The first UKLTA online forum took place last week, where our expert panel shared their top tips for Remote Client Onboarding, as well as more general advice on bringing new technology into your firm.

Our next panel “Client Communication & Confidentiality” takes place this Thursday at 5pm and you can book your place here.

For firms considering how to digitise their client onboarding process, our law panel members Sarah Blair (Thorntons), Rachael Hodge (PM Property Lawyers), Austin Blackburn (Nash & Co) and Chris Walker (Gorvins Solicitors) gave clear explanations of how they have done it, and are now using technology within their practices to enhance client experience, whilst also driving efficiency and cost savings.

The knowledge shared by our panelists provides a blueprint for other firms considering how remote client onboarding can be implemented successfully, whilst also covering some of the tech they have found useful.

Our panel also included several technology providers in the remote onboarding space – Robyn Weatherley (Thirdfort), Laura Bosworth (Amiqus) and Rob Hosier (inCase) – who shared their experiences of helping firms of all shapes and sizes to digitise their onboarding customer journey.

Our panel provided a treasure trove of information. There were far too many great tips to fit into one article (so check out the video!), but here are some of the highlights:

Learn from other Law Firms:

  • Don’t be afraid to speak to and learn from other law firms about their experiences and their approach to solving a given pain point. Everyone is trying to achieve the same goal, they just may use different tech suppliers to get there.
  • Ask tech suppliers to introduce you to firms who are successfully using their product day in, day out. This will provide you with reassurance that as a firm it is possible to get to a point where the tech works smoothly for you, but also provide a realistic picture of how long it is going to take, what pains you will have to go through, and what resources you will have to invest to get there.

Culture and the changing nature of client experience:

  • Ensure that your new client journey will be in keeping with what you want your client to feel and experience, and that it fits with your company values and ethos. Clients will choose to work with you because you provide a great experience.
  • Consider remote onboarding to be part of your arsenal for delivering a great customer experience.You can use remote onboarding and still meet your clients face to face, but you can spend that time with your client discussing their legal matters (rather than running to the photocopier to take copies of their ID).
  • Great remote client onboarding experiences are going to be expected by your clients. Consider what we have seen in the financial services industry where digital onboarding is the norm rather than the exception now.

General Points:

  • You don’t have to change your whole onboarding process in one go – choose one pain point and address that first, allowing you to undertake a clear cost-benefit analysis.
  • Centralised onboarding by one person/team following a standard process is favourable to partners or their assistants completing the onboarding process on an ad hoc basis themselves.
  • Whatever technology you bring into your practice for onboarding, it needs to connect into your case management system. Only use solutions that play nicely with others – API’s are an industry standard these days, gone are the days of closed ecosystems.
  • Some types of transactions (for example conveyancing) are higher risk than others. Balance the process you put in place against the risks and use the technology that’s most appropriate to that circumstance.
  • Consider whether you could adopt your new digital workflow for other areas of your business – for example undertaking checks when someone new is joining your team, or if your business is undergoing a change in beneficial owners.

On choosing suppliers:

  • Find a product that meets your needs and you can trust, and where you can build a strong relationship with the tech vendor. You don’t want a supplier who sells you a product and then disappears.
  • Make sure someone will be at the end of the phone to offer you support if and when you need it.
  • Tech providers can only make their products better if law firms aren’t afraid to say when something doesn’t quite work and suggest how it could be better. Choose a provider who is willing to listen to your comments to help improve their product for all their customers.
  • Don’t be afraid to work with relatively new suppliers, form strategic relationships and help suppliers develop great products. This will drive innovation in our industry.

The recording of the event is available online here for the next seven days – so catch it while you can. Our next panel “Client Communication & Confidentiality” takes place this Thursday at 5pm and you can book your place here.