Artificial Intelligence has grown a lot over the past few decades, and chatbots are now among the most popular applications of the AI technology. This is a perfect opportunity for law firms to take advantage of such solutions. In 2018, chatbots are becoming more popular and starting to change the organisational structure of how law firms operate.
Whenever someone has basic questions for a law firm, they can now get immediate answers from the chatbots that are set up to reply to their questions at any time.
Innovative law firms are using chatbots as a way to help generate new leads and to establish better customer support and relationships. Working off already available content provided by a law firm, the chatbot answers basic questions (without providing legal advice!) in a timely and convenient way, and help the firm engage potential customers and enhance the experience of existing customers.
These chatbots are not supposed to be robo-lawyers but rather virtual assistants “looking after” prospective and current customers, taking care of mundane trivial tasks and reducing reliance on people. Meanwhile, lawyers can devote their time to more important and business critical tasks that only humans can do. This reduces unbillable time and increases the overall profitability of a law firm.
When legal virtual assistants are providing support to people, it establishes and reinforces trust between potential and existing customers and the law firm. This helps generate more paying customers for the law firm.
Thanks to the chatbot technology, law firms no longer need to hire chat agents to answer people’s questions. It doesn’t even matter that the chatbot is automated and is relying on content that is given to them by writers who work for the law firm. The chatbot uses Natural Language Understanding (NLU), an AI technology, to work out the nature of the user’s message and matches that to the relevant content they are pre-programmed with. This is how the chatbot is able to come up with an immediate answer.
“The fact is that chatbots push conversion rates and generate interest in communicating with a law firm in a new way – our chatbot Lisa is a crucial part of our marketing strategy,” says Steven Moe, a Christchurch-based lawyer with Parry Field Lawyers.
A lead is not converted into a customer until they have actually communicated with a human lawyer of the firm. This is important because chatbots will never be able to replace the empathy and compassion that comes from talking with another human. Moe notes, “It’s vitally important for any law firm that wants to create a chatbot to find a healthy balance between technology-driven interactions that result in clients with losing the personal touch of the human interaction.”
Chatbots are great at providing basic information and helping potential customers set up meetings with lawyers in a way that is convenient and efficient for both parties. Obviously, chatbots must work hand in hand with other ways people contact law firms, for example by email or phone. A well designed and implemented chatbot solutions allow a user to contact a firm in a way that is most suitable for the occasion.