legal industry. In order to improve the client experience, law firms are employing a variety of tools to help them with the effort. Technology has made it simpler for law firms to offer their clients efficient and effective services, from communication tools to online portals. This blog article will go over ten ways technology can enhance the client experience at a law firm.
Communication is a major obstacle for clients who work with law firms. Customers want to know how their case is progressing and that their attorneys will be available to them if they have any questions or concerns. Thanks to a variety of affordable solutions, it is now easier than ever for law firms to offer their clients a variety of communication channels to meet their needs.
Law firms can significantly improve communication with clients by implementing technologies like video conferencing, chatbots, texting services, virtual meetings, and messaging applications. Clients and attorneys can communicate more conveniently and easily as a result of these communication tools, which can result in more client retention and satisfaction as well as fewer missed meetings or delays brought on by scheduling issues.
To interact with clients, law firms can employ methods like video conferencing, texting services, and other online collaboration software. For video, we have found most law firms prefer Zoom and Microsoft Teams because of their common use among consumer and business clients.
Email is still a dominant way of communication with clients, and law firms can use CRM software to manage all their client interactions in one single platform. This helps them respond to inquiries promptly, keep clients engaged, and easily follow up on requests. Such technology allows firms to automate communication, and track interactions and case progress, which results in a faster response time and, overall, stronger relationships. Without the need for time-consuming and inconvenient in-person encounters, these tools allow lawyers to stay in touch with their clients.
Law firms can also use team management software to improve communication between lawyers, which can help legal teams work more productively and efficiently together to share information securely and improve communication. While some firms are using solutions like Slack (we do), most deploy Microsoft Teams. Whichever solution is being used, these instant communication tools are essential for collaboration especially with firms that have remote teams.
Chatbots can provide immediate assistance to clients, even outside of office hours. They also respond to inquiries quickly, reduce the wait time for a response, and streamline communication between clients and a law firm. They can also be programmed to recognize individual clients, which allows personalized interaction and responses. This personalized approach can build a stronger relationship betweent the law firm and client.
Texting services like HeyMarket are also valuable tools for law firms looking to communicate more efficiently with clients. These tools can be integrated with your firm’s existing CRM or case management software and offer features like message scheduling, automated replies, and analytics. They can be used to confirm appointments times, request documents, qualify prospective clients, and help lawyers meet deadlines.
Online portals, such as SimpleClient, offer clients a safe environment where they can view case materials, follow the development of their cases, and get in touch with their attorneys.
Clients can more easily stay up to speed on their case via online portals without requiring frequent updates from their attorneys. Also, they give customers access to their case information around-the-clock, which can be helpful for those who have hectic schedules or live in various time zones.
Online portals like SimpleClient allow clients to see case papers, track the progress of their cases, and communicate with their attorneys in a secure setting. With the use of these portals, clients can stay informed about their cases without needing frequent updates from their lawyers. Clients can quickly follow the development of their case, upload required documents, and get in touch with their attorney by being given access to a secure online site where they can see their case information.
Law firms can use automation to streamline time-consuming operations like responding to new leads via emails or text messages, auto scheduling initial consultations, document generation, case management, administrative activities, and billing.
Automatic systems not only improve processes and increase productivity but also lower the possibility of mistakes (I once received a contract from a lawyer with the previous business’s name in the doc) and discrepancies. This allows lawyers to focus more of their time on sophisticated legal work while also providing clients with accurate and timely information regarding their cases.
Many of our clients use automation to create contracts and other legal documents, which can reduce the time it takes to create documents by up to 90%. This allows attorneys to concentrate on more complex legal work and give clients a quicker turnaround.
Another technological advancement that is revolutionizing the legal sector is artificial intelligence (AI). AI can assist lawyers with data analysis, legal research, and pattern and trend detection in legal situations.
AI is really great at identifying trends and using an AI-based analytics solution for your law firm can provide insights that you may not have readily identified. For example, analysis of your accounting systems can reveal your most profitable matters and clients. It can also point out trends like seasonality in your matters or frictions that you can plan against.
Additionally, AI, specifically tools like ChatGPT, can serve as inspiration on client communications. For example, we have used ChatGPT to generate 10 open ended questions to help identify opportunities in conversations with CEOs of small businesses. When prompted to provide open ended sales questions of Saas businesses, ChatGPT output the following:
Lawyers can use tools like this to inspire questions that help them identify potential matters that they can help their clients with. ChatGPT can also be used to help generate client update emails, marketing copy and many other types of content.
Using a comprehensive product like legal practice management software, law firms may efficiently manage their daily business. Matter management, time tracking, billing, document management, and task automation are just a few of the functions that these systems offer. These features can help law firms optimize their processes and enhance customer satisfaction.
Practice management software can also help maintain compliance with the local bar rules, especially when it comes to trust accounting and client privacy. These tools are specifically designed to not only help with common law firm workflows, but also to help comply with the Rules of Professional Conduct and other bar rules. Many solutions have automated ways of checking for conflicts of interest, protecting client privacy, and assisting with trust accounting. The two solutions we see most of our clients use are Clio and MyCase. However, there are several other solutions out with a variety of competing features.
