Law and Customer Service Automation: What You Need to Know
Automation is a major buzzword in the business world, particularly when it comes to customer service. Today’s most successful companies are using automation tools, technology, and A.I. (artificial intelligence) to continually improve and streamline their business practices, allowing them to serve more customers and grow at a faster rate than ever before.
But what does all of this automation mean for lawyers? While automation is still a new concept for most law practices, its popularity is growing – and for good reason. Leveraging automation is one of the most effective ways to grow your practice and work with more clients.
Here are three ways embracing automation for your customer service processes can help support the growth of your law practice.
The right automation tools can save you tons of time (and create a better experience for your clients)
Perhaps the most game-changing thing embracing automation will do for you and your practice is give you your time back.
As you know, not all of your time as a lawyer is spent in the courtroom. The tasks that your firm needs to get done to make sure your business runs smoothly like responding to potential client inquiries, drafting contracts, training your support staff, and contract review take a lot of time – time you could be better spending serving your clients.
But with automation, you can significantly slash the time you’re spending on those tasks, get your time back, and put it towards the work that really matters – providing your clients with the best possible service and experience. You can set up an autoresponder with stock email templates to answer your most common client inquiries. You can use a data mining tool to find specific information during contract review or discovery. You can create training videos for your support staff and upload them to a digital platform, eliminating the need to spend hours training every new hire.
The more you automate the different processes in your practice, the more time you have to spend with your clients, which will create a significantly better experience.
Chat boxes can help gather information and streamline the customer service process
Many of your practice’s potential clients are going to come straight from your website. The Friedman Group reports that 76% of people looking for a lawyer start their search online.
But when potential clients visit your website, some of them are going to have questions. Maybe they’re unsure of whether you’re the right fit for the kind of legal support they need or maybe they have questions about your fees. The point is, they’re going to have specific inquiries – and if those potential clients can’t find the answers they’re looking for on your website, most of them aren’t going to pick up the phone and call your practice and ask; they’re going to look elsewhere.
Adding a chat box helps you address potential client questions in real time, providing them with a more positive customer service experience. According to Harris Research, “53% of customers would prefer to use online chat before calling a company for support”. This greatly increases your chances of converting more leads from your websites into actual clients.
Utilizing a Chat Box
So, for example, let’s say a potential client was browsing your website. After a set amount of time on the homepage, a chat box would pop up, greet the client, and let them know that chat is available for any questions they might have. The client can get their questions answered in real time as they browse the website and the CSR managing the chat box (or a customer service A.I. program, if you wanted to further automate the process) can overcome any obstacles and book the potential client on a discovery call. They can then upload all the information from the chat into your CSR so you have everything you need to speak to your potential clients.
Automating the process of answering customer questions while they’re browsing your website will greatly increase the number of leads you can convert from your website, which will bring a significant amount of business into your practice.
Word of caution: Don’t automate your legal advice
There are a lot of exciting things going on in the world of automation that will help you streamline your business. But there’s one thing you should never automate – and that’s legal advice.
You can use automation to respond to the most common inquiries you receive from your clients, like questions about your fee structure or what documentation they’ll need to provide to retain your services. But when it comes to dispensing actual legal advice, that’s something you’ll want to save for speaking about in person.
Automating the process of giving legal advice to clients is a major liability; if you’re sending stock responses advising your clients without actually reading the specifics of a case, you run the risk of dispensing the wrong advice – which can come back to haunt you later on in the process.
Save automation for non-legal tasks (like data entry, customer service, and lead management) and manage the actual legal work the old-fashioned way.
Automation, when used correctly, can help you grow your law practice, streamline your processes, and provide better service to your clients. All you have to do is embrace it.