Probably the biggest challenge law firms face is not managing their existing clients, but getting clients in the first place. Current technologies don’t allow law firms to effectively convert leads. This is almost universally true for law firms, regardless of their marketing budget. And, if you spend the kind of money and time generating leads the way that law firms do, it doesn’t make sense to do all that work and then to rely on technology that doesn’t meet the needs of modern consumers — but, that’s just what happens in the practice of law. Law firms end up presenting leads with barriers, not access. Come to my website, and fill out a gigantic form. Call me, and I won’t follow-up with you for a week. Send an email to my ‘info’ account, and twiddle your thumbs while you wait for a response. Legal consumers want immediate responses, real-time access and actionable items. Quite simply, law firms that deliver on immediacy convert more leads than law firms that don’t.
But, even when law firms convert leads, they don’t usually do it in a thoughtful manner. Most lawyers just want to get clients, whatever clients they can get. But, the wrong clients can paralyze your law firm for years; and, getting out from under a bad client costs far more than never getting into that client in the first place, even including the marketing outlays to get to that lead. It’s clear that lawyers can make more intelligent decisions about the way they select clients. Law firms could use data (their own data and anonymized, aggregated data from other law firms) to predict case results based on historical information. That is an entirely new method of making client selection choices that empowers law firms to add the clients they want, while avoiding those they don’t. Using data analytics for client vetting removes the guesswork that law firms traditionally rely on for intake, and decreases volatility across the practice, including with respect to revenue, expenses and staff utilization. Knowing the entire case lifecycle before making the decision to accept or reject a client would equate to much more than an improved client intake methodology. It means that, in addition to only taking on ‘A’ grade clients, you can make revenue projections that are actually viable. Knowing when and how your revenue will come in before you make it means you can make better decisions about how you manage your law firm, and reduce the general, underlying panic that lawyers often feel about making things work on a month-to-month basis, including the anxiety they experience about ‘cash crunches’ that seem like unending valleys. Predictability reduces anxiety; and, less anxious lawyers can focus on running better businesses.
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Gideon is an intelligent messaging and predictive analytics software that answers for the above concerns in a truly meaningful way. In the first instance, Gideon delivers an intelligent messaging system for attorneys, that features significant user controls. Gideon’s AI-based chatbots engage a law firm’s web-based leads in natural language, while simultaneously qualifying those leads. Gideon features a complete bot building environment, which means that lawyers can create their own chatbots, by using simple options to manage logic applications; or, lawyers can use pre-built templates for specific practice areas. Law firms can turn on the technology, and let it manage client engagement, from initial contact to scheduling meetings. Lawyers and staff also have the ability to personally engage a warm lead, by using system prompts or their own intuition to jump into live conversations. Gideon integrates with Microsoft Office and GSuite. Gideon’s integration for Clio case management software works to convert leads to matters and to qualify leads. Gideon leads become Clio matters; Gideon conversations become Clio communications; Gideon appointments become Office or Google calendar appointments that sync with Clio. Modern consumers love real-time messaging; Gideon delivers the most robust chat functionality for modern law firms.
But, Gideon is also a client qualification engine. It’s true that law firms do use selection criteria when considering whether to take on clients. The thing is that those criteria are always moving targets, because attorneys don’t apply them consistently. Gideon combines attorney intuition and big data to build coherent predictions about the cases and clients attorneys are thinking about engaging. The first level at which Gideon qualifies leads is for attorney preference. Lawyers design qualifying questions via the chatbot builder in order to elicit answers to relevant questions reflecting on the desirability of a potential case, including with respect to jurisdictional limitations, matter types, ability to pay, necessary claim elements and potential revenue generated. With Gideon, law firms can systematize traditional vetting questions, and start to create a more complete picture of the initial state of any potential law firm client. The Gideon difference involves the marshaling of big data to refine law firm intake to a point where accurate predictions can be made about the potential for cases — before a fee agreement is ever signed. By connecting to your law firm’s existing dataset, as well as anonymized data from other law firms maintained by Gideon and provided by its partners, the system can predict revenue, expenses, length and staff utilization for any potential case, by comparing historical information related to the subject law firm’s and other law firms’ actual experiences in similar cases. This allows law firms to take advantage of big data, while protecting the confidentiality of their clients’ information, and is similar to the way that other industries (including medical), have addressed the issue. Gideon’s predictive analytics provide a complete architecture for forecasting law firm revenue.
So much of modern technology is concerned with predicting human behavior and building a revenue model around the ripple effects. If you use Pandora, how uncannily accurate are its song recommendations for you? How many internet ads are you served that align with your current interests? Consider that every consumer interaction you have is actually a reaction to building stimuli provided by smart companies.
Law firms’ passivity in the face of increasingly scientific and increasingly sophisticated lead generation and lead conversion tactics endangers the profession. But, those lawyers who take advantage of technology focused on leveraging data to make marketing decisions will maintain a significant advantage over their competition.
It’s time for law firms to start thinking like the smartest companies. Gideon will provide law firms with unprecedented access to big data analytics, to help make that possible.
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Request a demo today, and find out what we’re all about: https://www.gideonlegal.com/schedule-a-demo/