Advancements in technology have been synonymous with advancements in the world of law for decades now, but never before has that been more prevalent. Over the course of nearly two years, many industries have adapted to the challenges brought on by the coronavirus and have grown to be more digital. This can absolutely be said about the legal industry.
But despite technology and law growing in conjunction with one another, many older law and litigation support firms can be resistant to that change. Whether these firms simply fell behind or did not wish to learn about the new technology, it can’t be said, but the past year has proven one thing: technology is changing, whether one likes it or not. Firms either have to get with the times or slip between the cracks.
These days, clients expect a few key things from their firm of choice: digital platforms, a focus on client experience and communication, and easier access to documents/data.
“Businesses that are best suited to thrive in this new reality are those who are embracing digital and meeting clients where they are searching,” Ben Patterson from Google says. “This would mean ensuring that you are discoverable and reachable on the tools (such as Google my Business) in which potential clients are using for their research. Therefore, making sure that your information is up to date and accurate is vital.”
These days, clients aren’t finding legal firms by opening the newspaper or yellow pages. They are doing it through Google searches. It doesn’t matter how well-educated the staff at a particular firm are, it doesn’t matter the array of services they have. If their poor digital presence lands them three pages back, clients aren’t going to find them. Ensuring a site is easy to find is half the battle.
Another part of that battle is making sure that website is easily navigated. If a client is searching for a certain area of practice, it shouldn’t take them more than a few clicks to find what they’re looking for. Even more importantly, clients should be able to find contact methods without thinking. If important information is hidden between a plethora of dropdown menu and tags, clients will be less likely to stick it out. Even if it isn’t true, a poor site experience implies to a client that the customer service will be just as poor.
The same story extends to attorneys looking for a litigation support service. It should be just as easy to find a court reporter as clients expect finding a lawyer to be. Attorneys don’t want to spend ages searching for the service they require to support their clients—everything should be laid out in a clean, concise way with all the information clients could ever need. Attorneys should be able to access their casework easily, whether through a site login or an email.
“A website’s navigation can sell or turn away a potential client,” Lloyd Gronich, an expert from Oak Park, California says. “Oftentimes, if a website is confusing, clients will get frustrated and move onto another site, even if your work is superior to the competitor.”
Quality virtual communication is another essential piece of the pie. With remote work becoming a quintessential part of daily life, many aren’t visiting firms’ offices. Regular meetings can make calling a firm to schedule a service difficult to juggle. As a result, many clients prefer reliable forms of online communication—be it email, chat bubbles, or reliable online scheduling forms. These options accommodate a wider variety of professionals.
There is a key factor connecting all these factors to one another: accommodation. If clients feel their needs are easily accessible and taken care of, they won’t turn to other firms to fulfill their needs. That quality online presence will not only keep clients around, but allow for firms to have a wider reach, which is essential to expanding business.