Man (and Woman!) vs. Machine: How Lawyers Can Thrive in a World Being Overtaken By AI
If you’ve been keeping on top of the news lately, you’ve probably read several articles about artificial intelligence (AI) and how technology will eventually take over millions of jobs. Larry Port, CEO of Rocket Matter, recently wrote an article about this very subject entitled “How Much Should Lawyers Worry About Automation.” However, it’s important to remember what separates humans from machines so that, as a lawyer, you can triumph over artificial intelligence in a world of automation. How can you do that?
The answer is simple: Offer outstanding client service.
While automation and AI may always outshine humans when it comes to problem solving and data management, the one thing that the human race has on robots is their ability to feel and relate to others. Empathy is a trait that people gravitate to, and it’s a trait that is of high value in the legal world. That’s why client service is so critical. By calming your client’s inevitable fears and concerns during the legal process and by making them feel special, you connect with them on a level that AI cannot. At least for the time being.
That being said, here are three sure-fire ways to offer your clients outstanding customer service:
Focus on the Person, Not the Problem
Think back: Why did you get into law in the first place? Was it so you could afford that hot sports car or live in that swanky penthouse apartment? Possibly. But I personally know many lawyers who got into the profession to uphold the principles of justice and honor and to help others.
As a lawyer, it’s easy to treat each case as a puzzle that needs to be solved. However, any simple machine can solve a problem when given stone-cold facts, but no simple machine can empathize with another the way a human can.
You must never lose sight of the emotions of your client. Many of them are going through the legal process for the first time in their lives. They may be frightened. They may be anxious. By addressing client concerns with empathy and emotional understanding, you not only make your clients happier, but you may find that it makes you happier as well.
Give Each Client Your Full Attention
When you’re on their clock, make your client feel as if they’re the only one who matters. This means avoiding answering your phone, checking emails, and engaging in side banter. Giving a client your full attention allows you to listen and address any concerns that they may have. It may also be beneficial to the outcome of their case. The more you understand about their situation, the easier it will be for you to find a solution. Eliminating distractions is a win-win for everyone involved.
Be Open to Feedback
Let’s review how technology works: Software is deployed, bugs are found, fixes and updates are put into place, and the cycle repeats continuously. How are humans supposed to compete with this?
Embrace client feedback.
Companies large and small use tools such as “net promoter surveys” to gauge how their customers and clients view their products and their services. A great example of a company in the legal spectrum that thrives off of feedback is Rocket Matter, a legal practice management platform. Though they offer exceptional software, one can argue that the reason they stand out so much from their competitors is because of their exceptional client service. They constantly ask for feedback from their customers because they know that it’s the only way they can truly understand their needs. It’s because of these efforts that Rocket Matter has been awarded the prestigious Stevie® Award for Sales and Customer Service for three years running.
Whether it’s concerning your demeanor or your legal processes, feedback should be welcomed and embraced. Whether good or bad, feedback is an opportunity for us to learn and adapt and to better ourselves.
If your client doesn’t wish to give you their feedback in person, then ask for it via a survey or an email. Many clients will feel more comfortable to give feedback more honestly and completely when they aren’t in your presence. Take some time to review their responses and make a genuine effort to learn from them. Your client will feel more empowered, and you can “update” yourself in the process.