In association with LawWare: Legal software is supposed to lighten your load, make you more efficient and keep your clients happy, not cause you stress

The relationship with your supplier is critical

Taking the stress out of your legal work depends, to a large degree, on getting on well with your software suppliers.

The relationship with your supplier should not end when you’ve paid your subscription or the installation is completed. There’s much more to it than that and it should be a two-way street. Let’s take a look at some of the key areas that make a good relationship.

Support

When you onboard new practice management software you will receive training. Preferably that will come from the software supplier rather than a third party. However, you won’t learn everything you need to know in one go.

By its very nature, legal software is complex and you will require ongoing assistance to bring your knowledge up to a higher level. That’s where good support comes in. Ideally, you should receive it from a UK-based team. Contact with the team is far more effective by phone or personal visit rather than by a website help app.

Training

Your training requirements will develop as you grow into the software. The best providers anticipate your needs and offer training both to help you improve your skills and on-demand.

Learning resources

Training can be delivered in many formats. Any software supplier worth their salt will be able to provide different formats tailored to meet your specific needs. Online learning resources are just one way to achieve this.

Good software vendors will provide an online “Academy” which you can use at your own pace and which delivers both basic software skills and more advanced, specific user skills as your knowledge of the product grows.

Onboarding new team members

It’s all very well meeting the needs of seasoned software users. When someone new joins your team. it shouldn’t be a case of the supplier chalking up one further subscription and leaving new team members to their own devices. Newcomers may not be familiar with your current software or, in the case of trainees, may have no experience of case management systems.

Software updates

How many times have you paid for a new version of any piece of software? More to the point, legal software has to evolve to meet the requirements of changing law and the legal regulators. 

The best suppliers provide solutions to meet these needs as part of the asking price rather than as upgrade premiums. 

Having your say – developer forums

This two-way street relationship is wider than you might imagine. It’s not just the supplier’s software – it’s your software. That means you should be able to shape its future to suit your needs. Again, the best suppliers support you to do this via a developer forum and regular contact.

Ongoing relationships

The real measure of a good supplier is concrete evidence of ongoing support. This should come in the shape of a dedicated client relationship contact who is there as your point of contact when you need help of any kind.

That’s all the boxes ticked. Are you getting that kind of service?

Find out more

Find out more about LawWare service and support. Contact us: 0345 2020 578 or innovate@lawware.co.uk

The Author

Mike O'Donnell, LawWare

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