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The Innovation of Litigation.

Lessons from Legal Service Companies (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this blog post series we told you that clients are moving from traditional law firms to innovative law service companies. In order to keep your clients, you need to know what matters to them. Various surveys show that clients want better customer service and lower costs. This post focuses on how you can integrate customer service technologies into your practice. 

Do you remember the last time you had excellent customer service? I can’t. If someone asked your client this question, could you honestly expect them to say that they received excellent service from you? If you aren’t providing instant updates of their cases, providing total cost guarantees (let alone a budget), the answer is probably no. But don’t fret, there are solutions to these issues. 

  1. Communicate with Your Clients and Do It Often

We all know that we have an ethical duty to update our clients early and often, but for the most part, we just update our clients when we can. And even though you know that you are working on your clients’ cases, they don’t. If you are aiming for excellent service, you should be updating your clients during each step in the litigation process. Does this sound like a daunting task? It doesn’t have to be.

There are several technologies that can help you not only manage your client communications, but make it excellent. For example, a new service called Case Status will provide your clients with real time case updates as you accomplish a task via a mobile app. Case Status can be fully integrated with case management software Clio and integration with Needles is coming soon. As a bonus, Case Status also allows your clients to refer you to their friends.

If you don’t have Clio or Needles, there are other ways to update your clients automatically. For instance, if you use Practice Panther for case management then you can integrate it with Zapier to automatically send emails to clients after certain tasks are completed. (For other automated function, see Zapier Zaps for Lawyers).

  1. Provide Clients with Access to Their Files 24/7

This advice is related to step number one. Most case management software products offer client portals so that your clients can access their files at any time and any place. This transparency will put them at ease if they can access their documents as needed. Client portals can also be enabled to support document uploads from your client. This saves you and your clients both time and money.

  1. Provide Clients with Certainty

One of the qualities that sets UnitedLex apart from its competitors is its total project cost guarantee. This guarantee provides UnitedLex clients with an upfront cost for projected legal services. While part of UnitedLex’s guarantee is lower prices than traditional law firms, lower costs are not required. According to Keith Lipman, a thought leader in legal operations, you just need to provide certainty. How do you provide this certainty? 

If you are able, provide your clients with a budget. This service is denied to as many as 45 percent of clients according to a recent survey. Clearly, providing a budget is one of the easiest ways to set yourself apart from your peers, but this may be easier said than done, especially for cases that will involve lengthy litigation.

This is where investing in data driven technology, such as legal analytic, early case assessment, and e-discovery software products will put you one step ahead of your competition. With these products you will be able to provide data to your clients that make sense and will hopefully provide the certainty that they desire. We will discuss this more in Part 3 of this series.

About Trial by Tech

Trial by Tech is a blog brought to you by Baylor Law’s Executive LL.M. in Litigation Management—the first program in the nation designed exclusively for lawyers who aspire to direct effective litigation strategy, control electronic discovery, leverage technology, manage a team, and lead their company’s or firm’s efforts to manage a high-volume, high-stakes docket.

Here, you will find focused discussions on the #innovation of litigation and the intersection of #legaltech and #litigation. If you like what you are reading, many of the posts are authored by experts from the LL.M. program. To learn more, click here.

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