2020 legal survey: 3 trends driving practice efficiency and growth
Optimize workflows, costs and customer retention with emerging technology solutions
Increasing workloads, ever-shifting business priorities, greater complexity and a more volatile risk landscape, create new strain for already thinly stretched legal practices. According to a recent Gartner report, more than 90% of law firms foresee workloads increasing in the next two years.
In a fast-paced market, technology is the key to easing the burden as it enables automated work to speed up manual processes and time to market. Technology tools also generate customer insights for better retention and growth while helping to reduce costs through improved practice efficiency.
So, how can Managing Partners and founders respond to the mounting pressure of digital transformation to ensure competitiveness and growth?
In this article, we reveal the key challenges from our June 2020 legal survey in mid-market law firms and how emerging technology solutions can help legal leaders to resolve them for future success and effectiveness.
Trend 1 – Optimizing practice efficiency to reduce costs
According to our legal survey, the three key challenges Managing Partners will face over the next 6-12 months are remote working (39%) followed by increasing demands from clients (29%) and securing new business or keeping the same business rates (22%). However, the survey also revealed that the main factors that lead to deterrence of investing in new tools and technologies amongst the firm are limited budgets or lack of education and awareness in understanding the benefits of new technologies.
Trend 2 – Boosting Business Development and Marketing performance for growth
The research also revealed that almost half (41%) of Managing Partners surveyed in the UK and US said that their business development teams have underperformed since working from home and just under half (41%) stated that this was due to the lack of digital tools. Almost a third (29%) identified equipping the business development team with better tools as the best solution for resolving these issues.
Trend 3 – Maximizing customer engagement and retention
Almost three quarters (72%) of surveyed Managing Partners said it was very/extremely important to have robust client-driven communication tools in place to boost customer engagement and retention. The leading tools were professional website (50%), event registration (38%) and mobile apps (34%). The most sought after tech law firms planned to invest in 2021 were online chat (30%), web apps/tools (28%) and mobile apps (26%).
2020 tech predictions: Why will mobile apps lead the future?
With a plethora of technologies available on the market today, how do legal firms navigate in the maze and choose the right tools? Key considerations are easy integration capabilities, scalability, enterprise security and flexibility to ensure a future proof solution.
There is one trend that has not shown any signs of slowing down. According to Statista, in 2017, there were 178 billion app downloads. That number is projected to grow to 205 billion this year, and 258 billion in 2022 – a 45% increase over five years. Big players like Amazon Honeycode and Microsoft Power Apps have realized the lucrative potential and created their own low code/no code mobile app platforms recently. But technology alone will not support businesses in their goal. Choosing a solution provider that understands your industry, has a portfolio of firms with active use cases is the key to success in this area.
The low code/no code app platforms provide flexible technology allowing B2B organizations, including law firms, to create easy-to-access. Whether you are looking to improve marketing efficiency, getting customer insights for retention or new business pipeline, mobile apps offer a fast-to-market option.
With templated solutions, such as sales messaging, event or bid/pitch apps, legal firms of any size can create high-value mobile and web apps, legal apps and apps for lawyers that boost customer engagement through tailored messaging and real-time sharing. The unified platform aligns all departments, Marketing, Business Development, IT or Operations seamlessly and provides customer insights valuable for driving the common goals. The adding benefit of using apps over PDF’s include real-time analytics and push notifications to ensure your message is getting through.
Are you a future leader?
So, what happens to the legal firms that don’t adopt technologies, enabling them to boost productivity, customer engagement and growth? Would they cease trading or get acquired by competition?
In this increasingly competitive and fast-paced market that shows no signs of slowing down, leaders will carry on adopting technology that improves not only practice efficiency but also customer engagement and retention. With these, not only will their cash flow look healthier but also clients become happier. And the ones who don’t invest in legal technology now, will they disappear or downsize and then eventually disappear?