6-minute read, 10-minute exercise

#LegalDesign #HumanIntelligence #ModernLawyer #AutomatedLegalDocuments

One of the most cringe-worthy times I ever experienced was when I was (briefly) a client of a traditional lawyer. It took over two weeks to produce a 4-page document (and most of the document was generic anyway). I was then sent a bill for $850 plus GST, and they told me they had rushed it through because they knew the other party was only available to sign for a limited time. I was lucky that they had discounted the fees because I said I was happy to get the document signed myself.

Imagine being a client of a traditional lawyer and asking them to create a document that you need. They ask you a heap of questions (some of which you don’t understand) and just hope that the information you give is right.

Then they go and do a whole lot of work for you, but you aren’t sure what they are doing or why they need to do it. You are too afraid to ask because even though you don’t know much about the law, you do know there is a direct correlation between asking questions and the bill going up.

Finally, you hear from your traditional lawyer who emails you a draft document for you to consider and request any changes. You don’t feel confident accepting a document that you don’t know how to read and understand. But the lawyer seems to be satisfied that the document is fine, and you don’t want the bill to go up, so you just say okay.

A traditional lawyer might consider this to be a job well done, especially if they put in the hours to get it done quickly. However, it’s a very different story from a client’s perspective.

Don’t fall into the trap of believing that your service will dramatically improve by creating an automated document without human intelligence.

Yes, you will save a significant amount of time by automating your documents. But if you don’t apply human intelligence to the design of your automated documents before you build them, they will be boring. You will have a boring interview, which will quickly produce a document that your client still won’t be able to understand and use.

You need to design your automated documents with human intelligence to make them brilliant. Only then will you be able to combine your automated document with fantastic advice and customer service to create a valuable legal solution.

Here are seven ways you can use the features of the Automio software to make your automated documents brilliant:

1. Allow your client to complete the interview while sending the document only to your practice for review

You can choose to send the output document to your practice instead of making it available to the client as soon as they complete the interview. Using this feature means that you or your team can make any changes you need in Word before presenting the document to your client together with your legal advice. Simply select ‘Withhold document output’ in the Publishing settings.

Human intelligence suggests that the more your client can be involved in your legal solution, the more they will value it. Clients love doing some of the work themselves, as long as they are successful in what they do. Its why people are very proud of the home renovations that they’ve done themselves even if they aren’t perfect.

You have an opportunity to design a great interview so your clients can complete it to the end with confidence without your manual input. It means that you can work at a more strategic level for your client while you wait for the finished document to pop into your inbox for review. Your client is happier because they had a meaningful task to complete, and they did it successfully. You are happier because you’re able to use the time you save in a much more productive manner. Win-win.

2. Use the answers to the interview question to personalise the document

You can use conditions and answer points to replace generic words and phrases in the output document. You can even use this feature to use correct grammar.

Personalisation is a key concept in human intelligence. People will create a connection with you if you personalise the content you give them. Establishing and maintaining that personal connection is why people like and trust you over time.

Having this feature available to you means that you have the important opportunity, no moral duty, to redraft your generic documents. You no longer have to use grammatical tricks to make it easier to remember what you need to global search and replace each time you produce a new document. Make them personal, so they are easy for the readers to understand and use. Don’t be afraid to refer to “the Supplier” as their business name. Go on. We dare you. Your clients will love how much easier your documents are to read and understand.

3. Design the wording for the interview questions

You can use your wording in the interview questions. We recommend that you use plain and positive language that reflects how you would typically communicate with your clients. If you would generally use industry-specific terms when speaking with your clients, then use those terms in your interview questions. All you have to do is ask the right question to get the answer that you need.

Creating a positive experience is essential to human intelligence, and the easiest way to do this is to communicate with plain and positive language. Your clients will be facing a problem when they first come to you, and they would have had a knock to their confidence already. Creating a positive experience for your client means that they build confidence that you can solve their problem with your solution.

When clients have confidence that your solution will solve their problem, they start to trust you and your team. This trust means that they will be more likely to refer your solution to others and trust other legal solutions that you and your team offer.

4. Enhance the interview with images and videos to give better information

You don’t have to present the information and questions in your interview using only text, and you shouldn’t! Use a combination of text, images and videos throughout your interview to communicate your message in a way that is easier for your client to understand. Use a short video to introduce yourself and your practice at the start of the interview and use images throughout the interview to break up the monotony of text.

Human intelligence suggests that your client will understand your message better if you present it with a combination of text, images and videos. Use this combination to present your message and explain concepts, so your clients have enough information to understand how to answer the questions correctly.

When your clients have a better understanding of the information you provide, they can confidently provide more accurate answers. They are also able to engage with you at a higher level, and this improves the level of trust they have in your ability to solve the problem.

5. Present only relevant questions in the interview and relevant content in the document

You can refer to the answers provided to previous questions throughout the processing logic to present only relevant questions to your clients in the interview. You can also use this feature to customise the output document with only relevant content. You can design the interview, so only relevant questions appear, which reduces the chance of your client mistakenly trying to answer questions that don’t apply to them or being confused when presented with irrelevant questions.

Designing ways to prevent mistakes is vital in human intelligence. If our clients make mistakes in the interview, they will either blame themselves or blame your solution. Both of these are bad for you, so prevention is key.

Preventing mistakes throughout the interview means that the answers you obtain will be more accurate, and this makes your output document more accurate too. It means that you’ll be able to spend less time reviewing the document and more time on delivering other valuable aspects of your solution.

6. Create a seamless connection to the next step in your legal solution

Use the API output to transfer data into other software. Label the answer fields in a way that’s logical for you, then use middleware software such as Zapier to generate the next step in your legal solution automatically. Use the client’s email address and name to send them a personalised email, so they know what to expect from you next.

Human intelligence suggests that using great flow boosts a person’s confidence in a process as it continues to go well. When a person’s confidence increases, it creates a sense of excitement in the process and anticipation that the next tasks will also go well. However, when that flow is interrupted with delays or unexpected changes, it can knock a person’s confidence.

You should design great flow in your legal solution by using a reliable connection between tasks without unnecessary delay. You could continue to manually take the next step, although you’ll need to be on the ball to prevent delays. By using automation, your clients don’t have to wait for you to manually tell them what the next step in the process will be and you don’t have to be on edge waiting to start that next step. An automated email to your clients after they have completed the interview is a great way to let them know that you are working on the review of the document and will be in touch soon to arrange a meeting to provide your advice.

7. Combine powerful features with a strategically designed interview to create a quality, highly customised document

You can use the right combination of features at the right time in the backend process logic to maximise the information you collect through the interview. Ask the right questions to get the information that you need to create a quality, highly customised output document.

Simplicity is an incredibly powerful concept of human intelligence. However, taking away everything that your clients don’t need to see can be a considerable effort. Too many questions or asking similar questions to try to get different answers can be stressful. This over-complication leads to confusion and difficulty answering the questions.

You can set a positive tone for the rest of your solution by having a simple and elegant interview for your automated document. It will add to the positive connection that you’re building with your client to benefit from their trust in you and your team.

The obvious way to take your documents from boring to brilliant is to start with a great design that makes the most of human intelligence. Then building the automation is straightforward.

10 Minute Exercise

Think about one of the legal documents that you commonly use for your clients. What questions would you typically ask your client to get the information that you need?

Now imagine automating your document, so your client completes the interview. What features would you use to make it brilliant?