Client service is a very different kettle of fish in 2013 compared to a decade ago. The digital world has opened up a whole new playing field and, thanks to its instantaneous nature, the goalposts of interaction and communication with clients have been moved quite some distance.
Many in the law industry are still getting used to the new set of demands this has introduced – both on the time of fee earners and the perspective change required from legal marketing – and perhaps one of the least appreciated areas is that of ‘digital experience.’ This is essentially nothing to do with the actual legal services provided but instead focuses on the establishment and improvement of the touch points through which those services are marketed or delivered i.e. websites, mobile phones and tablets. Whether you’re fairly advanced when it comes to digital experience, or completely baffled, here are a few tips to help guide you in the right direction:
Investigate your options. If your digital experience currently consists of ‘just a website’ then you might want to consider how this could be restricting your access to potential clients, as well as the service you can deliver. The use of smart phone apps, mobile optimised websites and iPad apps for example is now something that most digital-savvy consumers expect from any service provider – even in a profession such as law – and if they aren’t able to access services via these touch points they may well look elsewhere.
Find out what your clients want. The great advantage of the digital experience is that it can be individually tailored for your business and you can improve that experience for your clients by giving them what they want. By using web and app analytics, different forms of customer research and operational data that can be used to generate customer profiles, you can create a competitive digital experience tailored to your target client.
Combine digital experience with existing business objectives. The digital side of legal marketing and service delivery should be an extension of existing platforms and objectives – this will create a far more ‘whole’ customer service experience for your clients. Align the digital experience with business objectives, such as revenue generation or superior service delivery, and explore the options for ways in which mobile, web and tablet portals can develop and boost existing messages and aims.
Don’t just expect it to happen. It is fairly simple to get started in a digital context and there are all sorts of opportunities out there, but putting together a cohesive offering that will really deliver takes some planning. Digital experience requires a strategy that’s based on research, idea generation, testing and analysis – if you don’t have the in-house capacity to take this on then it can be worth outsourcing.
Providing a satisfying digital experience for clients is something that every law firm can do without an enormous amount of effort. In the newly defined legal services market it could soon be one of the key factors that sets one firm apart from the next.If you want to discuss your digital options with us please contact Camila Reed.