Customer experience might sound like marketing speak to a profession that has traditionally relied on in-person relationship management and word-of-mouth reputation for business development, but that attitude is out of date. The legal profession is undergoing enormous change thanks to digital transformation and automation and there are a number of important tools that small law firms need if they want to compete on customer experience (and they should).
Client relationship management software for legal companies is designed to help law firms centrally control all business development and client relationship functions, including scheduling meetings and follow-ups, tracking and segmenting revenue, and much more. The objective of CRM is to automate every facet of client prospecting and retention and make it easier for firms to generate leads, understand who they are doing business with, and communicate seamlessly with these people for a better customer experience and a more efficient business model for the firm.
This software is becoming increasingly common at firms of all sizes, and there are many reputable legal CRM providers serving law firms around the world, from startups to established outfits. The bottom line, however, is that if you want to compete in an era of digital transformation, a CRM should form the foundation of your customer experience.
Video Conferencing Software
Video conferencing software includes things like Zoom, but there are other options as well that are specifically designed for the legal profession and which are accessible for small law firms. Legaler, for example, allows clients to meet with their lawyers without the need to download video conferencing applications. Legaler makes use of end-to-end encryption so that all of the information you exchange with clients is secure and ensures attorney-client privilege.
Other options include GoToMeeting and Webex Meetings. Video conferencing software has become the norm in the legal profession over the last few years, and certainly over 2020, as more people choose to pursue legal services remotely. This represents both an opportunity and a potential challenge for law firms, as it is incumbent upon lawyers to make sure that client communications are safe and private.
Online Payment Capabilities
While you can opt for standard payment processing options like PayPal and others that are used across industries, there are options that are specifically geared towards law firms of all sizes. LexCharge is a popular option because it helps bridge the gap between payment processing and the most popular legal CRM. LexCharge includes built-in capabilities for managing accounts, disbursements, retainers and trust payments.
Other options include LawPay, Headnote and Authorize.net. The legal profession has a reputation for being stuck in past, especially small firms, but the ability to pay online is expected by modern clients and something any small firm needs to implement to remain competitive.
Marketing Automation Software
Any modern marketing manager knows that you need marketing automation software in order to make campaigns more targeted and therefore effective. Marketing automation helps you understand your target market better, tailor your marketing material to them, results in better leads, and ends up increasing your ROI.
Marketing automation, on the whole, improves the rate at which you find, convince and onboard new clients. It has become an integral part of business development for small law firms over the last several years and, when integrated with your CRM, provides a powerful tool for automating a steady stream of new prospects and clients.
Email Marketing List
An email marketing list might seem like something that is better suited to eCommerce than legal services, but using an email service to keep your clients abreast of new blog content, offers, or information and developments that are material to the kind of law you practice can be an important part of a small law firm’s customer experience strategy. Not only that, but email lists are a good way to collect valuable customer data to feed into your marketing automation efforts that can help you better understand how to pursue the kind of leads you are after.
One example might be using your email marketing list to see what kind of content and information people are most attracted to and end up clicking on. Knowing this can inform your blog and content strategy moving forward, helping you produce more useful content for the kinds of clients you are trying to attract.
The legal profession, like all white-collar professions, is in flux. Digital transformation is making major changes to the traditional, largely manual and face-to-face business model and it sink or swim for smaller firms. Some of the tech tools involved in making the switch require up-front investments that can seem exorbitant, especially if you have a business model that is still working for you but, over time, they can pay dividends as legal work continues to become a much more automated and digital affair.