Episode 3: Improving the client experience
A set of SME legal leaders and experts come together to examine how AI can be utilised to perform certain routine admin tasks to enable lawyers to focus more of their time on client work. Additionally, they address liability and accuracy concerns for other potential uses.
Client expectations are continuously evolving particularly with the advent of technology — clients expect fast and seamless delivery. AI and other technological tools have the potential to speed up administrative tasks, in turn, allowing lawyers to provide better service to their clients. But with tools such as AI there are concerns around accuracy and liability. The experts draw on their varying experiences to explore best uses for AI and other tech tools, such as client portals, messaging platforms and digital onboarding.
The tigers begin the discussion addressing the changing landscape of communication in the legal industry. Richard Price, finance and IT manager at Maurice Turnor Gardner highlights the importance of instant messaging platforms to meet the clients’ desire for instant answers. Peter Ambrose, founder, and director of The Partnership, emphasises the need for useful technology — as opposed to what is perceived as the panacea — for successful client delivery. He shares how The Partnership implemented a portal to prevent email fraud but encountered challenges managing communications from different channels to which it was able to build a unified messaging centre.
Additionally, Ambrose suggests that AI can automate tedious tasks that take hours to complete, like tagging and classifying documents. Ambrose acknowledges the potential benefits of AI in presenting legal advice in a client-friendly format but underscores the liability issues and risks associated.
The Tigers agreed that AI should be seen as a tool to support lawyers and enhance their work rather than a replacement for them and that it should be utilised with caution. The panellists then move on to discuss the challenges law firms face while onboarding clients — mentioning that some firms provide white glove treatment by guiding clients through the process.
The panellists talk about the different options available for client onboarding, such as uploading documents to a portal or using biometric scans. The benefits of using a web portal for document uploads is mentioned as it eliminates the need for scanning and emailing documents back and forth. The participants also discuss the issue of handoffs and the inefficiencies that arise during the transition periods between different departments — and the importance of a smooth onboarding process in creating a positive first impression for clients — while emphasising the need to find a delicate balance between efficiency and risk mitigation.
The importance of documenting tech decisions as a way for firms to protect themselves is brought up. The tigers also address the different preferences of clients and the need to cater to those preferences, while also ensuring efficiency. The tigers conclude that ultimately, it’s the client who dictates how they want to be served — and the firm should be flexible enough to accommodate different client needs.