3 Ways Your Technology is Annoying Your Clients


Law firms and consulting firms are in a position you might call unfair: your clients expect you to be masters of your craft and also of technology.

Take these three scenarios for example:

  1. You have the most mind-blowingly brilliant answer to a client question. You send it to them via fax.
  2. You have the best specialists in your practice area. It takes four days and a thrice-splintered email chain to get their input.
  3. You have the most comprehensive library of document templates on the planet. You can’t locate the one you need and spend hours recreating it instead.

In all of these cases you do in fact offer world-class expertise. But is your client thrilled? Probably not.

We’ve seen this first-hand over the past three decades as we’ve helped mid-sized firms who were feeling the consequences of clunky, inefficient technology systems. The good news is that in the same way technology can diminish the perceived quality of your service, it can also enhance the client experience.

Let’s dig into it!

1 – “I have to build an entirely new workflow to communicate with you.”

This first pain point revolves around your external communication. If the methods and platforms you use are completely at odds with that of your clients, you’re adding friction to their experience. Perhaps you use the Google suite and your clients mostly use Microsoft. Or maybe your clients use Zoom for video calls but you’re in Teams.

The technologies themselves might be comparable, but your client’s proficiency and comfort is likely not. And if there are enough hurdles that they implement a workaround (using their personal Gmail account to access your shared Google Sheets, for example), you’ve now also introduced a security vulnerability.

To resolve this issue, consider:

  • Evaluating how closely you can mirror your client’s technologies without sacrificing security or efficiency.
  • Ensuring a minimum level of compatibility with their corporate systems and security policies.
  • Offering training (live or recorded) as part of new client onboarding to bridge any gaps.

2 – “I pay the price for your team’s poor collaboration.”

Here we’re dealing with the effectiveness of your internal communication. Your client has outsourced to you for the benefit of accessing the entire firm’s collective expertise. If you are not able to pull on the right people at the right time, your client will probably start to question their investment.

Think through what it takes to either “put heads together” on a tough issue or to get multiple people to contribute to one document. Poor collaboration within your team can translate to inordinate turnaround times, mixed messages, and shaken confidence for your clients. And that’s even if the end result is of great quality.

To resolve this issue, consider:

  • Implementing or redesigning a collaboration tool like Slack or Teams.
  • Increasing visibility into your team’s scheduled commitments and real-time availability.
  • Building internal procedures around effective communication and when to “escalate” to a different method.

3 – “I waited way too long for a deliverable that should be routine.”

The third way your tech is annoying your clients is by leaving your firm’s work product in disarray. A document you cannot locate might as well be a document that doesn’t exist. Here again we see clients losing access to the expertise they’ve paid for and expect from your firm.

It might be a matter of particular employees going outside of firm protocol for document storage. It might be an illogical or inconsistent naming convention. It could be lack of versioning capabilities in your software. Whatever the root cause, the result is an irritated client.

To resolve this issue, consider:

  • Assessing your file management tools (NetDocuments, SharePoint, etc.) for best fit.
  • Formalizing and disseminating file storage procedures and naming conventions.
  • Hosting a training session for your team so they’re properly empowered.

Need help?

If you want to make strides toward elevating your technology maturity and leaving your clients completely blown away by how seamless and easy it is to work with you, we’re here to help! Our team of CIO Consultants has decades of experience working with law firms and consulting firms who are providing phenomenal expertise and outcomes – and who need a little guidance on the IT side.

More Insights