How to use technology to extend your law firm opening hours
Law firm clients have a range of issues that they need support and advice for, and very frequently information will be required outside traditional office hours but how can you help at all times of the day and night without having to engage in longer working hours for your team.
One of the simplest ways is to get your website to take up the slack but chatbots can also be useful in streamlining your general inquiry process. Chatbots can be used to prequalify inquiries and make the client feel like they have made progress in information gathering. Technology is becoming increasingly more sophisticated, with robots (Conversational Agents) helping inquirers with more and more convincingly natural responses. Alternatively, there are agencies that can be employed to man your instant chat pop-ups and provide generic information extending your customer service out of office hours at the fraction of the cost of employing your own staff cover.
2. Call answering services
As with the manned instant chat, agencies can be employed that can answer your phone calls after you have closed. A personal touch and perhaps not really much more than a message service but the perceived value of speaking to a real person as opposed to leaving a message on the answerphone is quite considerable.
3. Calculators and widgets
With the advent of the SRAs transparency regulations, a lot of pricing information now has to be displayed on your website for clients to view. However, there are a lot of widgets that can add value to your site even after you are closed. Take a look at My Legal Check-up which gives the client some advice on what services they could possibly require, without the sales pressure but while collecting some valuable information on potential clients. Get in touch if you would like to find out more about this service.
As well as being a fabulous tool for SEO, Frequently Answered Questions sections, provide useful information for the visitor and answer simple questions without tying up internal resources.
5. Artificial intelligence
The pace of technology is staggering and the use of AI and voice recognition is growing in applications and fast moving away from its use as a novelty. As the technology is adopted the price is becoming less of a barrier to entry. Uses include computerised automation and search for inquiries through to Practice Management applications such as auto-generated invoices based on time logging with predictive coding and automatic document assembly e.g. for contracts. AI can also be used to streamline legal research and speech recognition can further speed up the process. While these applications don’t extend your opening hours they do help to free up man hours so you have more time to dedicate to your clients.
Law firms that embrace technology and find inventive ways to extend their service hours will gain a competitive advantage over those traditional nine to five firms. If you would like to discuss how you can extend your services please do get in touch.