I was preparing for a pitch meeting recently and sat down to do some blue sky thinking on what the website of a law firm might look like in the near future. The slide I prepared is below and the following is a brief explanation of each point. They are in no particular order.
What am I missing? Please let me know.
- Online matter instigation & tracking - online case tracking has been around for years, but "instigating" a matter is something different. This is different from "online forms" below and involves direct integration with your practice management system to allow a client to enter data direct into it.
- Webcams on all fee earners desks - a client wants to talk to you are 10am, they go to your website, click on the "camera" icon next to the email address on your staff profile page and there you are, connected in real time via a webcam to your client.
- Video profiles of all fee earners - get over it. Learn some media skills, learn to love the camera and get used to talking to it.
- Staff can use Facebook all day! - no really, it's going to happen.
- Instant messaging to all staff - whether it's Skype or Facebook chat, the digital native (LINK) will expect to be able to use instant messaging with your staff. They spend all day doing it already.
- Full time social media exec - why not? You think it's going to go away?
- Online discussion forums? - would you be willing to allow your clients to discuss your services, service levels and legal topics amongst themselves (& with your input) on your website?
- Self service documents - Direct Law is hear already and doubtless there will be others. The big brands (banks, insurers etc) are already offering these services with some success (although I don't have the data).
- 50% usage by mobile - most law firms might only be seeing 3-5% of all page views on their website at the moment, but this will change. Why? Well, mobile internet user penetration is set to hit 37% in the UK by 2015 (eMarketer, April 2011). Also when you realise that the mobile phone you have in your hand has more computing power than all of NASA in 1969, the year they put a man on the moon, things WILL change.
- Online forms - not plain old enquiry forms, or linear forms, smart forms, logic based forms, collecting data from clients while you sleep.