How Chatbots Can Automate and Enhance Your Law Firm

By: Anatoly Khorozov / September 12, 2018

Chatbots aren’t as inhuman as you might believe them to be!

Well, chatbots cannot be human! But they can think and respond to queries like humans do! That too in a medium (text messages) which is emerging as the next big platform for information exchange after voice!

With advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) capabilities, machine learning code can now understand queries just like humans do. More importantly, the code learns from every interaction that it does and grows its skills to handle further conversations! Think of it – Isn’t that exactly what a human customer service representative does?

With the above points in mind, let us first try to understand why chatbots are gaining popularity and where in your business process can you use bots.

Chatbots – why they are steadily gaining attention

Chatting has emerged as the communication medium of choice for today’s smartphone carrying generation. With messengers catching the attention of the end consumers, companies are following suit with their communications being chatified. Chatbots integrated into messengers are carrying targeted customer communication in the form of text messages. Popular messaging platforms are coming up with APIs which allow chatbot development and integration within their messenger apps possible.

Facebook, for instance, understood the ‘chat communication’ trend quite early on and developed Bot APIs which allow companies to start conversing with their consumers within Facebook Messenger itself using their own bot.

Chatbots have certain inherent advantages over their human counterparts

  • Bots are devoid of the human bias. Machines learn based on assisted learning or training guides. They do not have any independent thinking or experiences, unlike humans, which could bias their thinking. Would you prefer an emotional Oprah as your customer representative or data-driven Spock, from Star Trek! Well, with customer conversations tending to get nasty it’s not really a choice!
  • Bots are text-based and text is the future. Chatbots give you the cosiness of a text chat with the conversational acumen of a human being. On the other hand, customer service over phone needs you to pick up that phone, dial the number and (many-a-times) wait for your turn. Finally, the response is some pre-fed text which is read by the customer rep from his screen! Again, between the two – chatbots are an automatic choice!
  • Bots are just an extra thread in server-resources. How much will it cost a business to spawn a thread of communication from their servers – Our guess would be in the range of a few cents! Compare it to the cost of a person answering a call ($23 is the industry average)! Easy to make a choice again!
  • Analytics data is captured automatically. When your chatbots answer queries, they can be programmed to create triggers which capture events such as reactions to a feature or a product. Using sentiment analysis, these events can be used to arrive at the results of a new A/B test, or evaluate a whole new product itself. What’s more, the cost for programming a bot can be minimal when compared to expensive user tests and feedback capturing! Again a no-brainer for choice!

Which business problems do chatbots address

The humble chat can provide an effective communication channel for solving a lot of business process via an integrated chatbot. Let us take a look at few applicable areas –

  1. Targeted lead generation and improved conversions. Marketing campaigns, lead generation and conversions – all three of them can be personalized and delivered to targeted customers.
  2. Customer Service. Chatbots provide a quick interface to resolve your customers’ queries. As the machine learning-based bot keeps learning with customer interactions, it can start addressing more complex queries gradually.
  3. Productivity Enhancement. Chatbots can be used for business processes optimisation using its conversational data and its machine learning capability. Some good examples may include workflow optimisation using AI to identify the best workflow for your case or actions trigger by setting your bot to execute certain actions based on certain triggers.
  4. Document Automation. Because many of the documents and contracts that you do for your clients are pretty standard, chatbots will help your practice grow by automating some of the time-consuming documenting tasks of your daily routines, so you can instead focus on creative and customer-facing work.
  5. Virtual Assistant. Most of the working hour is spent in finding answers, locating files, doing research, scheduling meetings, coordinating with colleagues etc. Chatbots can help you to reduce your basic repetitive tasks by performing scheduling meetings with clients, writing and sending emails, setting reminders for booked appointments etc.

Things to consider when deciding to opt for chatbots

As a business, you may be tempted to opt for chatbots for reaching your customers. Before you go about setting aside funds for a chatbot, here are a few important things you should spend time in pondering over –

  1. What business process does the chatbot enable or simplify? You need to have a communication-related business process or use case where chatbots can enhance customer communications.
  2. Whether the identified business process can do away with human interaction. It is important to understand that although AI and NLP based chatbots are getting intelligent, there might be areas where they are not a good option. Rather, improved user training might be a better solution.
  3. Use customer feedback to get insights into your processes. Customer feedback analysis can point to communication areas which have lower levels of satisfaction. Such communication areas can be a good candidate for chatbot development.
  4. Chatbot needs to speak in line with the culture of your firm. Always remember that for a customer a chatbot is also a representative of your business. Your chatbot should display the character traits and values of your business while interacting with your customers.
  5. Outsource the chatbot development to experts. Creating a running a chatbot needs to be done by experts specialising in chatbot development. There are companies, such as Active Associate, which offer end-to-end chatbot development services for law firms and have the desired in-house expertise to handle the range of development and deployment activities.

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Here at Active Associate we at the leading edge of applying chatbot and intelligent assistant technologies to solving problems experienced by many law firms. If your practice would like to talk to a team of professionals who can develop standalone single-purpose chatbot or comprehensive solution – we’re at your service!

Call Active Associate today on 0800 755 337 or chat with our chatbot @Actie for a no-obligation discussion about your needs.