In response to the COVID-19 lockdowns, on top of the widespread cultural impact of digital tools and services, today’s legal organizations—from startups to mature law firms—are investing more time, money, and resources into optimizing the virtual client experience.
Because of companies like Facebook, Amazon, PayPal, and other digital giants, people expect to receive goods, services, and information from websites quickly, safely, and with little effort. To establish a meaningful presence online and increase user engagement, your law firm must maintain a user-centric website that helps clients move forward in their legal journey.
With chatbot technology, you can deliver automated customer service to current and prospective clients, resulting in more leads, higher client retention, and lower operational costs.
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits and applications of chatbot software, as well as the five best chatbot products in the legal industry today.
What is a legal chatbot?
A chatbot is an automation tool that helps users navigate websites, find information, and connect with business representatives. Powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), chatbots can be trained to complete a wide range of simple to complex tasks.
On legal websites, chatbots provide automated customer service for clients, prospects, and other site visitors—enabling a faster, more convenient user experience. This often includes answering basic legal questions, providing case updates, collecting contact information, scheduling appointments, and setting users up in a live chat with a real lawyer.
In addition to assisting clients, chatbot technology can also be leveraged to automate critical internal processes—like managing data, qualifying sales leads, generating contracts, conducting legal research, and more.
Applications for legal chatbots
As AI and ML technology becomes more advanced, the range of applications for legal chatbots becomes broader and more complex. Here are the most common examples of how legal professionals leverage chatbot software today:
Communicating with clients
Powered by conversational AI, legal chatbots provide general assistance to clients—particularly when it comes to sending case updates, processing payments, providing basic legal advice, and answering elementary legal questions.
It’s important to note that, as AI technology becomes more advanced, interactions between users and bots will become more like a real human conversation. And while certain areas will always require a human touch, many people prefer the speed and convenience of communicating with a legal robot.
Generating sales leads
Chatbots are quickly becoming a valuable lead generation tool for businesses across all industries. By simply collecting a few pieces of user information, your AI chatbot can qualify potential clients, schedule a consultation, and push them to the next stage of the sales funnel in a matter of minutes.
Streamlining the client intake process
When taking on new cases, lawyers need to gather a lot of information about the client. This was traditionally accomplished via client intake forms. But now, lawyers can employ chatbots to automate the standard, repetitive aspects of onboarding a new client.
Automating legal documents and research
With built-in keyword detection functionality, chatbots can review thousands of databases and documents to extract specific legal information for lawyers. They can also be leveraged to automate the manual, time-consuming process of generating, reviewing, and modifying legal contracts.
Benefits of legal chatbots
Adopting chatbot technology will help modernize your legal service and make it more competitive in the digital age. These are some of the key benefits lawyers experience from employing chatbots on their site:
- Lower costs: With a chatbot acting as your law firm's virtual front desk receptionist, you can reduce payroll costs in customer service, sales, marketing, and other areas of your business.
- Higher productivity: While your chatbot handles mundane and time-consuming administrative tasks like processing legal documents, you and your team can focus more time, energy, and resources on billable tasks.
- Fewer human errors: Automating tasks via chatbot software not only saves time, but also reduces the risk of human error—like putting a file in the wrong location, scheduling a meeting for the wrong time, or overlooking a critical mistake in a contract.
- Greater flexibility: Unlike human employees, chatbots are available 24/7 to respond to clients and complete tasks.
5 best legal chatbots
Choosing the right legal chatbot for your firm will depend on your unique business offerings, client base, technical requirements, and goals for the future. To help you get started in your search, here are the top five legal chatbots available today, based on reviews from numerous law firms and their clients:
AlphaChat provides lawyers with the ability to train their chatbot—using built-in natural language processing software—to satisfy important client and operational needs. This solution can automatically authenticate users, transfer them to a real lawyer, and collect data faster and more efficiently than any human employee. Plus, it can have conversations in almost any language.
This chatbot helps lawyers improve client engagement and convert website visitors into new clients. OutGrow offers interactive quizzes for qualifying sales leads, intuitive data analytics for understanding user behavior, and the ability to integrate seamlessly with thousands of other third-party apps.
LawDroid builds highly-customized chatbots for law firms, helping them simplify the client intake process, automate the execution of legal documents, and make data-driven sales and marketing decisions. The company offers a free thirty-day trial and various pricing structures based on the client’s needs.
Powered by the Facebook Messenger Platform, Chatfuel can smoothly integrate into your law firm website and social media channels. It has a “drag and drop” builder functionality, so you can customize the bot to match your preferred look and feel. Also, the solution is free as long as you never exceed 50 users at one time—making this a great option for startups and small firms.
With its intuitive chatbot builder platform, Flow XO makes it easy for lawyers to automate various processes—from sales and marketing, to customer service, to billing. This lawyer bot is specifically known for its ability to receive payments from clients.
Implementing chatbots and other innovative legal technology solutions for your firm
If you’re looking to implement legal chatbots and other solutions to enhance your law firm’s client experience, you’ll need a UX design and development partner with experience building and optimizing successful websites, apps, and other digital products in the legal space.
That’s where Codal comes in. Our award-winning team has over a decade of experience working with legal companies to improve their bottom line via elegant digital solutions.
In our initial Discovery stage, we’ll get to know your business, its customers, and the surrounding market, then plan and execute a strategy to revamp your online presence with a more user-centric approach. This may involve integrating a wide range of new, innovative technologies, such as legal CRMs, document automation tools, predictive analytics solutions, and of course, legal chatbots.
To learn more about how Codal can help improve your law firm’s client experience, get in touch with a member of our team today!