Chatbots are a popular legal tech option that law offices use to automate certain activities. While they are certainly convenient and have the ability to improve productivity. Yet, it’s not always as easy as finding and executing the chatbot and expecting nothing but bliss and excellence. Of course, the last thing we want to do is discourage you from exploring whether a chatbot can improve how your office functions.
Chatbots have the potential to act as phenomenal tools, but you must understand what you can do to make the most out of using this type of legal tech. Don’t worry! It isn’t difficult to figure out how your law firm can make the most out of chatbots. In fact, it just takes some pre-planning.
Why Should You Go Through the Pre-Planning Process?
Technology is supposed to make our lives easier. Why is it necessary to pre-plan for this? We’re just talking about a chatbot, right? It’s not a major issue…is it? Yes, we’re just talking about a chatbot. However, that chatbot won’t do you or your law firm any good if it isn’t properly configured. If it doesn’t do what you thought or hoped it could do in the way you thought or hoped it would do it, you won’t use it. Then, instead of having a tool that can improve your productivity, you have something that you spent money on and that you cannot use. If it’s not easy to use and it is supposed to be used by law firm staff, they will not use it.
The pre-planning process is important because it helps you determine exactly what you need the chatbot to do for your law firm. It helps you determine exactly how it would (and should) be used. It helps you avoid potential future problems. Pre-planning for any sort of technology that will be implemented is important.
4 Ways Law Firms Can Make the Most Out of Chatbots
Pre-planning helps your law firm make the most out of its chatbot. Here’s what you should consider:
Consider how it will be used. Will the chatbot be used by clients, potential clients, or law firm employees? How you want the chatbot to interact with clients or potential clients may be a bit different than how one would interact with law firm employees. When it is used with clients or potential clients for any reason, remember that the law firm chatbot represents your actual law firm and its abilities. It needs to ask questions in a way that seems friendly to the end-user. If it answers basic questions, the answers it provides should also be friendly and written in a way that is easy for laypersons to understand.
Will the law firm chatbot deliver completed basic legal documents? Regardless of whether the information gathered and placed into the document comes from law firm staff or clients, it’s important to make sure that the chatbot accurately fills out the form. Of course, if the recipient of the automated document is a law firm employee, it’s a bit easier to review to ensure accuracy. Whereas, clients may not know if the document the received is properly assembled. Test, test, and test again. Do not deploy the chatbot until you are fully confident that it works correctly every single time it is used.
How will your law firm know the chatbot was used by a client or potential client? Chatbots can be used on your website. Another popular option is a chatbot that works through Facebook messenger. You need to know how you (or the appropriate law firm employee) will know if the chatbot was used. Sometimes, chatbots can’t answer a question. Sometimes, an inappropriate (to the chatbot’s standards) entry by the client or potential client was used and the chatbot can’t do its job. Sometimes, there’s no problem and there’s a potential client waiting for your call. Once the data is captured, where does it go? Is it emailed to you (or someone in your law firm)? How are issues with the chatbot logged? And if there is an error, what does it say to the user? Remember, if the law firm chatbot is used by clients or potential clients, it directly represents your law firm and its abilities. Don’t leave that representation to chance. Test, test, and test again.
If the chatbot is for internal use, get the input of law firm employees before, during, and after implementation. If you really want to make sure that law firm employees use the chatbot to help automate some of what they do, get their input before you invest in a chatbot. Find out from them tasks they would like the chatbot to help with. This is important because if you want the chatbot used to help with productivity, you need first hand information about what affects the staff. Get feedback from law firm staff who use the chatbot. Are there unexpected issues? Is it confusing to use? Is there something that it doesn’t do that they think it should? This level of feedback can help you determine how effective the chatbot is and what improvements may be necessary. Make sure that those who will use the chatbot get the appropriate training before it is deployed as well as future support. They will not use it if it doesn’t help them. If it feels too difficult for staff to get the help they need to use it, the chatbot’s future is in imminent danger.
Quality and Empathy: The Keys to a Well-Designed Law Firm Chatbot
Regardless of whether the law firm chatbot will be used by the public or used internally, quality is a must. Always remember to test, test, and test some more so that you know how the chatbot operates and what it produces. Know and understand how you will discover if there are problems with it. For public-facing chatbots, always remember that empathy from the chatbot at the right times goes a long way in portraying your law firm as a place that cares. For internal chatbots, empathy shown by you when you engage with law firm staff about what they do and don’t need it to help with does two things. First, it helps you make a better decision in choosing the right law firm chatbot. Second, it helps staff known that you care about what they do and how it is done. It helps show that you want them to enjoy their work environment by making it a little easier to get through their assigned tasks!
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