With many law firms deciding they will ‘go digital’, they are pushing ahead because it is the trend of the moment. However many firms are not taking the time to first develop a vision, and using that to form a coherent strategy which can result in a lot of confused back and forth on how best to proceed.
So what does it mean to ‘go digital’? For some firms, it's about technology, others see digital as a new way of engaging with clients, and for some it is seen as a whole different way of doing business. None of these definitions are necessarily incorrect, but such diverse perspectives often trip up leadership teams because they reflect a lack of alignment and common vision about where their firm needs to go. In fact, ‘going digital’ encompasses all of the above.
The common theme in ‘going digital’ is to be closely tuned to how a client’s journey in decision-making is evolving. A firm must truly understand how the expectations of its clients are developing, so they can stay ahead of trends that in the client’s mind can deliver value.
- Pro-active decision making - Making decisions that deliver content and experiences that are personalised and relevant to the client.
- Contextual interactivity – Analysing how clients interact with the firm and modifying their interactions to improve the client’s experience.
- Real time automation - To help clients complete a routine task when they don't require the help of a lawyer requires extensive automation. Automation of how a client interacts with their solicitor can boost the number of self service options that help resolve business issues quickly, personalise communications to be more relevant and deliver a consistent client experience no matter the channel time or device.
- Journey focused innovation - Serving clients well gives a firm permission to be innovative in how they interact with and sell to them. This represents a marked change in how the client – solicitor relationship has been for decades and requires a fundamental shift in thinking.
‘Going digital’ is about using data to make more effective decisions, faster. This requires devolving decision-making to smaller teams, and developing much more iterative and rapid ways of doing things. Many law firms find this change is extremely difficult to integrate because it runs against the grain of how they have governed and managed themselves for decades.
Despite all the built in objections, reluctance and reticence that going digital in the proper way is likely to raise in many firms, one main objective remains clear; client retention and development. All practising solicitors are aware of the increasing competitive nature of the business. Smart managing partners and senior management will be well served to always keep linking a digital evolution with competitive pressures arising from shifting client needs, demands and expectations.
Firms that recognise that ‘digital’ requires as much of a client driven strategy as deciding to enter a new practice area, will not only end up able to offer a better service, but they will save money along the way and in the end provide something of genuine value to their clients.
In essence, the key to a successful transition to digital for law firms is complex and requires a well thought out strategy. LawBid is pioneering in our new digital interface for client and solicitor, changing perceptions and enhancing communication. We have identified the trends in client demand and expectation and developed a system which meets the needs of the client like never before.
The opportunity for solicitors to enhance their digital strategies by working with LawBid is immense and has vast potential for the future.