By Legal Futures’ Associate Claim Technology
Customers are used to accessing their information 24/7. Banking is now more likely to be done in front of a boxed set than in branch. This has created massive operational savings while giving customers a better experience. The technology to capture information through chatbots and provide client updates through a web portal is readily available, so is there any reason law firms can’t encourage people to Netflix and claim?
It is no secret that personal injury departments are finding their margins squeezed. According to this article, 42% of injury firms found that their profit had decreased over the past year. With 2020 bringing the whiplash reforms (and the spectre of fixed costs in cases worth up to £100,000 is looming) this trend is set to continue. However, research from mmadigital indicates that “83% of clients prefer to deal with law firms online” and potential claimants “liked the idea that the use of technologies would make the service faster and more accurate”.
Given that clients are willing to embrace new technology, there is a golden opportunity for forward-thinking law firms to protect their profit margins while reducing the cost per claim and providing a great service. So what is holding firms back from adopting self-serve technology in the way banks have? My company, Claim Technology, were exhibiting at the APIL conference a few weeks ago. As a former solicitor, it was great to see familiar faces and chat with firms of all shapes and sizes. The response to our claims automation platform was overwhelmingly positive but there were a few common misconceptions about incorporating new technology into a law practice:
- Cutting edge technology is expensive.
- It takes a lot of time / effort to integrate new technology.
- There won’t be a return on investment any time soon.
It is natural for lawyers to have a healthy dose of scepticism towards new technology. However, these concerns stem from bad experiences with the older generation of legal software which took years to implement and cost a fortune. Most modern software is cloud-based, so getting started can happen within hours rather than months. This also reduces the cost and means a positive impact can be felt immediately.
Personal injury departments who have weathered the regulatory changes of the last ten years will be no stranger to change. Given that clients are calling out for new technology and the potential cost savings are substantial, the adoption of self-serve technology over the coming months seems inevitable.