Image credit: REUTERS/Toby Melville
Remote delivery of legal services during the pandemic has changed clients’ expectations of how they interact with their lawyers. Clients have become used to the increased speed, ease, and round-the-clock access that virtual legal service delivery provides. As we enter the post-pandemic phase, and the world changes once again, you have a chance to meet those higher expectations and set your firm apart from your competitors.
How the pandemic altered legal service delivery
COVID lockdowns and firms’ concerns about safety forced law firms to temporarily close their physical offices and rely on virtual connections instead. Client meetings and firm collaboration that used to occur in person suddenly became virtual. Clients turned to their devices, instead of stopping by the firm’s office, to read and sign documents.
Clients welcomed many of these changes, which saved them time and gave them increased flexibility. Some of the more popular changes include:
The rise of the self-service delivery model
Self-service for legal clients was already a trend before COVID, a trend that accelerated during the shutdowns. Clients now expect to be able to find answers themselves to many of their basic legal questions. Call it the “Google-fication” of legal service delivery. Clients also want to be able to see their matter statuses without having to take the time to call their lawyers, possibly incurring a charge.
Mobile devices accelerated legal service delivery
Using phones and other mobile devices to access legal information and services is another pre-existing trend that took off even more during the pandemic. Clients appreciate the convenience and the 24/7 flexibility of attending to their legal matters at any time or in any place. By directly accessing the information they need, clients get their answers immediately, without the delays that come with relying on back-and-forth emails or the expense of being billed for a phone call or consultation.
Many clients use their devices as their primary means of accessing everyday services — from ordering dinner to paying their bills. Now, legal services are starting to be included in that mix, and the pandemic office closures exposed even more clients to the convenience of accessing legal information and services on the go. In the post-pandemic world, law firms have learned lessons about client service delivery, and clients do not want to go back to the way things were before.
Additional sources of information affecting the service delivery model
Clients are using a greater range of sources of information. “The lawyer” is no longer the only source of knowledge and support for the client. Savvy firms have built teams of allied professionals who have complementary skills that offer broader value to their clients. Team members coming from different disciplines, such as technology, project management, and finance, bring new perspectives and knowledge and novel ways to approach and solve problems.
Delivering legal services that meet client expectations in a post-pandemic world
When law firms closed their physical offices and started delivering their services exclusively online, one consequence was that service delivery became dramatically faster. Clients came to rely on that level of speed and expect it to continue indefinitely. Unfortunately, the extraordinary measures put into place because of the pandemic emergency are not sustainable.
Technology provides a solution. Client portal software gives you an easy way to meet clients’ expectations of being able to access legal services and information remotely. With a client engagement platform like HighQ, your law firm can provide a full range of services with a high level of client satisfaction.
A client engagement platform provides a personalised experience, with a separate, secure portal for each client. Clients can access billing information, matter statuses, documents, and files with the speed and convenience they had come to expect during the pandemic. The platform makes it easy for clients to communicate with members of the firm, increasing their feelings of engagement.
The platform also makes it easier for firm members to collaborate with their colleagues. Work becomes more streamlined, and teams more productive and efficient. The result is a high level of legal services delivered at a speed that satisfies clients who no longer have the patience to wait.
Avoid failing to meet your clients’ newly raised expectations, with the risk that you could lose them to other firms. With today’s powerful law firm client portal software, you’ll be able to offer clients the convenience, round-the-clock access, and time savings they have come to expect and rely on.
Take initiative in the effective execution of your legal service delivery model
Don’t let this moment slip by. Legal service delivery during the pandemic has permanently changed clients’ expectations of how and when they can access the legal information and services they need.
A cutting-edge secure client portal gives you the power to meet those expectations without interruption and stop your clients from drifting away. Take the lead in giving them the engagement they want now, and you will earn their loyalty for the long term.