Before Expedia, Hotwire, Priceline and Airbnb, there was an entire industry dedicated to business and personal travel. Depending on your age, it’s possible you never used a travel agent but at one time they were indispensable. Travel agencies not only recommended and booked hotels and airlines, they found the best prices to fit your budget and often got you tickets to plays, made dinner reservations and more. Travel agents and the travel industry were extremely customer centric knowing the needs of their business customers and the wants of their personal customers. However, technology and the internet changed everything. Today businesses and individuals investigate travel options and book travel reservations by themselves online. Travel agencies have not completely disappeared but they are fewer in number than they were at one time…a lot fewer.
While the one-on-one customer attention in the travel industry was a critical driver in pulling in and retaining business, the internet introduced a new way for people to book travel and get what they wanted at the cost they wanted to pay. All without the benefit person-to-person interaction.
For some industries, a non-customer centric future may evolve but successful law firms, legal services and legal technology are motivated by the human factor. The human factor isn’t a trend…it’s the foundation for success in the legal industry and it’s the basis for being able to deliver against customer driven needs in the future.
However you want to say it, in a world where everything is becoming a commodity, looking like everything else, the next outstanding legal application will be the one that is in touch with its customers’ needs. At Law Bulletin Media, we believe that JuraLaw, our web-based nationwide legal calendar management product, is an outstanding legal application today and will continue to be in the future because it is customer focused on our customers’ business in several ways.
Did you know that less than 30 percent of family businesses last long enough to be passed on to the second generation and only 10 percent last through a family’s third generation? JuraLaw is a product of a 5th generation family owned business which has only survived because it listens and responds to its customers and develops products that deliver against the unmet needs of the legal industry. In response to law firms’ increasing caseloads and the associated increased difficulty in manually managing their legal calendarings, in 1984 Law Bulletin Media created DM2000, the first legal caleddaring product of its kind in the U.S. In response to law firms request for a national product, Law Bulletin Media partnered with many law firms conducting day-in-the-life scenarios, usability testing and customer experience analysis to create and introduce JuraLaw in 2012.
As a completely web-based product and with an agile development model based upon legal calendaring client feedback, we can push new and improved features and functions into production on a quarterly basis with no service interruption during business hours. We can customize event fields and reports even quicker. And, we offer out-of-the-box customizations down to the attorney level. Each of these features were created due to the voiced desires of calendaring professionals and not just a group of technology experts. Real calendaring issues drove the JuraLaw innovation team to create the tools legal calendaring professionals wanted and law firms needed. This is the customer-centric core that represents the stable foundation of JuraLaw.
JuraLaw is also customer focused by not just being in the cloud but being in a virtual private cloud hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS is reported to have the highest reliability and availability of all hosting providers and every hosting location is in the U.S. Law firms have come to demand security when vetting new technology and determining the best products for their firms and it should continue to hold critical importance. From the beginning, JuraLaw listened to their concerns and implemented the most secure cloud-based technology with AWS. In addition, Law Bulletin Media regularly subjects JuraLaw HTML code to an independent 3rd party security review. Furthermore, the JuraLaw application and environment are subject to intrusion testing by a 3rd party on a regular basis.
Finally, and most importantly, JuraLaw is customer focused in its approach to account management and customer service. Proactively, account managers analyze how you are using the JuraLaw system and reach out to suggest best practices to improve accuracy and efficiency as well as to suggest reports to use to evaluate productivity and other business analytics on a regular basis.
In a recent open product survey, customers named “customer service” as one of their favorite features of JuraLaw. They said:
Whenever I've needed to call, I am always successful in obtaining a live support person, knowing or familiar with my issue and able o help me out and proceed with what I needed which is invaluable.
We have relied on customer support for training, walking us through data entry issuesand we've not been disappointed yet.
I have worked with the staff at JuraLaw for years and they are always receptive to my needs as a customer.
Prompt service when needed. Customer support really knows their stuff and there is no question they cannot answer.
It’s been said that technology and the human factor is an “and” statement not an “or” statement. Technology doesn’t drive innovation, people do. The input and involvement of the legal calendaring community was the spark behind JuraLaw and the advancement in technology allowed that spark to become an innovative legal tool. The role of legal calendaring may be getting more technology driven but it’s also getting, and has always been, customer driven. Mark Babbit, President and Senior Partner of WorqIQ, said it best, “No matter how much we rely on technology to get the job done, it’s just along for the ride. Technology serves us well as the delivery mechanism. But it isn’t the difference-maker. People are the spark of innovation.” The human factor relative to legal services, legal marketing and legal technology isn’t a trend. The human factor is the foundation for the success of each of these areas now and well into the future.
In summary, the next outstanding legal applications will be those that come from companies that listen and respond to their customers changing needs, design products that can quickly evolve, appreciate risk management, including disaster recovery and business continuity needs and most importantly, provide accessible, proactive, and knowledgeable customer support.