5 Ways Law Firms Can Improve Customer Service with Technology
These stats appear to show that law firms are lacking in customer service skills:
- Fewer than 10% of clients who call a law firm will actually get to speak to a lawyer.
- More than 40% of people who leave a voicemail or fill out a web form wait two or three days before they hear back.
- 11% of callers hang up within 10 seconds of calling a law firm because they’re frustrated at not getting to speak with the person they ask for by name.
This is a quite a significant problem for law firms. But, as a result, presents the opportunity for firms to leverage customer service as a competitive advantage.
Much of the legal process is out of their control and in the end it is good customer service that will not only keep clients coming back, but also motivate them to recommend firms to others. In that regard, technology can help improve the service solicitors provide in a number of different ways.
Recent stories of conveyancing scams show that more needs to be done to protect law firm’s clients from potential cybersecurity breaches. While the breaches are not directly the fault of the law firms in questions, there are a number of simple technology solutions that could be put in place to counter these issues e.g. online bill paying or secure document delivery. These solutions are not just an added convenience for customers but also save a great deal of time and money for the firm. Clients simply securely log in to the solution from a PC, Tablet or Phone and access the information they need.
Law firms should start to embrace technology that gives clients a clearer window into their activity and presents information from a truly client-centric perspective. However, this needs to be more than just an archive. Instead, law firms need to provide an unimpeded view showing how they are working rather than just what has been done. How can this be done? By providing the following information:
Finances – real time updates of fees, invoice archives and project estimates
Case Tracking – real-time updates of ongoing cases
Personnel – directory of individual staff members who are working on the specific client’s project
Data Rooms – secure space to exchange documents and collection of emails exchanged between client and firm
CRM software is constantly evolving and can be used by law firms in a number of ways to manage their client relationships. Firms can keep detailed information on clients and thus tailor how they communicate with them. For instance, solicitors could link their calendar to the CRM software and get notifications to contact clients at certain times e.g. birthdays
Reduce Administration Time
Administration is a largely unavoidable reality in all businesses, but when firm’s solicitors are spending hours a day on administration, it cuts down their availability to clients.
In order improve efficiencies, law firms can use dedicated business process technology to reduce inefficiencies and give individuals more time to focus on their clients. Also, the other side of the coin is that technology in itself will reduce administration by using automation to reduce (and even eliminate) manual processes.
Collaborate with Clients
Law firms using collaboration tools (such as secure sharing software or online meeting tools) can now share information with clients a lot more efficiently and effectively. Meetings can be arranged quickly when decisions are needed urgently and it is easier for solicitors to involve other members of the company (or another company altogether) to provide clients with additional expertise.
Customer Service is Key to Growth
It doesn’t matter how great of a solicitor you are, if you want to continue to grow your firm, you must focus on customer service. Happy clients will keep coming back and will be more willing to refer your firm to others, and it isn’t that hard to make sure this happens. It’s just a matter of providing your clients with good customer service.