By Legal Futures’ Associate Perfect Portal 
Do you use any of the following brands: Amazon, easyJet, Uber, AirBnB? If so, you’ll be aware how we interact with brands has significantly changed. The days of visiting a store to buy something necessary are slowly disappearing. Why? Because there are more convenient methods to find what we need. I can’t remember the last time I called to organise a taxi.
These brands are changing how we want to communicate and engage on day to day basis. We’ve become accustomed to digital communication including interactive websites, instant messaging, online portals, apps and other self-serving information platforms. We now expect to be contacted by digital methods rather than traditional by service providers.
Technology has changed every industry. In an always-on culture many industries have reacted by acting fast and getting ahead in the market. The legal market is beginning to change with technology becoming a hot topic, but also with regulatory changes such as the recent news that the CLC will ask members to be more transparent with their fees.
Whether publishing fees is the right approach or not, clients now expect better technology to enable their experience of your brand.
The above-mentioned brands are open for business 24/7, responding quickly and accurately to client enquires at a time that is most convenient to them, including evenings and weekends. This plays into the legal market as well; research shows 59% of home movers obtain two or more quotes, compared to 24% from three years ago. Reality is, if a website cannot provide an accurate, instant quote, that new business will find a firm who can. I recently read research citing that the websites with instant conveyancing quoting tools received over 34% enquiries but the ones with just a phone number and an email address received less than 5% enquiries from the site visitors’.
It’s not just experience, client service also needs to be addressed. Three years ago, clients expected you to call them with updates related to their case. However, a recent study on home movers proves the number of clients who want to communicate via phone calls is down by 30%, a huge drop in such a short period of time. Instead, home movers now want to communicate using digital communication, including channels such as WhatsApp and SMS, which is up by 86%.
It’s time law firms consider how they can tie experience and service together to ensure clients return with their business.