Lawyers are known for many things, but a fantastic client experience is not necessarily one of them.
Having worked in many firms across the years, Ian Aldridge and his team at Progressive Legal were finding that three key components were missing from the equation: cost, care and communication. The problem, according to Aldridge, was that law firms were so in the habit of talking at people (often in indecipherable legalese) — and charging them through the nose for the privilege of it — that vital information, understanding and processes were being missed, leading to some catastrophic outcomes.
This can be particularly true for start-ups. Given how difficult it is to get a business up and running in Australia at the best of times, getting incomplete or wrong information can be fatal for a fledgling business. However, given the expense around obtaining legal advice a lot of start-ups will only opt for the bare minimum, or seek legal advice retrospectively.
Therefore Progressive Legal decided to do things a little differently:
“What we try and do as much as we can, is ask: “What a traditional law firm would do?” Then do the opposite. For example, most law firms demand trust off their clients, before even speaking to them. What we endevour to do is to earn their trust from the outset with transparency and by putting the client at the core of what we do.”
This outlook resulted in the creation of Legal Shield, an umbrella of services and packages that cater to every stage of a start-ups life cycle. From the outset businesses:
- Will know the cost of their package
- Know exactly what they are getting within their package
- Have unlimited storage for their documents
- Can rely on a fast turn around with queries (in plain English!)
- Provide content on similar cases, with videos and blogs
The agility of the packages mean that start-ups can scale up or down their legal support as the needs arise, but what makes this process so unique is that rather than creating barriers between client and lawyer through impenetrable jargon and heavy billing rates, Aldridge and his team are seeking to break down those walls and create a culture where the client isn’t weary of seeking advice.
This client-centric attitude is going to be a huge game-changer, not only in the legal industry but in other professional services as well. Aldridge predicts that if professional services don’t change, they won’t survive, this could happen very quickly. If companies aren’t embracing technology to give their clients the most agile service, then those businesses simply be around in the next five years.
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