HERE’S A story that might sound familiar: a firm realises it needs to innovate. Months are spent evaluating new software. A contract is signed, a solution installed, and training received.
Then, months later, the software isn’t performing as promised. Most times, the provider is blamed. However, after nearly 30 years consulting the legal profession, I can confidently say: nine times out of 10 it’s a change management issue.
Change management has to begin long before a new technology is introduced and continue long after its implementation. When we install RedView Connect, our client access platform, we walk clients through the following steps – actions every firm should take when introducing any new technology.
- Engage your staff, early
Explain to your team why the change is happening. Benefits are often long term, while difficulties are apparent straight away. You need to ensure they see the big picture.
If you’re clever, you can have staff champion the change. We explain to firms, well before implementation, that Connect will reduce their inbound calls and emails – this gets them excited about its introduction.
- Hold your client’s hand
Of course, you should also explain the benefit to your clients. More importantly though, make the change as simple as possible. And I don’t mean simple for your firm – make it simple for your clients. Don’t just send them an email. Give them a call. Or, better yet, meet them in person and walk them through the change or install the app on their phone (in the case of RedView).
- Keep it simple
Our experience with new technology (client facing particularly) is that less is more. In planning the above two steps, you’ll be tempted to share everything. Instead, treat it like a marketing campaign – promote just two or three key benefits. As well as this, ensure that all documentation is up to date; set up processes and naming protocols; and ensure everything is tailored to its audience, i.e. staff or clients.
If you follow these three simple steps, you’ll develop a culture for innovation at your firm and, importantly, see a better ROI for technology.
RedView helps law firms and their clients access matter information and documents from any device. Visit redview.com.au for more information.