CTS: Client Engagement: Connecting in the Time of COVID-19
In a very short time, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) health crisis has drastically altered the way businesses and firms operate. With social distancing measures in place, the days of in-person interaction and face-to-face collaboration are over, and communication has become almost completely digitised – having a substantial effect on clients’ daily experiences.
The shift to remote working has made maintaining great client relationships more challenging, and law firms are looking at improved and innovative ideas that will assure customer loyalty and trust during times of uncertainty.
In this blog, we share what we have learnt and the solutions we have implemented to guarantee client engagement throughout this unusual period.
Keeping Clients Informed
Now, more than ever, clients are demanding extra information, support and guidance that will help them to deal with the challenges created by the Coronavirus pandemic. Many law firms, including O’Neill Patient, Langleys Solicitors and Memery Crystal, have created specific online resource centres where they share valuable content about how the health crisis has affected the legal sector and its clients, and offer solutions to provide peace of mind.
During times of crisis, delivering regular, empathetic and solutions-focussed communications is vital to building client loyalty. Law firms must recognise the importance of leaning in to a proactive, personalised and multi-channel communications strategy to reach their clients with informative solutions that would aid in their transition to a new, virtual workspace.
To ensure that law firms were able to continue operate smoothly, CTS supported their clients by providing functional advice on how they can quickly and easily transition to a remote working model, including home office set-up advice, remote working cyber security information and insight into the importance of collaboration tools – all of which can be accessed via our resource hub.
According to Briefing’s Legal IT Landscape’s 2020 report, only 7% of law firms surveyed were aiming to implement chatbot software inside of 18 months. However, there has been a strong uptake in cloud-based chatbots as firms invest in technologies that will allow them to become more efficient and agile, and more accessible to their clients during these uncertain times.
Chatbots have many benefits to both law firms and the clients that they serve. Clients can utilise this technology to gain efficient, real-time responses, which, studies have shown, is a critical factor in higher client satisfaction. Additionally, firms can use chatbots to gain insight into their client base via data collection, to optimise their work processes, saving time and money, and to aid the client intake process.
In April, amidst the operational changes that law firms were facing as a result of the pandemic, CTS launched a free COVID-19 response helpline for our clients. Delivered via an online chat service and manned by senior technical consultants, this service was designed to provide fast answers to strategic questions firms have around remote working, as law firms adapt to the changes triggered by the COVID-19 outbreak.
COVID-19 has caused a massive disruption within the legal sector, affecting both law firms and their clients. As adjustments are made, collecting consistent feedback from clients can act as a significant element that decides a firm’s performance during these unprecedented times.
As everybody is struggling to adapt, providing your clients with a platform to voice their thoughts, concerns and suggestions will position your firm as responsive and forward-thinking. Clients desire a personalised understanding – acting on feedback to improve and develop your services demonstrates a client-first approach to your business operations, resulting in client loyalty and satisfaction.
Law firms can utilise online portals to create a virtual platform where clients can securely and confidently provide feedback that can be used for service transformation and product development. According to Law360, clients that participate in feedback programs tend to be more satisfied with the service they are receiving and are less likely to seek out alternative, competitive solutions.
In order to maintain a strong and effective relationship with our clients, CTS’ Client Service Managers (CSM) and Accounts Managers set up a ‘Client Chatroom’, utilising Microsoft Teams. The purpose of this initiative is to provide a virtual, drop-in-style meeting space, where clients can have an open dialogue with their CSM about any relevant matters.
“Communication is key. The Client Chatroom has truly enabled us to support our clients, proactively and in real-time, in a meaningful, human, and relevant way. By taking the time to understand their situation, and how they have been affected by the current circumstances, we can gain invaluable insight into how their needs and expectations have changed and how we can adapt our support accordingly,” says James, Client Service Manager.
We hope that this blog has put forward some ideas that will allow your firm to continue to deliver quality service to clients and give them a sense of care and security as we all continue to navigate through the unknown.