Specialist video conferencing services have been used by large corporations for many years but these… Read more
Specialist video conferencing services have been used by large corporations for many years but these have generally been prohibitively expensive. However, Skype has made video communication accessible free of charge to anyone with an internet connection.
Similar consumer-geared “video chat” products have also grown in popularity, such as Google’s Hangouts and Apple’s FaceTime. Although internet video communication is usually more associated with gap year students and journalists reporting from war zones, forward thinking law firms are effectively using Skype and related products as a way of improving internal communication or even staying in touch with their clients. Because there is no up-front cost, there is little risk in adopting these new technologies.
Saving costs on office rents
Many professionals – particularly those starting their own businesses – are choosing to avoid increasingly exorbitant office rents in favour of working at home or from coffee bars. Serviced offices can still be rented out on an hourly basis when there’s a need to meet a client for a confidential chat, but modern day lawyers can do the bulk of their work from any location, as long as they have their laptop and a mobile phone to hand. Video communication can, however, help out in situations where a phone call may seem a little impersonal by adding that visual element. Taking advantage of the latest technology levels the playing field for start-up or boutique firms, which may otherwise struggle to compete with their much larger incumbent rivals.
Meeting the demands of 21st century consumers
Many clients who conduct much of their business online will prefer to have their legal services delivered in a more internet-centric way. Although more traditional clients may prefer a face to face chat with their lawyer, younger generations will often be more comfortable meeting over Skype or Facetime rather than going to a formal office. As such, rather than seeming “edgy”, conducting a client meeting online may gradually become the standard practice. There’s certainly no harm in offering Skype chats as an option to your clients and this will serve to boost your firm’s tech-savvy credentials.