COVID-19 has proven to be a real test of firms’ agility and ability to stay operational during this unprecedented lockdown. Thus far, for many firms, the focus has been on business continuity and internal re-organisation – ensuring employees have the tools they need to work from home, access to business information and such.
However, now a few weeks in, perhaps the emphasis needs to shift to service delivery to clients. By this I mean, they need to be looking at business operation in a way that allows them to work on client activity with the same level of efficiency and to the same standard, as if they were in the office. This is bearing in mind that potentially there are numerous paper files sitting on lawyers’ desk, which they cannot access presently. Also, they have lost the easy and informal collaboration that an office environment facilitates – walking down the corridor to a colleague to discuss a client issue, catching up by the coffee machine for an impromptu discussion and so on.
To compensate, firms will greatly benefit from establishing a central point for all client related activity. Perhaps a ‘virtual room’ in the form of a dashboard that offers access to all matter-related documents from the firm’s document management system and important financial information from the practice management system, alongside facilitating end-to-end project and task management. This will enable real-time collaborative working, both internally and with clients, to deliver the best possible customer experience. Crucially, with a dispersed workforce, such an approach will ensure security enterprise-level and control over the confidential information.
Given the upheaval COVID-19 has caused, the legal ramifications for organisations are massive and touch almost every aspect of business operation. It is imperative that firms have the operational ability to give clients the assistance they need to weather this storm. A structured approach to client service delivery will not only compensate for the lack of traditional access, but potentially even finesse and embed new processes to make them ‘business as usual’ for the future. Overtime, this approach will go a long way in harnessing and sharing knowledge across teams intuitively.
If you are interested in exploring such an approach, Ascertus and HubShare are well placed to discuss a solution that will meet the express needs of your firm. Please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.