‘Customer excellence’ is having its day in the sun. A phrase that contemplates the provision of excellent services to a loyal customer base might seem more at home in hospitality than in the legal industry. That is, until you consider the 2017 report by LexisNexis which noted an alarming disconnect between legal professionals and those of the clients they pur- port to serve.

Clients are almost universally unhappy with the current state of legal services and their list of demands is growing as fast as competition within the legal industry.
The growing discontent has largely been met with deaf ears. While innovation expert Nick Skillicorn defines innovation as “turning an idea into a solution that adds value from a customer’s perspective”; the legal sector has been criticised for its stubborn adherence to the existing delivery structure – one that barely contemplates customer experience.

Legal technologies have stepped in to mediate the disconnect, sparking growth in Software as a Service (SaaS) and AI-driven tech as legal providers look to the future to gain a competitive edge.

Here’s how legal tech can help legal service providers create and nurture a culture of customer excellence:

1 Improving communications
Legal tech is well placed to improve the quality and quantity of the communications taking place between lawyers and their clients. Tailored automation of the intake process, for example, prompts clients to provide the information required – nothing more, nothing
less. Thereby providing your clients with quality communications from the outset.

Automation platforms, like AdaptingLegal, also support clients throughout the legal process with secure 24/7 access to self-service products, up-to-date documents and file information. This ultimately improves communication, while reducing the communicative burden on you to update your clients via email or phone.

2 Increasing cost efficiency
Automation of the legal intake process reduces the number of hours your staff spend entering data on your client files. The information collected can then be pulled into templates, without requiring your support staff to duplicate their efforts by having them enter the client data into various systems.

By having a computer do in seconds what might take you or your support staff minutes (or hours – depending on the size of your business), you’re improving cost efficiencies for both you and your clients. This means clients aren’t paying a premium for processes that can be easily automated, while freeing up lawyers to focus on what’s important for their clients – working on their legal issues.

In the current legal climate where clients are demanding increased value, focusing billing efforts on work that can’t be automated is bound to satisfy even your most demanding and cost-conscious clients.

3 Solving business challenges
Another source of discontent for legal customers is that they want their lawyers to provide solutions to their business problems. Lawyers, however, tend to see their role in a fundamentally different light – and provide advice for their clients to convert into solutions.

One way this gap can be bridged is through the establishment of stronger business partnerships between lawyers and their corporate clients. This is complicated by lawyers not necessarily having the requisite depth of understanding about their clients’ businesses to provide the solutions the clients so desperately hope for.

Communicating with your clients about their wishes in this regard and providing them with a secure space to share additional information about their businesses is the first step towards bridging this gap.

4 Promoting accuracy
Harnessing the power of automation promotes accuracy within your legal processes. The information about your clients in your system will be more predictably correct because it has been sourced directly from the client, not re-entered once or twice by you or your staff.

Your automated legal processes will be reliably accurate down to the minutiae details. You no longer need to rely on your memory to change specific aspects of a contract template. Instead, the automated template will act as a checklist. Moreover, the template will always be up-to- date, so there’s no need to worry about which version of the template you should be using.

In today’s competitive market, legal service providers that pioneer the change from the traditional legal service model towards a model that promotes customer excellence will end up ahead. Legal technologies, like AdaptingLegal, that leverage user-friendly platforms to reduce the administrative burden on lawyers can make this switch easier on those involved.