Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Law firms should use more videos and less text (apparently)

On their websites, that is.

law firm video

From the Solicitors Journal 13/10/14:

Websites of the UK's top 200 law firms are forgetting the 'user experience'

The country's top firms are ignoring the significant power of video to attract clients, a new report has suggested.

According to mmadigital, only 28 per cent of content is read on an average web page, compared to video which typically holds the attention of a viewer for two minutes.

Hmmm. Are potential clients really going to sit and watch a video on a law firm’s website and be swayed by that? That’s not a rhetorical question – I really don’t know. Maybe they are. But it seems a trifle strange to me.

Unsophisticated would-be clients will just use Google to find a law firm in their area (or a national centre churning out legal services factory style) and be principally concerned with obtaining the lowest price – ringing around if necessary. Medium sized businesses looking to instruct a firm may do a bit of their own research, but tend to be heavily swayed by past experience and the recommendations of others. Large, corporate clients aren’t going to choose to instruct a firm by looking at a firm’s website. Those kind of gigs are won through nepotism, networking and a lot of schmoozing (and sometimes a mixture of all three). So who is likely to choose a solicitor by watching videos on the web?

It’s a mystery.

Firms with video on their websites are 50 times more likely to appear on the first page of Google.

Oh cripes. Time to get embedding those videos folks!

Monday, 6 October 2014

Law firm abandons desk phones…

The end of the world will follow shortly after.

lawyer headsetA solicitor speaking to a client in a soon-to-be-realised dystopia

From Roll On Friday 28/09/14:

“CMS Cameron McKenna is getting rid of landlines in its London office.

Next year the firm's City staff are moving to new premises on Cannon Street, where they will use a mobile phone and a headset to connect to a Microsoft product called Lync, freeing themselves from the tyranny of wires.”

Oh let the good Lord help us.  A law firm embracing technology.  That never ends well.

Ok - now I’ve got that customary knee-jerk reaction out of the way, I accept that this isn’t exactly ground-breaking news.  However, it does make me nervous about the encroachment of technology into the work-life balance of people generally, but particularly lawyers.

Granted - getting rid of a desk phone isn’t going to kill anyone.  I can’t imagine there are many lawyers who don’t currently have a work-issued mobile phone either.  But what scares me is that tying a person to a mobile phone might be just one step away from senior partners and clients daring to think that fee earners are on round-the-clock call for them personally.  

Oh wait - they already think that, don’t they?

By the by, I’ve never really got on with phone headsets.  The nearest I got to embracing one was a short stint using a Bluetooth ear thing about three or four years ago.  I quickly abandoned it after a couple of days’ use.  I’m not sure which influenced that decision more: finding the thing hard to operate, or the fact it risked making me feel like a taxi driver!

Maybe what also alarms me about this story is that I hate the thought of lawyers sat at their desks with headsets on, clucking away like a warehouse full of battery hens. It’s bad enough when colleagues choose to pace about in the office talking on their mobile (apparently pacing helps some people to think).  I don’t like having to contend with any kind of phone at work, quite frankly, but having a deskphone with a receiver you can slam down occasionally works wonders for stress management.  Whipping your headset off and lobbing it at your nearest colleague the wall just isn’t the same thing.  

As I see it, lawyers shouldn’t be relegated to legally trained call centre operatives - even in a world where clients are ‘users of legal services’ and solicitors are just an increasingly unpopular grade of fee earner.

Ditching the deskphone could be a slippery slope, folks.  And that scares me.