Both corporate consumers and private individuals have certain expectations for their law firm. Legal clients want to work with a team that is available outside of regular business hours, capable of using technology effectively, and willing to proceed remotely. So, what can service providers do to meet these expectations?
Last year, Themis Solutions Inc. (makers of the Clio law practice management software) released the 2020 Legal Trends Report. By analyzing the results of this report, we can determine how legal clients feel about remote technology. Let’s get started!
The Remote Customer Base
Clients across the board are ready to embrace new technologies. According to the Pew Research Center, 90% of adults use the internet and 81% own a smartphone. These results suggest that the majority of Americans are capable of accessing online client services. Furthermore, these statistics do not account for post-COVID changes of opinion. Research conducted in August of 2020 found that 58% of respondents said technology was more important to them than before the pandemic.
Building the Digital Client Experience
Given the size of the potential remote customer base, law firms no longer need to design client services with physical interaction as the default. By approaching client services with an “online-first” mentality, firms can empower their lawyers and clients to seamlessly transition between remote and in-person interactions. Some of the most critical focus areas include:
Finding time to connect with clients can be difficult when you’re juggling multiple cases. One strategy that can reduce the stress is conducting consultations via videoconference. In fact, 37% of clients who responded to a survey reported that said they would prefer to meet virtually at first and 50% said they’d like to use videoconferencing for follow-up meetings.
Electronic Document Management
Sharing documents and obtaining signatures is time-consuming, but working online can expedite the process. Using e-signature tools and document management services, attorneys can share documents electronically. In fact, nearly three-quarters (69%) of consumers would prefer to work with an attorney who can use electronic sharing systems.
Online Payment Systems
Unless you’ve taken the case on contingency, you’ll need a system for clients to submit payments. Fortunately, you can eliminate the hassle of accepting cash or checks! The majority of consumers (65%) would prefer to send payments electronically, using credit cards, debit cards, or platforms like Paypal and Zelle.
Priorities in a Post-COVID world
As part of Clio’s Legal Trends study, researchers performed a MaxDiff analysis to identify which priorities were most important to both lawyers and clients. As expected, client referrals and reviews were the most important factor — however, the 2nd place result came as a surprise! Respondents stated that technological adoption was the highest-ranked priority for driving firm success.
Thanks for reading! We hope we’ve given you some useful insights into how your legal clients may feel about remote technology. If you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it on social media!
When you plan your next deposition, don’t forget to take advantage of our plentiful deposition tools. We provide services including remote court reporting, concierge remote exhibit management, remote videography, and full-time tech support for your remote depositions, arbitrations, court hearings, trials, and other proceedings.