Build a Better Client Experience in 2023 With Secure File-Sharing
Satisfied clients are an invaluable resource for law firms—they’re more likely to make referrals and return to your firm for future legal matters, lend positive testimonials to your practice, and pay invoices on time, all of which help to support a healthy cash flow.
When it comes to client satisfaction, the quality of the professional skills your firm offers is key. But it isn’t enough on its own.
A positive client experience is the foundation of a sustainable legal practice. Today’s legal clients increasingly want their interactions with law firms to be timely and convenient. And driving across town to deliver a document or spending an hour learning to navigate new software to look over a two-page contract? Well, that’s neither.
Sharing documents with clients or colleagues online is faster and more convenient than setting up in-person meetings. However, unless you’re using tools that are specifically designed for the job of protecting your clients’ data, exchanging files virtually can be risky. That’s where secure file-sharing comes in, simplifying client interactions while protecting sensitive information from identity thieves and other bad actors.
Balancing security with client convenience
Rigorous respect for attorney-client privilege is a key part of providing a positive client experience, and it’s also crucial to avoid potential ethics violations with the state or national bar association. Attorneys are obligated to make every possible effort to protect their clients’ information. Meanwhile, clients increasingly demand faster, simpler access to their legal documents.
With this in mind, it is important to examine the pros and cons of every method of sending documents electronically, including by email, portal, and file-sharing software.
Sharing files via email attachments
Over the last several decades, the legal industry has adopted—and abandoned—a multitude of methods to keep private legal documents confidential. Once upon a time, email attachments seemed like an ideal way of transferring documents to clients. However, they’re now alarmingly easy targets for hackers. Plus even if your client gives you written permission to send unsecured information over the web, it still may not be legally permissible.
Sharing files via a client portal
Client portals can offer better protection for legal clients’ personal information than email attachments. In spite of this, many firms have difficulty convincing clients to actually use them. While they’re still an excellent option when it comes to providing robust security, busy clients can be hesitant to learn how to navigate them since creating a separate login is often perceived as a barrier to communication.
In our digital world, law firms must invest in digital technology designed for compliance, ethical practice, and client satisfaction. So, what’s a security-focused firm to do?
Sharing files via secure file-sharing software
When it comes to weighing client convenience against data security, secure file-sharing seems to strike the best balance.
Secure file-sharing takes advantage of modern cybersecurity techniques to establish a middle ground that even the least tech-savvy clients are able to use. The process includes layers of defense features to make sensitive information inaccessible to unauthorized viewers, including secure links, encryption, and password protection.
Role-based access permissions provide additional protection. On the off chance that a bad actor was to gain access to your system, the software will limit the amount of information they are able to view.
The security measures sound complicated, but the client experience isn’t. Secure file-sharing allows clients to access important documents in just a few clicks—with no need to create another new username and password to remember.
Five ways secure file-sharing directly benefits your clients
01. Monetary savings
With traditional file-sharing methods, you would have to reprint each document every time a small change was made. It’s a pain—and it’s also expensive, as printing costs can quickly pile up. With secure file-sharing, you don’t have to print a single copy of legal documents, let alone several copies.
By saving so much on paper, your firm will be more environmentally friendly, which some clients may find appealing. Moreover, you could choose to invest any savings in other improvements to the client experience. For example, adding a virtual assistant can offer a much-appreciated reduction in response times.
02. Ease of use
Secure file-sharing technology saves time for you and your clients alike. It also opens the door for your firm to use eSignatures—a convenient and secure alternative to making in-person appointments to review and sign legal documents. Attorneys can safely share legal documents via email with a secure link. If a signature is needed, the client can review and sign the document whenever it’s most convenient for them, in just a few clicks.
With secure file-sharing, there’s no need to worry about key documents getting lost in the mail—or buried in a crowded email inbox. File-sharing programs can periodically remind the client about the document until it has been addressed.
For most firms—and clients—this workflow is much more appealing than putting paralegals through a never-ending game of phone tag to arrange in-person meetings.
03. Less confusion leads to streamlined service
Here’s a scenario: after a week of waiting, your client finally uploads a signed photocopy of an important contract to your client portal. But, just as you’re ready to get matters rolling, you discover that they signed the contract on the wrong line. This means the client will need to re-print, re-sign, and re-upload the document.
This situation is common with traditional methods of sending files. It frustrates both attorneys and clients because it delays progress on pending legal matters.
With secure file-sharing, you can get rid of this hassle entirely. File-sharing and eSignature software only allow clients to sign documents in predefined areas. It also flags missing fields, so all documents are complete when submitted.
Simplifying the legal workflow in this way gives your clients a reason to recommend you because legal agreements are finalized faster.
04. Faster large file transfers
Compliant law firm file-sharing software allows you to upload legal documents to a protected platform with no size limit. Clients access the file-sharing platform via a secure link to view their documents. If clients request updates, attorneys can use the platform to easily edit large files without additional uploading.
05. More organized attorneys
Some secure file-sharing platforms allow you to schedule regular, automatic data backups. In other words, even if your server crashes or one of your partners leaves their laptop at an airport, the most recent versions of your clients’ sensitive documents won’t get lost. Plus, attorneys are able to keep matters meticulously synced up.
Less internal confusion about where legal documents are allows attorneys to be more organized and work more quickly—and your clients will notice.
With Rocket Matter, it’s easy to send and receive files
Powered by LexShare, Rocket Matter’s innovative file-sharing and eSignature service lets users securely request, send, and receive legal documents without having to log into a client portal. Built-in features like secure file-sharing, eSignature, and document storage help your whole team stay organized by keeping all client matters—and files—in one place.