In fact, all of the Top 10 legal firms, and forty percent of the Top 11-25, view technology as the key challenge facing the legal sector today.1
Interactive client portals have become firmly established in the industry, providing clients with access to relevant information, documents, project timelines, and budget status, whenever they want, as well as offering collaboration tools and spaces that allow staff and clients to share thoughts, comments, and assign tasks quickly and easily.
A number of firms have also embraced the online assistant model to lead clients through a series of questions to point them to the correct forms, policies, and answers they need.2
Many firms have started to make in-roads into improving their digital offering, but there's still much to do.
The Law Society has predicted 67,000 legal jobs will be replaced with automation by 2038, and that 80,000 new roles are expected to be created in the next decade – 25,000 by 2025 alone.3
And Gartner predicts that by 2023, Virtual Legal Assistants (VLAs) will manage a quarter of all requests and questions to internal corporate legal departments, reducing response time and the need for legal department interaction. When VLAs can’t answer a question, they'll be able to send the question to the appropriate person and provide initial information that will aid the internal lawyer in quickly responding.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) innovations are changing the way that lawyers and legal professionals handle the time-consuming task of legal research – using natural language processing to quickly and efficiently sort through cases and statutes, finding those that are relevant. AI is also expected to have an impact in the area of outcome predictions.
The need for digital client engagement comes at a cost. But it's something that is absolutely necessary in order to compete and be ready for the future. Without rapid and significant investment into digital channels today, the less digitally-savvy law firms will be left behind very quickly.
Digital transformation within law firms must therefore speed up. We believe more organisations will see the benefit in moving their websites away from simple content management systems that aren't delivering for their business or for their customers, to powerful digital experience platforms that drive personalised online experiences, can merge seamlessly with their CRM system, call centre technology, and offer the potential for ecommerce and online billing capability.
In a world that's becoming ever more reliant on digital means to communicate, in order to compete and to survive, law firms large and small must make strides to keep up with the rapid advances in technology capabilities, and use digital technologies to evolve their business model and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities.
The role of your website
Your website is your shop window to the world. It needs to shout who you are, why you’re different, why you’re the one to choose. It needs to showcase your expertise across all the areas of law you cover, and it needs to help clients and potential clients solve their burning legal questions. Put simply, it needs to mirror the service someone would get when they step into your office and meet you face-to-face.
Most law firms create content for their website that discusses issues their clients encounter or legal issues at large, whether through PDF documents to download and keep, or blog articles to quickly inform on a specific topic. All too often however, this content becomes quickly lost or hidden deep within a website, only appearing when a visitor randomly comes across it after several minutes of searching or does an obscure search for a particular phrase in Google.
Content is key in influencing the purchase decision. Thought leadership, written in a way that's easily understandable by clients big and small, is critical. It helps to promote your expertise and capabilities. But it needs to be seen, and it needs to be read. It needs to be shared across multiple channels.
Law firms need to be able to serve up the right content, in the right place, at the right time, for the right person.
Personalisation is vital in helping to surface relevant information when you have a complex set of services to reflect. With the majority of legal services buyers using digital channels for research from start to end, your marketing strategy needs to focus on being found, and producing helpful content that will influence purchase across the entire customer journey.
Law firms, with their often complex and multi-faceted offering, need to look at investing in a digital experience platform that can:
- Collect client data down to the individual level via multiple channels
- Automatically identify client segments
- Gather real-time insights into visitor behaviour and interactions as they happen
- Automate responses based on visitor interactions
- Deliver personalised content for every stage of the customer journey
Introducing the Sitecore Experience Platform
Sitecore is a flexible and powerful digital experience platform.
Recognised by Gartner as a Leader in the Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management for ten years running, and as a Leader in Digital Experience Platforms for the past three years,
Sitecore is perfect if you want to have one customer view, personalise content and customer journeys through your website, and don't want to manage and bolt on various systems and marketing technologies to your website content management system – which can often mean higher costs in the long run.
