How could instant messaging transform your law firm?

Posted by Lauren Riley, CEO of Legal Futures Associate The Link App

Riley: Instant messaging makes working with clients faster and more secure

The vast majority of law firms have no instant messaging capability whatsoever. In what other sector is that the case? Most lawyers stick to traditional communications channels like email and telephone, but in 2021 there’s no good reason for that.

For one, we live in a world of increasing cybercrime and email is fundamentally insecure. A 2019 report by Crowe UK found that 91% of law firms were at risk of having their email addresses used to send phishing, spam, and other fraudulent emails.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority reported that £2.5m was stolen from law firms in 2020 by cybercriminals. Over 80% of firms were found to be relying on services with well-known vulnerabilities.

It’s no wonder that 91% of cybercrime is committed using email; the security is fundamentally flawed, having not improved much since the days of ARPANET in the 1970s, when emails were freely readable by administrators in the close-knit network of American universities and research centres.

You’ll know that we’re often faced with a trade-off between security and convenience; but email offers the worst of both worlds.

Lawyers can be waiting days at a time for clients to get back to any given message when they’re not actively having to chase them up, and clients know not to expect a timely response: a study by SuperOffice that the average response time for an email to a business was 12 hours.

Digital transformation doesn’t have to be a huge, involved process requiring planning and IT specialists – in fact, many firms we onboard don’t need the IT department in at all. Just adopting an instant messaging solution makes working with clients dramatically faster and more secure.

It’s a win-win for you and your clients: research from BoldChat found that, on average, customers who used instant messaging were 4.5x more valuable to the business than those who didn’t, and a study by JD Power found that 42% of customers preferred live chat over email, favoured by just 23%.

Digital transformation isn’t limited to messaging. Law firms are increasingly competing on client service, and in a moment where lawtech is growing rapidly, digital onboarding tools such as self-serve ID Verification and automated document solutions are coming to market all the time.

It’s making life easier for both lawyers and their clients, from case management systems in the office to streamlined customer-facing mobile apps.

Instant messaging is a small improvement that can have positive effects throughout your business. Many law firms aren’t putting the emphasis on client service they should, but the number of forward-thinking lawyers who see how they can make it pay dividends for them is only growing every year.


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