Why the future of legal is customer-centric

Paul Groarke our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 18 December 2020

As new technology platforms are enabling businesses to offer a superior service, customer expectations have soared upwards. It’s now not enough to have a good product. Businesses across all sectors must be tailored to the consumer. Research by Deloitte showed that 60% of customer-centric companies are more profitable than those not focused on the consumer. In the legal sector, client retention has become increasingly important. With the market growing all the time, legal firms will need to apply a more client-centric approach.


The law firms that will succeed in the future are those that have a true understanding of their client’s business. In recent years, there’s been a massive shift in customer behaviour, which has forced companies to be more proactive. In a legal context, firms must continue to adapt their services to meet the evolving demands on the market. Clients have more options now than ever before, so legal firms must focus on becoming strategic business partners. The law industry is headed in a more customer-centric direction – but what does the future truly look like for law firms?


Rise of the customer-centric culture


Customer-centric companies place the customer at the core of everything they do. These businesses understand that brand loyalty can be earned when you provide a transparent and efficient process. It’s no secret that we’re currently undergoing a digital transformation. As a result of technology, businesses have been forced to re-think customer engagement, and develop new strategies to serve their customers in this digital era. Many legal firms face the same critical challenges as businesses from other sectors, which includes being too process-driven. Law firms have been slower to keep up the pace with the digital transformation that has affected the customer experience across multiple industries. 


However, there’s no denying that the legal culture is becoming less rigid, as a result of consumer demand, technology, and globalisation. These outside forces have created a renewed focus on the client, and they’re paving a way for an entirely new legal culture. For example, law firm Pinsent Masons have focused on cultural change by growing the business’ output. The firm’s practice has now expanded to real estate and energy, helping clients solve tech-related problems. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is another law firm that has moved in a technology-based direction. The firm has a digital platform that manages data and offers insights to help clients on any challenges they may be facing. The law profession has evolved and many firms are striving toward technology innovation to remain competitive. It’s also worth mentioning that the rise of niche marketing has changed the outlook of many legal firms. While specialist law firms aren’t anything new, the demand for smaller legal firms that can deliver genuine expertise to clients will continue to grow in the future.


As clients are focusing more and more on digital innovation, law firms have been forced to adjust their strategies. It’s never been more important for businesses to achieve brand and customer alignment. Traditionally, the legal business has been quite divided, and often hierarchal. However, as this customer-centric business model continues to grow, legal firms will have to ensure there’s more alignment between lawyers and clients. 


Building a customer-centric law firm


Fortunately, several elite legal service providers are delivering complex customer-centric services that are specifically tailored to corporate clients. The legal industry has changed in the way that it’s no longer about simply providing legal knowledge. Instead, there’s now a demand for a data-driven, multidisciplinary service, built on the needs of the customer. These elite legal providers are leading the way in the industry and are having a profound effect on the delivery model. We’re now living in an age where legal firms must understand their clients’ perspectives and build personas based on the data they collect. In this way, legal firms can operate like traditional businesses by providing a faster service that’s technology-assisted.


Thankfully, today, lawtech is on the rise. According to research by The Law Society, there has been an increase in the number of lawtech companies in recent years. Lawtech is the use of technology to support and provide legal services, and it has a global market value of $15.9bn. In practice, lawtech services cover document automation, smart legal contracts and research systems. Lawtech has paved the way for law firms to deliver their service through technology and there are a variety of tools and processes.


With client pressures and a greater need for efficiency, lawtech will no doubt prove important for legal firms. In the legal industry, there’s a greater understanding that law firms need to focus on fast delivery models for their clients – so it’s no surprise that lawtech has gained so much traction. The future of legal is certainly going to be tech-driven, with law firms adopting a customer-centric approach for achieving growth and client satisfaction. 


Let Hanover help your business

The entire legal industry is going through changes, but what’s clear, is there’s an increasing focus on building positive relationships. As the sector becomes even more competitive, legal firms need to be ready to deliver their service at speed. The law firm of the future will be a highly evolved business that operates as a trusted partner to corporate clients.


At Hanover, we have a deep understanding of the legal sector. We’re committed to helping our clients improve their culture and processes by hiring the top talent. We help to examine your recruitment goals and work with you to create a strategic plan of action that will help you identify the best professionals in the market. Whether you’re a law firm looking to recruit or you’re in another sector, contact us today to start a conversation and see how we can help.


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