By Legal Futures’ Associate LEAP Legal Software 
Clients are precious, after all, they pay the bills. And yet, despite their importance, so much effort goes into finding new clients as opposed to looking after existing ones. A happy client not only provides repeat business but is a great source of referrals and this is exactly why SME firms across the UK are turning to online portals to engage, interact and collaborate with clients.
Acting as 24/7 online assistants, web portals provide a single online self-service platform where a client can communicate with their legal service provider outside of traditional office hours. This helps legal practices to work smarter, not harder, utilising technology that improves efficiency and helps to deliver outstanding client service.
By simply integrating with your existing website or working as a standalone web page, having a web portal allows a law firm’s prospective customer to not only view prices and the services they offer. It also provides a platform for legal practices to capture and manage enquiries, both client and new business, effectively when unavailable or out of office hours. Additionally, clients can book appointments, upload matter information, securely share documents and make payments online at a time that is convenient to them.
Nowadays, people expect to have clear engagement with their service providers and if this doesn’t exist, they shall look elsewhere. A web portal provides clients greater access to their lawyer’s services and promotes excellent communication.
Managing director of Robson & Co. Solicitors, Keith Betts said, “The addition of a web portal has made our website more usable for our clients and a lot more interactive with the biggest benefit being convenience. A lot of our clients want to communicate at weekends or evenings, so it does give them that accessibility option.”
“We all live in an era when we live on our phones, we receive text messages telling us a parcel has been delivered, we book an appointment with the dentist and get reminders. I think solicitors have historically been quite bad at latching on to new technology, but this is the way people live and expect to interact with professionals.”
In the last year, LEAP, the leading provider of case management, accounting and integrated legal content, has added collaboration software to its arsenal and has already implemented nearly 200 web portals into law firms using their software across the UK.
John Espley, LEAP UK’s CEO comments, “Services such as online banking and Uber have changed the way that consumers look to engage with service suppliers and the legal profession needs to change to reflect this. By providing law firms with web portals, LEAP provides a fundamental advancement in the way customers interact with a law firm, helping to meet the demands of the modern-day client, putting them at the heart of everything they do.”