For some quick tips on how to choose the right solution for you, watch our video on this very subject; How to choose the right legaltech for your law firm.
Law firms may handle projects more effectively with the aid of project management software, ensuring that they are finished on schedule and on budget. This type of software can also give clients regular updates and progress reports, increasing openness and confidence. While some practice management solutions offer a project management component, many innovative firms use alternative project management methodologies such as agile or kanban to increase their velocity and reduce missed deadlines. These applications allow law firms to create and monitor projects, establish due dates, and assign responsibilities. By maintaining a clear and effective process and meeting deadlines, this can enhance the client experience.
Another technological advancement that can enhance the client experience at a legal practice is mobile apps. Clients can contact their attorneys, access case information, and get case updates all from their mobile devices thanks to mobile apps.
Mobile apps are particularly useful for clients who are always on the go, as they allow clients to stay informed about their case, regardless of their location. Mobile apps also provide clients with a quick and easy way to communicate with their lawyers, which can help improve client satisfaction and trust.
Mobile apps offer innovative methods to provide quicker client response times and more effective communication. One example of mobile apps that can enhance the client experience are virtual receptionist apps, which can answer client calls, make appointments, and use AI to provide clients with individualized and effective communication, enhancing the overall client experience. Other apps that law firms can use to improve their operations and stay ahead of the curve include:
Cloud computing is another piece of technology that can improve a law firm’s client experience. Lawyers can access case data and documents using cloud computing from any location, at any time.
Many modern platforms have been developed with the goal of keeping client information and case documents easily accessible but safe from prying eyes. Convenience and data redundancy are the biggest benefits of cloud based solutions. Additionally, clients can view their case information whenever they need to and feel confident knowing that their most important information is secure.
Creating a virtual law office that enables lawyers to operate from any location and offers clients more flexible meeting options is one innovative method to leverage cloud computing. By employing cloud computing to set up a virtual office, law firms can give clients more convenient access to their lawyers and reduce the need for in-person meetings. Virtual law offices have a secure client portal where clients can view information about their cases and get in touch with their attorneys. This provides clients with a more comfortable and flexible experience while also upholding the greatest level of security for their case information.
Compliance tools are most beneficial to law firms who serve business clients in certain industries. However, tools like Complius (one of our clients) can help lawyers manage their client’s risk and make sure that they are always in compliance with a variety of regulatory bodies.
This type of software can also assist law firms in monitoring regulatory developments and ensuring that their client’s policies and procedures are up to date. This can assist law firms in offering clients better services, increasing client trust and deepening the relationship for longer lifetime value. Law firms can educate clients about regulatory changes and assist them in remaining compliant by employing a compliance portal which gives clients access to a range of compliance services, such as regulatory notifications, webinars, and toolkits. This type of portal can improve the client experience and offer clients more value by giving them quick access to compliance information.
All sizes and types of law firms require the use of legal research tools. These types of tools provide lawyers with access to a variety of legal materials, including case law, laws, regulations, and legal opinion. These resources are essential for lawyers to stay current on legal changes, which can help them provide their clients high-quality legal advice.
Legal research tools save time, increase efficiency, and provide lawyers with access to a wide range of legal resources. They allow lawyers to conduct thorough, comprehensive research on legal issues to provide well-informed legal advice to clients. Some examples of legal research tools include LexisNexis and Fastcase.
Legal research tools can help law firms find relevant case law quickly. One unique way to use these types of tools is by creating a research database that allows clients to search for information on their own. This empowers clients and gives them greater control over their legal matters. Law firms can also use legal research tools to streamline their own research processes. For example, Casetext, a legal research platform, uses AI to provide lawyers with case law. This reduces the time, resources, and costs associated with legal research.
The customer experience has changed along with every other facet of the legal sector due to technology. Using cutting-edge technological solutions including effective communication channels, online portals, automation, artificial intelligence, mobile apps, and cloud computing allows law firms to offer their clients efficient and effective services. A law firm’s ability to generate a profit is essential to its survival and expansion. Automation can help keep head count manageable by increasing the entire team’s capacity through elimination of rote administrative tasks.The increased capacity can be spent on business development and marketing activities.
Deploying the right technology will also help law firms to increase client loyalty and satisfaction by the client experience. The increased client satisfaction will lead to a stellar reputation and more referrals. In the end, law firms that adopt technology will be better equipped to compete in a legal landscape that is continuously changing and to offer the finest legal services to their clients.
Finally, before trying out a new tech solution, make sure you really know how you intend to use it. When lawyers buy solutions thinking that it’s just going to organize everything in their office, they underutilize the software. I’ve come across many clients who, instead of operating at maximum efficiency, are really only using 10% of a software’s capabilities, while paying for 100% percent of the value. So before you buy any new legal tech solution, make sure you know how you plan on using it to find your workflow.
At ONE400, we are proud to be leaders in law firm growth. Our team of professionals helps lawyers and law firms craft comprehensive marketing strategies, implement solid operational processes and deploy technology to accelerate growth. Through our diverse team of experts, we can help with everything from business consulting, product development,website development and the latest digital marketing techniques for acquiring relevant prospects. If you have any questions about the components of your law firm marketing, product or growth strategy, please do not hesitate to contact us to learn more about how we can help.