Unlock the power of client collaboration tools for your law firm
Every attorney likely has demanding clients — those known for the volume and frequency of their requests and their need to be in near-constant contact. This sort of client has to be up on every aspect of every stage of every project; they may call their attorney at 1:00 am if they suddenly have a question.
These clients remain eternal. What’s changing is that a growing number of law firms now have an efficient, innovative way to satisfy all their requests: Thomson Reuters client collaboration tools.
These tools give clients a remote and secure means by which they can monitor the status of all relevant projects and work assignments. Clients can interact with custom-designed artificial intelligence (AI) systems to get answers to their questions and will have 24/7 access to all pertinent information concerning their ongoing work.
A changed environment
The COVID-19 era has fueled the growth of portals. With so many lawyers and clients working remotely, portal technology quickly became essential to sharing documents, exchanging information, and monitoring the status of deals and other assignments. Now there’s no going back.
In our recent on-demand webcast, “Client collaboration technology for a challenging market webcast,” Eric Sham, LegalTech Solutions Manager at Bird & Bird, tells us how client portals have differentiated their law firm.
Another factor is that many legal departments run lean and are under substantial time and cost pressures — there’s always the need for further efficiencies. The ability to use portals for managing projects, getting queries answered promptly, and tracking ongoing costs is invaluable.
Client expectations have changed. In a world in which AI is becoming more prominent by the month, the idea of sending their attorney an email that may not get answered for days is simply no longer acceptable to clients. The client who once got an expense sheet from their law firm weekly or monthly will now expect to see how much a project costs them in real time.
Signs of a cultural shift
Also in the webcast is Muzzy Rahman, Client Success Manager at Thomson Reuters, who notes a substantial upswing in favor of portal technology, with 60% of clients saying they prefer to receive quicker status updates via a secure client portal or video conference.
Law firms “can communicate with customers better and faster, and can share actual use cases,” Rahman said. “When we think about client portals, information is power. We’re seeing it with different firms and hearing it in different conversations.”
The multi-tiered approach
Portals serve to enhance a firm’s internal operations, making them more productive and efficient — they’re also becoming the primary interface between firm and client. Law firms using client portals will often employ them in a multi-tiered fashion.
Sham describes his firm’s current use of portals as a three-point solution:
- For Bird & Bird, portals are a virtual deal room, giving lawyers a centralized place to store and share documents. Doing so “prevents different versions of documents being sent around and not knowing where they are,” Sham said.
- Portals are also essential relationship hubs for firms and clients. Each client gets a secure login to a standard portal with relevant information about the firm, a set of contacts, RSS feeds, and lists detailing ongoing project statuses, costs, timelines, and other categories.
- These client relationship sites can evolve into more customized solutions, with the firm introducing modules to provide greater insight into specific projects and tailor the portal design to client specifications.
Client portals: The go-to solution
In the webinar, Sham said that offering clients access to a standard client portal is often “a value add.” The philosophy is, “We have a HighQ platform, and that’s the efficiency you get working with us. It’s like this is a given [when] working with a modern law firm.”
There’s great potential for client portals to continue to expand their functionality. For example, say that a prospective client must undergo anti-money laundering screening and compliance requests. All this documentation and verification can be done via a portal, with the client learning whether it’s passed the know-your-customer (KYC) requirements at the end of the session.
With Thomson Reuters client collaboration tools, you can deliver an ideal client experience by streamlining collaboration and communication with your clients for all their legal needs on an easy, secure, and customizable digital portal. Other firms have already begun optimizing their experiences with client portals. Very soon, this will be the standard way to conduct business.
Watch our recent on-demand webcast, “Client collaboration technology for a challenging market webcast,” to learn more about client collaboration technology.