Want to improve client experience? Sign more clients? If your firm isn't immediately turning to technology as the solution, you're making a mistake.
In a Wolters Kluwer's "Future-Ready Lawyer" report, the majority of lawyers surveyed (78%) said that greater use of technology will be one of the most significant changes law firms will face in the future.
However, lawyers cited a lack of tech knowledge and organizational resistance as common barriers to implementing new technology.
If law firms want to remain competitive, adopting new technology is an inevitability. But the multitude of available software programs and digital tools can seem overwhelming, and in some cases, something to fight against. It shouldn’t be.
Here are four ways technology can accelerate your law firm's growth while improving the client experience.
1. Generate More Leads: Reach People Where and When They're Looking for You
Today, consumers expect instantaneous information and communication, and with online legal services like LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer, they expect it from their law firms, too.
Let’s start with how potential clients find your firm. By 2020, it’s predicted that consumers will spend more time online than watching TV. While most law firms know the importance of maintaining a strong digital presence by having a website and social media profiles, if you want to differentiate your law firm, you must do more.
Gone are the days when individuals just had marketing copy to judge a law firm by. Potential clients are looking at reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp and more to help them decide which firm to approach. Verify that these platforms have all of your information (like operating hours, a link to your website, and photos), respond to negative comments, and proactively ask for feedback. It’s an easy way to set yourself apart from the competition, and extends your reach without having to necessarily spend more money.
For plaintiff’s attorneys who are looking for clients that fit very specific case criteria, digital advertising also offers a more precise way of targeting your audience than traditional forms of marketing.
Using advanced algorithms on websites like Facebook and Google, you can target individuals in particular geographic areas by basic demographics (age, gender, race) as well interests and previous online behaviors. This includes people who previously visited your website, or searched for terms like "bleeding Xarelto" that suggest they may qualify for one of your lawsuits. Now you can reach them at the exact moment they’re looking for answers.
2. Sign New Clients Faster: From Intakes Questionnaires to Retainers
Digital tools don’t just help you reach more people, they also allow you to sign clients more efficiently.
Dynamic online questionnaires, customized by practice area and case type, can guide your intakes team to ensure they obtain the right information to determine whether or not someone has a claim.
But individuals no longer have to necessarily wait for a call center to open to see if they qualify for a lawsuit. They can complete online forms, powered by artificial intelligence, which will evaluate their potential claim for you. HurricaneLawyer.com, for example, collects information on visitors' property damage and insurance policies to assess if they have a claim before the individual picks up the phone.
Once it's clear an individual has a case, e-signature software, like DocuSign, allow your firm to easily send and receive retainers online. Now clients can sign up for a lawsuit anytime and from anywhere, without having to talk directly to someone or print and mail agreements.
By maximizing these technologies, law firms will differentiate themselves from firms who aren’t offering the same fast, client-friendly experience. It’s a win for your clients, and a win for your firm.
3. Reduce Operational Inefficiencies: Leverage Automation and Dashboards
For most businesses, their most expensive — yet valuable — assets are their employees. A staff that can produce higher-quality work in less time than competitors often translates to higher profits.
But if an employer doesn’t provide the right tools, a well-trained and hardworking team can still be seriously inefficient.
Due to the amount of regulatory compliance mandated by the legal profession, lawyers spend a lot of time managing administrative tasks rather than executing the valuable and specialized skills that they are trained to do.
Paying highly educated and experienced people to perform rote tasks is a waste of their time, and your money.
By implementing practice management software that automates processes — like pre-populated tasks, reminders, and deadlines for matters — not only does it save attorneys time and money, but it also decreases errors.
Using a program like Litify also enables firms to gain a more accurate understanding of firm productivity. Dynamic dashboards can help you identify your most efficient intake agents, and see which attorneys are obtaining the most in fees. Conversely, they can also see where employees are struggling and which areas of the business need greater attention and training.
4. Protect Your Data: Move to the Cloud
Protecting sensitive information is a necessity today. Older hardware and infrastructure can leave companies more susceptible to cyber attacks, data theft, and fraud.
More and more law firms are choosing to host files on cloud service providers, which allow more than one attorney to work on a case at once, without affecting security. Having your data in the cloud also gives you the ability to securely access your data from anywhere at any time.
What’s more, a cloud-based platform like Salesforce provides users with greater data protection than a small, internal IT team could offer. The most reputable cloud service providers offer security measures such as two-factor authentication, data backup and recovery, and 24/7 surveillance, all while meeting the highest cybersecurity standards. It’s a convenient and more secure method to accessing and protecting your data — and your clients' personal records.
What are you waiting for?
If you’re no longer content to wait on the sidelines of innovation, it’s time to learn about how Litify can transform your law firm. The platform offers all of the latest technological advantages one on single platform: real-time accessibility, resource management and efficiency, and security advantages. Talk with us today to learn more.