Do you know which client-facing technology is the most important for your law firm to use in the conveyancing process? Here we discuss the five tools you need in 2023 to ensure you're delivering an exceptional client experience.
Why client-facing technology is essential for conveyancers
Technology is embedded in everyday life which means we’ve all come to expect the convenience it brings. This rings true when people move home too. It’s the reason that conveyancers need to be using client-facing technology.
As changing expectations shift consumer demand toward more digital services in conveyancing, it can leave firms unsure of which tools they should be using. Overall, expanding your use of digital conveyancing solutions is never a bad idea – it comes with a range of benefits from risk management and the ability to evidence compliance, to greater productivity within your firm, and more time to manage client relationships or manage complex transactions.
We’re here to help you understand why client-facing technology is important in conveyancing and which tools your firm should be getting on board with.
Home movers are heading online
The search for a conveyancer starts online for most modern home movers. They want to get a quote quickly and they usually compare a few before choosing their conveyancer. This means you need to get your quote to them fast and beat the competition.
The need for being online doesn’t stop there though, once you’ve been instructed, clients expect to be able to access their key services without leaving home and most will do it when your office is shut. With the busy lives we lead, for most that’s in the evening once they’re done with work for the day and can focus on completing forms and reading documentation.
The shift in client expectations continues to grow as technology permeates every part of our lives. From online banking and booking travel to ordering food and booking a ride share, everything can be done online these days. They want that from their conveyancing experience too.
Faster and more accessible conveyancing
The reality is people lack patience more now than ever before. Because everything is available at their fingertips, from same-day delivery to meal delivery services, people don’t want to wait for the post anymore. They want to provide ID and source of funds information online. They want to fill in forms digitally and return them via a portal, not via the post.
Client-facing technology makes the home moving process faster and more accessible for law firms and their clients. It improves the client experience, protects both parties through additional security methods like biometric ID verification, and it eliminates unnecessary delays.
Which client-facing technology should conveyancers use?
If you’re wondering which technology you should be using to improve your customer service and the client experience, there are five digital tools that law firms should be focussing on in 2023.
1. Interactive fee calculators
We’ve already highlighted how home movers are searching for their conveyancer online, but simply having a website doesn’t cut it anymore. People want pricing and quotes that are easy to access and quick. This is why having an interactive fee calculator built into your website is essential.
With the internet at their fingertips, consumers can now get the information they’re looking for at the click of a button. If your competitors have fee calculators on their website and you don’t, you’re going to be hard-pressed to win business. With the expectation to quickly access fees and quotes for conveyancing services, you’re putting your best foot forward by making your pricing as accessible as possible.
You can also make use of a lead management service, like Perfect Portal, to help you convert and manage your transaction as soon as you receive instruction. With useful dashboards that give you visibility over the leads you’ve generated and your referral pipeline, it makes light work of turning those leads into new business.
2. Digital client onboarding
We saw a rise in digital client onboarding technology being used by law firms during the pandemic. Firms that switched were able to keep moving with new instructions, but those that didn’t often had to shut their doors. But digital onboarding isn’t only for use when people can’t make it to the office. It’s the smarter, faster way to get the information you need to start a new transaction.
Clients want to access documents online, they don’t want to print them, scan them, or post them. They want to fill out those documents at a time that is convenient, and they want to know their information is secure. Digital onboarding enables all of those features and more.
A truly comprehensive digital onboarding solution like eCOS gives firms a single customer-focused portal that delivers on client expectations around access, security, and convenience while also offering benefits for law firms too. Cost savings, removing the risk of incomplete or incorrect information, and visibility over the progress of completion of onboarding information make it a top-tier solution that will impress your clients from the start.
Digital onboarding is more secure and is used by many large household names including major banks across the UK. Biometric data verification reduces the risk of identity fraud which continues to increase with property transactions, and it gives your clients access to provide the information you need at a time that suits them.
From Open Banking to provide easy access and analysis of source of funds to electronic TA forms that can also automatically be collated into your digital contract pack, eCOS makes the entire digital onboarding process easier. Best of all, law firms using eCOS have knocked up to two weeks off their onboarding time, with some firms receiving the information in as little as 20 minutes.
Digital signature use grew by 500% in 2020 – a catalyst effect of the pandemic. It’s a shift that is here to stay. In a world where the average household no longer has a printer or scanner, there are postal strikes on a regular basis, and cybercrime grows year-on-year, eSignatures are a smart decision for law firms.
A lot of firms have decided to stick with using eSignatures during the onboarding process, but fewer are using them on Land Registry and mortgage deeds as identified in the Digital Conveyancing Maturity Index. HMLR has been accepting electronically signed witnessed deeds since 2020, which means law firms can be confident in the technology. More recently, Nationwide has announced they are accepting electronic signatures.
Clients expect this sort of flexibility in their home moving process. Whether they’re based 10 minutes from your office or in another country, the convenience, speed, and access make eSignatures a must-have tool for law firms. As one of the quickest and easiest changes to make as you digitalise your conveyancing, it's a quick win for your firm.
4. Easy-to-understand title reports
Home movers don’t tend to move around all that much. And whether it’s first-time buyers, next-step movers, or downsizers, there’s a good chance there is a lot they don’t understand about the conveyancing process. It also means that a title report full of jargon isn’t going to be much help to them.
The buyer must understand what is contained in the title report prepared for them by their solicitor, but industry-specific language and technical terms can mean most people get lost quickly. To ensure the information is as accessible and accurate as possible, firms can trust the technology behind Property Report.
While Property Report isn’t client-facing tech, the final product is, which is why it’s included on this list. Designed to minimise the burden of gathering and preparing the information for a title report, it can help you complete the whole process in just 15 minutes, with the bonus that you know the information is validated. Inconsistencies will be flagged by the system so you can use your expertise to double-check any discrepancies.
With an extensive library of client-friendly language too, you can take peace of mind knowing that you’re helping your clients to ensure they understand what they need to know about their property purchase.
5. Client apps
A big part of the conveyancing process involves keeping your client updated. Whether it’s progress on the purchase or sale of their property, or if you need more information from them, client communications take up time. This is further increased when clients regularly call or email to chase for an update.
You can manage expectations and keep your client updated automatically with client apps that make providing the information they want easy to access. With several now available that can be branded with your firm’s logo and colours, the app is a continuation of your brand in the palm of your clients’ hand.
Throughout the matter, this will save you hours as notifications will replace the need for frequent calls or emails every time progress is made on the transaction.
If you’re looking to get started with technology that helps you and your clients, get in touch with us to arrange a call with one of our digital conveyancing experts today.