Already used by some of the largest law firms in the world, it comes with a raft of marketing features that solve your digital challenges. From content management to personalisation and marketing automation to analytics, Sitecore helps you deliver highly optimised, personalised experiences that means a better customer experience and improved marketing and business results.
Our experience has shown us that not only is Sitecore a great fit for law firms, and the professional services industry in general, but that its powerful capabilities as a marketing platform and the visibility it provides opens the eyes of the C-suite, the IT team, and marketing leaders as to what is digitally possible with the right technology in place.
World-class, multi-language content management
Many law firms operate on a global scale, and make things easy by allowing you to upload, create, manage, and publish content across different pages and fully mobile-optimised websites, in different languages, all from the same platform. Sitecore's multi-language capabilities are ideal to accommodating consistent communication across a multitude of languages.
Scalability and performance
Sitecore’s robust .NET based architecture, and the configurability of the platform ensures complete scalability, security, and high-quality performance.
Sitecore has been built to provide you with a 360-degree view of your customers. You have a database which collects customer data and tracks a visitor’s interactions, and a personalisation rules engine which reads this data in real time. This allows you to deliver personalised content in the right place, at the right time, for the right person to give clients a superior digital experience.
Rubber-tight approval workflows
With numerous offices comes multiple content owners and website editors. Sitecore’s content versioning keeps an audit trail to review and compare different versions of the same page or modules, and all content can be pushed through an approval workflow that you define, making sure the right people have seen and signed off on your public-facing marketing materials.
Sleek marketing automation
Sitecore Marketing Automation nurtures prospects, clients, and website visitors by delivering real-time, automated responses triggered by actions completed during user journeys. For example, if a known client visits a landing page with a form to download a document, but they don’t fill it in, you could send them an automatic email to check whether they had just forgotten or were looking for something else.
Built-in email marketing
Sitecore’s Email Experience Manager (EXM) is a powerful tool that enables users to:
- Create regular or automated email campaigns
- Construct an email from a designed template
- Create recipient lists
- Personalise email communications
- Monitor recipient actions
Digital asset management (DAM)
A DAM is a repository that allows you to manage digital assets, ranging from product photos and brand imagery to video footage and PDF documents.
Sitecore DAM will allow you to:
- Upload and store all your brand assets, from photos, video, and more
- Categorise each piece of content and quickly search for the one you need for your campaign
- Add metadata and usage rights information to each file
- Review and validate any content uploaded from your team across the world
- Manage the lifecycle and lifetime of each piece of content
- Share your assets with other users across the organisation
Sitecore DAM also integrates seamlessly with Salesforce Marketing Cloud, as well as of course, the Sitecore Experience Platform.
Sitecore Analytics shows all the visitor interactions with your website across audience, acquisition, behaviour, and conversion, and you can assign and track events, goals, and conversions, as well as campaigns – just like Google Analytics. But you can also track profile and engagement value – where you can define your visitor profiles and score each page or piece of content on your website, helping you to ascertain and assign those visitors who show more propensity to be clients.
How we can help
Codehouse has been at the forefront of digital experience for over 15 years, working with some of the world’s top law firms, helping them stand out in the market, and deliver game-changing digital experiences for their clients. From strategy, design, and delivery, to ongoing optimisation and support, we'll work with you to create amazing customer experiences that deliver measurable marketing and business results.
We're Sitecore experts and one of the elite group of Sitecore partners who do it all, from design and build to ecommerce, personalisation, marketing optimisation, systems integration, and more. Our knowledge is unparalleled. We tap into our deep understanding of Sitecore to build tailored websites that achieve and exceed your digital goals.
To know more about how Codehouse can help your firm take advantage of Sitecore, just get in touch.
The Impact of Digital Disruption on the Legal Sector is part our series of articles dedicated to the legal profession:
- How Law Firms Can Become More Content
- The Future of the Client Portal in the Legal Sector
- The 5 Ultimate Website Best Practices
1. PWC, Law Firms’ Survey 2018; 2. The BTI Consulting Group, Legal Innovation and Technology Outlook 2019; 3. Law Gazette, 24 September 2018