Occasional bags always arise from uncertain times. For the legal profession, this is the confluence of the pandemic and recent advances in legal technology. In response, savvy companies are accelerating their technology adoption plans to thrive in an all-digital world.
One concrete way to start your company’s plan is through customer portal software. Even if you have not already experienced it, there is a possibility that you will soon – especially now that more lawyers are working remotely and many clients want to avoid going to the law firm’s office for meetings.
But what exactly is a customer portal? Basically, a customer portal is software that allows you as a lawyer to interact and work with your customers in a secure online environment. As long as the customer has Internet access, he can log into your company’s customer portal and, among other things, immediately approve and review documents and send messages. And you can do the same.
For many companies today, customer portals are the solution for working and communicating with customers. It enables everyone to check things out in their own time, wherever they are. While the benefits of using client portals are almost limitless, some are more important than others.
Customer portals make communication between lawyer and client easy – and more secure
What do clients do when they have to use their lawyer? Send an email? Call the company reception? In some cases, a client will try all of these options – and the lawyer will have to respond to each one.
Client portal software for law firms can address this problem by creating a private location for client-lawyer communication. This has many advantages:
- Safer than email: The best customer portals offer excellent security for communication between lawyer and client as well as for shared documents. Email can sometimes be hacked, and even if you carefully protect your company’s email accounts, there is no guarantee that your customers will, too. With secure client portals, communication is not only encrypted, but also protected on both sides.
- Faster and easier communication: With a central location, customer portals simplify work as lawyers no longer have to monitor multiple communication methods (e.g. e-mail, mobile phone, direct line, voicemail). And keeping everything in one place means improved responsiveness.
- Better customer experience: Clients don’t have to guess how best to contact their lawyer when using client portals. You send your message and the lawyer replies in the same place. No more telephoning trying to get each other under control.
Simply put, client portals are a win-win situation for both clients and lawyers.
However, if you are concerned about the technical know-how required to create a customer portal, this is not the place to be. Enterprise-level solutions are available that include easy-to-use client portals. You’re ready to go – so you don’t need an engineering degree or coding background to get started.
Secure customer portals are the new “lobbies” for companies
If the COVID-19 pandemic has shown anything to businesses, physical office locations and ornate fixed lobbies are nowhere near as important as they used to be. Customers don’t want to have to come to the office for every single meeting. You long for the simplicity that customer portals offer. And when customers see your company as lagging behind, they may think twice about doing business with you.
However, since the lawyer-client relationship is still online, you need to make sure your client portal looks professional in order to instill some level of trust and skill in the law firm. After all, your customer portal may be the primary place where customers interact with your business, essentially making it your new “lobby” – to make it look better.
Customer portal login available around the clock
Speaking of interaction: the customer can do this around the clock according to their schedule. Whether it’s 2:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., or anywhere in between, clients can access, review, and provide feedback on their case.
Customer portals give customers on-demand access so they can stay up to date without actually having to contact you.
Make the best choice for your business
Realizing that your business needs a customer portal is the easy step. Now comes the hard part: you have to figure out how to do it.
With all of the solutions available to law firms today – including secure client portals – you certainly have many options. Ultimately, your main concern should be to find the solution that best fits your company’s specific needs.
See what a customer portal can do for your business by requesting a demo from Thomson Reuters HighQ.