How To Sell Legal Services Online And Keep Local Business
by Guy Remond, with special guest Andy Nicol
The most successful businesses in any industry are the ones that can embrace change and leverage technology to their advantage. The legal sector is no exception.
There’s an assumption that change has to be difficult, time-consuming, or involve a loss of quality, but the reality is that making the most of technology to bring legal services online can happen quickly and easily, and it can radically enhance the client experience.
Keep It Simple
Consumers are no longer willing to use clunky websites or platforms. They want a seamless, slick online experience that meets their needs as soon as possible, and ideally from the comfort of their own home (with additional in-person support if required).
When I need to renew my car insurance, I go to an online price comparison site; it might have my contact details stored from last year or it might require a few simple updates. It’s an easy, trustworthy process. There is consumer demand for legal services to be online and straightforward, but until now there hasn’t been a golden opportunity that recognizes the importance of keeping local law firms at the heart of them.
Make It Local
Lawyer of 30 years Dave Zumpano and I founded Guidr, a unique online self-serve legal platform that also offers consumers the support of a real-life lawyer to provide additional support (if required) or an in-person local consultation.
Previous self-serve platforms have bypassed local law firms (with some negative consequences). When it comes to legal matters, it’s imperative that documents are accurate, legally binding, easy to access, and that there is an easy way to speak to a local lawyer if necessary.
To retain these high standards, we worked in partnership with Andy Nicol of Sputnik Digital, an expert in creating high-end user-friendly websites and digital platforms. You can hear our full conversation on The Legal Community Podcast.
The Ultimate Experience
Andy has a wealth of experience and knowledge on how to create the ultimate customer experience.
Andy: “Consumers want 24/7 access to whatever they need, whether that’s in the middle of the night or at the weekend. Healthcare and legal sectors are the furthest behind in terms of using technology in a way that meets consumer demand. Opportunities like Guidr simply didn’t exist before now.
Thriving businesses know when to adapt. Bricks-and-mortar stores are becoming decimated by e-commerce. Being able to change your business in a way that benefits both you and your consumer is essential to survival.”
Change is often met with resistance because it feels daunting; there’s so much to consider in terms of how to create a positive customer journey and roll out a new system. Andy shared a brilliant example where LEGO® was used to demonstrate the importance of getting the customer journey right.
The LEGO® Experience
Andy: “The LEGO® experience explores an airline customer’s journey, from booking a ticket, right through to check-in, boarding the plane, getting off at the other end, and arriving at a hotel. The journey consists of up to 40 steps. At each one the question is asked, ‘Is this a good experience?’
When poor experiences are flagged up, we look to technology (or another solution) to see how that experience could be improved; perhaps it needs additional information on car parking, directions to a local train station, or would benefit from a live chat box on the website.
It’s a really good way to reflect and look at your own service from start to finish.”
The Nuts and Bolts
When we relate this to digital platforms, what Andy has described here is the user experience (UX) and the user interface (UI). The UX is concerned with the consumer journey, from when they first get in touch with your business to how many times you get in touch with them, to how the contact forms work and the data they collect.
The UI revolves around design, such as fonts, colors, button sizes, and how best to highlight errors or missing fields in your data entry. Both components are complex and technical.
When the UX and UI are finely tuned specifically to the needs of your consumers, they create a positive experience that is likely to engage them and keep them coming back (think how efficient it is to use Amazon). It takes an incredible amount of expertise, attention, and detail to get it right.
Guidr’s ready-made self-serve platform has been designed to offer a high standard of UX and UI. Everyone has experience of a hard-to-navigate digital platform that makes us want to move away to something that’s easier to use. Andy backed this up.
A Seamless Journey
Andy: “When a platform is good, you probably won’t notice. That’s the ideal situation. If you notice how clunky something is, it’s done badly or not at all. User experience is about how your customer engages with your product. A classic example in real life is when you walk up to a door that you need to pull to open but you try to push it. You feel embarrassed. The UX solution to that is to put a push notice on it so that you know exactly what to do. A good UX removes the friction and makes the whole process seamless.
In digital terms, this is similar to being able to use face recognition instead of worrying about a password. It’s simple and you can do what you need to do quickly. Consumers have shorter attention spans and low tolerance for annoyance. These systems need to be intuitive and easy to use.
People are busy and don’t want to travel unless they have to, so being able to augment your law firm with digital technologies that help you transform and change with the times is essential; Guidr is one way to do that.”
As Andy went on to explain, the costs involved in creating a new, bespoke platform are often prohibitive.
Andy: “It can be frustrating trying to build your own website, and if you’re trying to build a software platform [like Guidr] the frustration is magnified by 1,000. It’s not cost-effective. You wouldn’t try to build your own Microsoft Word or accountancy platform; you make use of what already exists and pay by subscription. You’ve got to be big (like Google) to even consider building your own software.”
Guidr offers a cost-effective, simple way to deliver the legal services your customers need and want; it’s tried and tested, and it’s easy to implement.
If you would like to find out how Guidr can support your local law firm to attract new business from consumers who want a digitized service, while continuing to offer personalized legal expertise, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Dave at email@example.com.
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