In this 6-part series, we’ll address how chatbots are changing the game for law firm intake. This is part 5, where we’ll discuss how to use intake information to make better decisions. In part 1, we defined what a chatbot is. In part 2, we covered common chatbot features. In part 3, we addressed why chatbots are so essential for modern law firm intake. In part 4, we taught you how to build the perfect law firm chatbot.
Data analytics has the potential to massively reformulate the way that law firms operate, and touches upon all aspects of law firm management. Traditionally, lawyers have made decisions about how to run their law firms using gut reactions and ad hoc processes. Even so, modern businesses make decisions based on data, small and big. It’s about time law firms joined the fray. For individual law firms, it makes sense to adopt data analytics practices where others do not, because it affords a massive competitive advantage.
When law firms do focus on data, it’s often financial data or process data. Oftentimes, marketing data, including intake data, is ignored – this is perhaps a reason why productivity software options far outstrip marketing software options in legal. But, marketing data, particularly intake data, is extremely useful when mined, which is the entire thesis behind the value of CRM software. But, while CRM software evokes the entire marketing cycle, including phases of the productivity segment of the client lifecycle, chatbots can drill down to the moment of first engagement with clients, and offer data points respecting that unique moment in time when a potential client of any law firm becomes your lead.
Data acquisition via chatbot is essentially unlimited. You can ask as much as a lead will tolerate. For example, you can acquire personal information about financial status, residence, family status, contact information and preferences, and more. Additionally, a chatbot can collect specific information about a potential client’s claim, like: practice area; date of incident, location of incident and other time and jurisdiction-sensitive information; conflict potential; and, narrative of events. Not only can a chatbot collect data, but the underlying software can render it into reports. Those reports can focus on individual clients or groups of clients, and can also be massaged to draw conclusions about case value. By using a chatbot, and gathering as much information as you can and then leveraging it at the outset of a case (i.e. – before you take it), your law firm will be able to make better decisions about the cases you take on . . . or, don’t. That process also has applications for the streamlining of referrals.
The data revolution in legal is only just beginning; but, chatbots will become an important component of it.
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Now you know how a chatbot can help you make better decisions about the clients you take on or reject. We’ll focus next time on chatbots and legal ethics. Stay tuned, right here.