Now more than ever, building trusted client relationships and maintaining a solid reputation depends on delivery of outstanding and increasingly distinctive client experiences. Organisations are now servicing clients from a distance, and significantly reducing in-person communication. Therefore, now is the perfect time to rethink the approach to client experiences and service.
To rise to the challenge, firms are increasingly using technology to support their new ways of working. They’re empowering staff, improving client experiences, and driving the practice forwards.
Firms are exploring ways they can empower their people with data visibility to streamline key workflows and drive new levels of efficiency. By doing so, they can create those much-needed personalised client experiences. An experience that is faster, more responsive, and more familiar to their client base.
Adopting the right strategy and the right technology is pivotal in meeting new client needs and moving your firm forwards. A 2019 PwC survey found that eight of the top ten law firms identified technology as the key challenge to growth in the next two to three years.
There are five scenarios where law firms today should be looking to introduce efficiencies that enrich and differentiate client experiences through technology.
1. Earn trust in uncertain times
Workplace transformation and technology adoption has accelerated. Innovation is becoming a critical capability for the modern in-house legal function. But to deliver successful outcomes it’s essential to build a long-term strategy – one that leverages measurable business insights to make clear decisions.
Your clients need to trust the decisions you make. Your employees need to be trusted and empowered to make those decisions. Reduce silos and gain insights from data across the firm. This not only enables your employees to make better decisions faster but meet the needs of your clients proactively. Earning and building trust takes time. An intelligent platform that works across devices will help deliver a consistent approach to the right contact, with the right information at the right time. This will help to build solid client relationships and allow firms to differentiate from competitors.
2. Provide personalised client experiences
Clients value genuine working relationships. They also need to feel confident that the team representing them understand their requirements. Personalisation is essential to building lasting client relationships. However, currently face-to-face meetings and events have been put on hold. This means you need to consider other approaches to nurture client and working relationships.
The industry is seeing the shift to virtual work play out on LinkedIn, where engagement on the platform has increased. Understanding and learning about your clients and their challenges through a platform they are using everyday can help you transform your firm into a client-centric business.
Share your business insights across all your silos such as marketing, business development, and lawyers. This will help create better services and solutions. It will also enable you to create personalised experiences across all touch-points and provide better services that help clients as they need it or even before they realise they do.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 reduces silos by bringing together disparate data sets across your business to make informed decisions, faster. It covers all the critical areas for law firms and the entire client journey such as Marketing, Business Development, Finance and Operations and HR.
3. Understand your data and be agile to client needs
A recent survey by The Law Society’s Law Management Section suggests law firms are forecasting a 10-20 percent drop in revenue for the 2020/2021 financial year. Data holds the key to making timely, considered decisions. However, it is important to bring together data silos across legacy systems. This will provide a clear single client view.
One of the UK’s largest listed legal businesses, DWF, recently broke with tradition by going digital first.
“We had to be brave to step away from proven technology that the legal sector uses, but we had to in order to take DWF forward and give our clients the service they want today. By adopting this system, we are taking case management to the next level and transforming how all our staff work…It’s enabled our employees to see a complete picture of their clients and make informed decisions. That’s good for both parties.”
Samantha Charman, Head of Applications and Development, DWF
Microsoft Power Platform enables your firm to analyse data, build agile solutions, automate processes and surface knowledge at speed. The platform allows your firm to meet changing client needs in an agile way as well as empower your employees to make faster decisions.
4. Automate repetitive tasks to free up time for your employees
Efficiency is key for sustained success across organisations and industries. Especially to become more agile and resilient. Therefore, automation has become a high priority for law firms. It can help reduce the time-sapping administrative processes found in the legal industry.
The Allen and Overy Legal Benchmarking Report 2020 states that “the proliferation of legal technologies means that it is more feasible than ever to automate and streamline legal processes.” Yet only a small percentage of firms have invested resources into building a strategy in this area.
Robotic process automation (RPA) is gaining momentum to free up employees’ time to focus on higher–value work. Alongside this comes a growing demand for turning insights into opportunities and automating daily activities.
Put simply: the more you reduce unnecessary admin the more time you have for your clients.
5. Provide confidence in data security
Data breaches have grown in intensity in 2020. The National Cyber Security Centre handled over 700 security incidents last year, compared to 658 in 2019.
Cybercriminals are more likely to take advantage of vulnerable businesses who have been forced to use legacy technology remotely. Therefore, clients need more assurance that their data is secure at all times.
With a cloud-based technology platform built on Microsoft Azure, your firm and your clients can have the confidence that their data is safe and protected, without compromising on anytime access for all approved staff.
Discover the way to make every client interaction count
Remote working doesn’t need to be a barrier to creating enriched, differentiated client experiences. It’s also likely that new measures of remote working and flexibility will continue to be expected by your clients and your employees, creating a hybrid working environment.
By making every client interaction count through adopting the right technology and supporting the best talent, your firm will be able to increase competitiveness, lower operational risk and truly embrace modern ways of working.
Find out more
About the author
Craig is a Microsoft Business Applications specialist aligned to the Professional Services and Legal sector. He has over 15 years’ experience in the software and services industry and is focussed on helping law firms through their workplace transformation journey. Craig is passionate about helping firms realise their strategic goals and understanding how the latest software innovations layered with data and AI can add value through the delivery of outstanding and increasingly distinctive client experiences.