Legal tech hasn’t really made a great deal of headway in most law offices.
As a law firm, your current and future clients have, however, become used to a certain level of technology in other services they use – from online banking to electronic medical records to ordering groceries on the web.
If your law firm wants to appeal to these more tech savvy individuals, it might be time to introduce a few simple upgrades to technologies you’re already using.
One thing to consider is demographics.
Your firm’s bread and butter clients today are likely ok with the status quo in terms of your current legal technology offerings, or lack thereof.
Looking ahead, however, your future clients, and future staffers, will be drawn from the millennial generation (born between 1981 and 1996), who might not see things the same way.
Retention of this demographic in law firms is notoriously elusive, and keeping them around as clients is just as tricky.
Mobilize your future clients with simple technology
A quick and easy way to attract a younger clientele right off the bat is to improve your web presence.
Investing in a website makeover is money well spent. A well-designed site that ranks high on Google is the way to a millennial’s heart.
Better yet, make your new website mobile friendly so it won’t look wonky – or worse, won’t even load – on a smartphone screen.
Adding an online appointment booking option like Setmore would be the icing on the cake.
In order to relay traffic to your site, try to have a regular presence on social media. Twitter is a good place to start since the short character count is less daunting.
Or go with what you’re comfortable with: if you’re already using a personal Facebook page, setting one up for the firm should be a cinch.
If you do opt for online appointment software, an added bonus is that it can interface with some of these web-based platforms to allow clients to book a consultation directly from, say, your Facebook page.
Face to Facetime
Most clients prefer meeting with their lawyer in person, versus phone consults or emails.
And with good reason: face-to-face meetings are essential in this line of work, where body language and tone are as important as testimony.
However, making time for visits to your office can eat into a client’s workday, potentially leading to lost wages. One great and cost-effective solution is to offer video consults.
Learn how to use the most popular platforms (the good news is they’re all free) and be ready to use the one your client is most comfortable with to avoid annoying and time-consuming technical glitches.
Your flexibility and tech-savvy will impress clients; the time you save is money in your pocket.
Importantly, you should see a reduction in cancellations or late arrivals – a persistent and pesky money-waster – as no one in possession of a smartphone and a cell signal will be able to use the excuse, “I couldn’t make it”.
Better billing projections
One of the biggest complaints from clients about their experiences with lawyers is poor communication about costs.
Nobody likes nasty surprises when they receive a bill, whether it’s for house renos, car repair, a restaurant meal, or legal fees.
Communication breakdowns about money are almost always the result of inaccurate projections of costs rather than shady dealings. But the client who feels like they’ve just been ripped off might not be inclined to see it that way.
For those who feel ready to dip their toes in the deeper waters of analytics, there are several legal technologies that can help firms better predict ongoing costs and communicate them “live” to their clients, keeping everyone abreast of what can often be an evolving situation.
Some firms are able to leverage these more accurate projections to profitably offer alternative fee arrangements to their rejoicing clients.
Digitory Legal is one company offering comprehensive legal fee analytics and predictions, particularly for complex litigation.
You don’t need to jump straight into expensive high tech solutions like artificial intelligence to be relevant in today’s increasingly technology-dependent market.
By introducing a few simple tweaks to your processes you can improve your image – and your bottom line.