The coronavirus pandemic has removed any doubt that for firms to remain competitive in 2021, it’s time to embrace and invest in technology as a way to reduce costs and improve customer focus. In fact, the legal industry is long overdue for a technology makeover that will empower firms to offer the kind of customer service that today’s consumer has come to expect.
Because consumer giants like Apple and Amazon have set the gold standard for communication and transparency that every other business, including law firms, must learn to emulate as digital natives become the norm. These consumers are simply not satisfied with the slow, inefficient and outdated methods characteristic of the legal industry.
“Firms should see technology service providers as growth partners that will guide firms to the next level in customer service and retention,” said ABC Legal Account Manager Tyler Schuldt.
Here are 10 ways law firms can use technology to improve client relations:
1. Legal practice management software helps law firms run the business side of the practice. With this software, lawyers can manage case and client records, track timekeeping and invoicing, accept online payments, schedule appointments and deadlines, manage documents, track and manage leads, and much more. And when it’s cloud-based, it is easy for law firms to operate remotely by providing 24/7 access to law firm data from any location via an internet-enabled device.
2. Also known as electronic court filing (ECF), e-filing is the electronic submission of court documents. It is the digital counterpart to standard court filing and offers several key advantages over paper filing, including increased speed and accuracy and reduced space and resource requirements. That said, the independence of the courts, and their ability to control the operational standards within their jurisdiction has led to a staggered adoption of e-filing. Each court system determines if e-filing is an option or a requirement, as well as which document types may be filed electronically.
3. Locating defendants can be costly and time consuming, but with technology comes advanced skip tracing services designed to deliver immediate results. For instance, pre-skip trace solutions provide the subjects’ most likely addresses and a probability rating on each before documents are served, while instant trace allows you to run a trace on a defendant whose physical location may be unknown or incorrect, which could result in the inability to successfully serve documents the first time.
4. Listening to your customers is crucial to satisfying their needs, and it’s never been easier. A wide variety of free online survey makers and tools allow you to easily design client surveys that will help engage customers, gather valuable demographic information, solicit feedback about your services, create developmental benchmarks, and make clients feel valued.
5. As small businesses acclimate to pandemic-driven changes, contactless payments have become a top concern. Contactless payments allow shoppers to pay for goods or services without needing to swipe a card, enter a PIN, or sign for a transaction—essentially, allowing the transaction to take place without touching anything. Here is a review of some of the top contactless payment apps, including Apple Pay, Square, Google Pay, and Venmo, to help businesses determine the best fit for their needs.
6. Technology has created a variety of communication tools designed to help people be more efficient and successful. For instance, according to a study published by a team of researchers in New York City, simply redesigning the summons form and sending text message reminders reduced failures to appear by 13-21%, which led to 30,000 fewer arrest warrants over a three-year period effectively keeping defendants out of jail, much like text is used to send reminders about an upcoming dentist appointment, package delivery or banking issue.
7. Like most things in the Information Age, service of process has been transformed with quick, compliant and accurate service of process reliably delivered across all jurisdictions, both nationwide and abroad. Fully transparent service, with visibility throughout the entire process using real-time service of process information, including pictures, proof of residency, and co-residents proof of service, is available through mobile apps and unique customer dashboards.
8. Need a stand-in appearance counsel for short procedural hearings? Save time, money and lost productivity with appearance counsel services that provide nationwide networks of thousands of FDCPA trained, experienced attorneys.
9. Filing in the wrong venue can lead to large fines and loss of trust, yet court jurisdictions can be frustratingly complex. This usually results in several phone calls to find the right court, often requiring a second submission to the right venue. Each state and each county is different, so precious time is lost just trying to find the right location. Enter proprietary AI technology designed to provide the right location based on defendant location and the amount of the lawsuit.10. Attorneys have an obligation to protect client data from unauthorized third-party access, and data breaches, client information that gets lost forever, or, more commonly, ransomware attacks, are real concerns in today’s digital world. There’s no one way to lock down your law firm’s data. Instead, consider these best practices.
About ABC Legal Services
ABC Legal is the nation’s leading service of process and court filing company and is the official process server to the U.S. Department of Justice. Docketly is a subsidiary of ABC Legal, providing appearance counsel on a digital, custom-built platform that smoothly integrates with our applications and services. ABC Legal’s applications are cloud-based and compatible for use on desktop, browser, and smartphones. Our solutions and digital approach ensure process server partners, law firm customers, and their clients save valuable time and resources when serving legal notices safely and with maximum compliance, control, and transparency. ABC Legal is based in Seattle, WA, with more than 2,000 process servers throughout the U.S., as well as internationally in more than 75 countries. To learn more about ABC Legal, our solutions, and subsidiary company Docketly, visit www.abclegal.com.