In 2016, LegalConnect democratized eFiling for litigation support service providers and process serving companies.
It did this by providing them with a technology platform to automate their businesses and to connect with courts so their law firm clients could electronically file legal documents through them.
And while that was a big win for litigation support service providers looking to stay relevant and extend their business reach, many of these businesses have only scratched the surface of the value LegalConnect can provide them.
Read on to learn how to make it rain with the LegalConnect solution.
Technology built for rainmakers
Businesses that want to survive changing markets must be ready to change how they serve those markets. An all-in-one technology platform like LegalConnect provides the essential tools litigation support service providers need to serve 21st century law firms, two of which are mentioned below:
- An Operations Portal that simplifies everyday tasks and processes related to customers, orders, documents, vendors, billing and reporting.
- A Customer Portal that enables ecommerce for your business and allows your customers to place their own litigation support service orders, manage their cases, receive status updates, and more.
The customer portal has no hardware to buy and costs nothing to scale up. It’s a turnkey solution. Once activated, it enables litigation support service providers to offer the most in-demand litigation support services law firms regularly use such as:
- Electronic Court Filing (eFiling)
- Physical Court Filings
- Process Serving
- Document Retrieval
- Courtesy Copy Delivery
- Secretary of State Filing
- County Recording
So, why wouldn’t a litigation support service provider or process serving firm want to offer those services?
“We’ve always done it this way,” is the response we hear in many cases. Not everyone is enthusiastic about change. But it’s not the only reason.
Companies also hold back due to:
- Fear of losing control of how orders are entered and dispatched.
- Unwillingness to handle orders that arrive through the portal after business hours.
- Belief that a high-touch, concierge service model will be more lucrative.
- Resource constraints for handling more orders.
- Belief that the technology is difficult to implement.
Regardless of justification, businesses that don’t use a customer portal consign themselves to providing more labor-intensive services and clunky payment methods.
Not a good strategy for staying relevant in the 21st century.
The simplicity that makes it great
Imagine for a moment that you’ve just purchased the LegalConnect platform. Now imagine what you’d say about it during your TikTok unboxing video:
In its simplest form, the customer portal gives legal professionals 24-hour “self-service” capability from anywhere.
That means your customers can easily open court cases themselves. They can place eFile or eServe orders directly into California eFiling courts, and they can place orders for other court services they’d normally purchase from a litigation support service provider.
Now, think about what that means if you’re the business owner.
- Clients who use your customer portal don’t need to call your business, speak to an operator, or send paper documents both of you must hunt down and store.
- Clients can place orders for your litigation support services anytime, and from any location they choose.
- Payment happens online at the time of the transaction being placed.
And, perhaps best of all, it’s no big trick to use.
Push the button, log on, it works
There is absolutely no rocket science needed to harness the power of a customer portal for your business and clients. Let’s say you’re the provider and you have your own website. Here’s what happens:
- On your website you place a link to the customer portal.
- Your customer clicks on the link and, Voila!, they can quickly:
- Set up an account
- Add firm users
- Add information about preferred payment method (credit card or ACH direct withdrawal).
- Order eFiling, physical filing, service of process, and more right from their browser.
Now that you understand what a customer portal is, here are the four main reasons you should be using one.
1. Increased Operational Efficiency
If you’re not using a customer portal, the process you use to dispatch an order may have the back-and-forth feel of a pinball machine. Possibly, it may look something like this:
- Communicate with the client about the incoming order (by phone or by email).
- Retrieve the customer’s documents (either from an email or physical pickup).
- Open the email and the attachment.
- Scan the document into a PDF file format (if the customer provided a hard copy of the document).
- Save the documents to a computer drive.
- Upload the documents into your Operations Portal.
- Prepare and dispatch the order.
- Notify the client about the status of the order (by phone or email).
- Return a conformed copy to the customer by email, mail, or hand delivery.
- Email or mail an invoice to the client.
In contrast, when you provide your customers with the ability to place orders themselves through a customer portal, many of the manual, paper-intensive processes dissolve. This happens because:
- The customer does a part of the work upfront, and
- the order arrives to you in an electronic format.
With customer portal technology, you and your customers benefit from the operational efficiencies created through the reduced time and resources required for order preparation and processing.
2. Accelerated Cashflow
It’s hard for a 21st century litigation support service business to be competitive using state-of-the-art 1980 practices for invoicing, A/R, and fee advances that also pinch cash flow – ouch!
A customer portal helps you be more competitive and improve cash flow because customers must provide payment information (credit card or ACH) up front to guarantee payment.
And, because LegalConnect integrates with many payment gateways and Quick Books Online, litigation support service providers can use the customer portal to “bill and charge” customers electronically immediately after an order is completed.
As a result, payments are quickly deposited directly into the provider’s bank account, which means:
- No more waiting for checks to arrive.
- No more chasing late payments.
- No more serving as a de facto bank for your clients.
What business wouldn’t want that?
3. Opportunity to Grow Your Client Base
The number of California courts that accept or require electronic document filing is exploding. The upshot for litigation support service providers is that law firms doing business with those courts must have an eFiling provider.
Take a bow because this means you.
The customer portal in the LegalConnect platform equips your business with an integrated eFiling capability to seize this opportunity. It positions you to become a preferred eFiling provider that can grow, maintain, and attract customers.
Not only that, but the technology looks good in your business the way a Ferrari looks good in your garage.
Think about it: A customer portal in your business communicates to law firms that your business is modern, fast, and responsive. The portal tells law firms that your business is ready and able to help streamline their operations, lower costs, and increase efficiency.
And, when it comes to uptime, the LegalConnect customer portal record is much better than any Ferrari’s.
4. Future-Proofing Your Business
With digital transformation underway in the legal industry, companies are turning to technology to improve their competitive advantage. Litigation support service providers that use customer portal technology can better maintain their competitive posture as the future unfolds by:
- Freeing time spent on manual processes: Providers can focus more resources on improving their business, business development, and customer support.
- Speeding up payments: Providers can take advantage of improved cash flow to make needed investments in their business.
- Attracting and maintaining customers: Providers will generate more revenue that can be used to expand their business.
Easy to Implement
Wondering whether customer portal technology is complicated to use?
Any litigation support service provider with licensed Legal Connect technology can quickly get a customer portal up and running.
When you’re ready to implement a customer portal simply contact LegalConnect to set it up. You’ll be provided with a URL that your web admin can link to your business’ website. The link will take users to a customer portal login page that can be branded with your company logo.
The LegalConnect team trains you so that you—in turn—can train your users as they begin setting up accounts and placing orders. Future-proofing your business doesn’t get any easier!
Get started Now
Contact a LegalConnect expert to set up a demo or discuss new strategies for using the technology you already have!
Call (800) 909-6859 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.