The job of your outsourced legal provider is to get you results and make your life easier.
Living in a digital age, clients have a right to expect that their legal team will adopt technological advancements so as to streamline the working relationship with the legal team, increase efficiency, reduce costs and, most importantly of all, make your life easier.
Following are 5 technology tools which smarts companies are using to streamline the relationship with their debt recovery lawyers and achieve improved results.
(A) ONLINE INSTRUCTIONS PORTAL
SAVES YOU TIME AND PROCESSES YOUR INSTRUCTIONS FASTER.
This is the essential starting point. The simple ability to log your instructions online can save significant amounts of time for your team and speed up the recovery process.
If instructions are logged online, your debt recovery lawyers instantaneously have access to the information necessary to provide you with same day service on new instructions as they are issued. An effective online instructions portal should:
- be easy to use;
- capture all information and instructions necessary to progress an uncontested debt recovery matter to resolution;
- allow supporting documents (such as credit agreements, etc) to be uploaded directly from your computer; and
- contain pre-emptive text technology to allow fields to populate automatically based on your previous instructions (thereby eliminating repetition and reducing the amount of time and effort required to provide instructions).
(B) ONLINE CLIENT INTERFACE
NEVER, EVER BE LEFT OUT OF THE LOOP.
The days of being left in the dark and wondering about the progress of your matter are dead and buried. Now you can find out what you want to, when you want to.
An effective client interface allows you to keep touch with your progress 24/7. You can log directly into your debt recovery lawyers’ system and access electronic versions of the legal files maintained on your behalf.
This places you in a position where, at any time of the day, you can easily determine the current status, review the history of action undertaken and access documents maintained on the file.
An effective online client interface should:
- provide you with summary level access to all legal files maintained on your behalf;
- allow you to log directly into specific legal files;
- facilitate different levels of access for different team members in your organisation;
- allow you to view, download, print and email electronic versions of documents (such as statements of claim, judgments, letters of advice, etc) maintained on the file;
- contain a chronology-style summary of all steps undertaken on the files;
- allow you to readily determine the current status of your files; and
- allow you to log comments, queries, instructions and requests for action directly from within the online interface.
(C) AUTOMATED UPDATE REPORTING
YOU CHOOSE HOW FREQUENTLY YOU RECEIVE UPDATES.
When developments occur on your legal files, you need to know about them as soon as possible. No one likes constantly following up lawyers or waiting around for updates on files.
An automated update reporting tool will automatically sweep your debt recovery lawyers’ online files at regular intervals and generate an automated email report summarising:
- all matters on which developments have occurred since your last update;
- the nature of the developments which have occurred.
An effective automated update system should also contain functionality which allows you to ‘click through’ a hyperlink within the body of the email so you can access more detailed information from the online client interface. You should also have the ability to choose the frequency of your updates to suit your individual needs.
(D) ‘DRILL DOWN’ REPORTING
ELIMINATE MANUAL REPORTING.
Often end-of-month involves the tedious task of preparing status reports for management on debt recovery legal actions. An effective online client interface allows these reports to be generated automatically and with great ease by the client.
Ideally, an online client interface should contain a range of reporting options which provide clients with the flexibility to generate a number of reports suiting their requirements.
(E) AUTOMATIC FEE CALCULATORS
TAKE THE GUESSWORK OUT OF YOUR LEGAL PROVIDER’S COSTS.
It is necessary for credit managers to undertake a ‘cost benefit’ analysis before making effective decisions about undertaking and progressing with debt recovery legal action.
It is very difficult to make effective decisions without knowing the likely cost of pursuing the available options.
An automated fee calculator allows clients to submit basic information about their debt (such as debt amount and number of debtors) and automatically generate an estimate of fees to commence legal action, obtain judgment and pursue a range of enforcement options.
Despite the technology, very few legal and debt recovery firms are willing to commit to this level of fee clarity. The benefit is purely to the client so keep a keen eye on this one.
There is no denying the advantages that smart technology can bring to managing your legal recovery actions.
Enhanced speed, accessibility, updates, simplified reporting and fee clarity are some benefits you should expect and demand if you want the best of outcomes.
If your recovery actions are taking too long or are simply causing more headaches than they should, it makes sense to take a look at not only at your outsourced legal provider, but the technology that you are being offered.
If your debt recovery lawyers are committed to providing you fast, cost effective and specialised debt recovery they will already be providing these services. If not, ask why.
Article by Karl Hill (Director – Results Legal Solutions)