Unlike other departments in an organization, the legal team and its SLAs are a completely different story altogether. SLAs of a legal team aren’t too flexible and adherence to the agreed upon timeframe avoids legal conflicts. This makes legal process management software more of a necessity than luxury.
Legal teams can streamline and manage processes , within an organization and outside, with a legal process management tool. The goal of having a tool in place is to track contract approvals, have a central repository of conversations to refer to in case of a claim, continuity in audit trail even if individual members of the team change, track performance metrics of the team and individual performers, generate reports for the management and have a self-service portal for commonly raised legal queries.
Like an IT team, the legal team will also need to have a background on every query ever raised to be able to provide quick resolutions. Streamlining processes, bringing in transparency, managing and justifying load are the top reasons to have a tool in place.
There are a number of Legal Process Management Tools but they cost a bomb! Most features provided by these full-fledged legal process/project management tools aren’t of relevance for a lean team. Corporate legal teams focus on getting things done quickly and efficiently.
The biggest challenge is to find a tool with just the features required, at a cost that screams value.
What does a Legal Process Management Tool fix?
1. History of conversations
Legalities can often pop-up at a later date (at times, even years afterwards). A legal agent with no perspective to the incident will not be able to deliver the right resolution. Not having a portal means prior communications are spread across multiple channels which are not easy to access.
2. Dealing with basic enquiries
Repeated requests of basic queries can take up a lot of productive time. Not having a self-service portal results in L1 tickets being created for tasks that can actually be self-serviced.
3. Transparency of process
The legal team is always involved with other teams in the organization. Not having a central tracking system means too many people following up on a pending/ongoing tasks.
4. Justifying the workload
Legal teams invariably end up having to justify their workload and how the work is split between the team and the outsourced resources. Working on an a la carte basis and not having reports will end up in not showcasing the work done by the team.
5. Performance Metrics
As with most teams with multiple stakeholders and complex process flows encompassing in-house as well as external agents, gauging team and individual performances becomes tough. The management needs to be shown the efforts put in by the team and the resulting positivities.
Evaluating tools is NOT fun! Setting up the process from scratch takes time and every team involved need to be up to speed on how to use the tool. It’s then back to reload and reset when you move onto evaluating the next tool.
Most Legal Process Management tools are either too complex for end users to comprehend or have features which most corporate legal teams end up not using. In the end, these legal progress management tools end up not being customizable enough. The trick is to find the right balance between complexity and value for money.
The big question
For the Freshworks legal team, the question that kept coming back was “Should we look at our own product – Freshservice?”. It was a simple fix as setting up wasn’t complex. The deciding factor, however was the answer to – “What more did the Legal team want in addition to what Freshservice offered?”.
Freshservice is a powerful yet customizable service desk software. It took the legal team only a couple of days to set up our ITSM software as a Legal Process Management tool. The team steered away from unnecessary complexities and focussed on getting it up and running quickly.
Freshservice for Legal Process Management
1. Streamline processes with Service Request Forms
Legal teams need a background for every query they receive. This could be anywhere between 2-3 mails back and forth and a lot other verbal/telephonic updates. Service request forms solved this by recording the right information during ticket creation. Additional information is added to the same thread.
2. Adhere to (practical) deadlines – SLA Customization
Everybody works on a deadline and with dependencies, the need for SLAs arise. An agreed upon timeline for each request makes it easier for every party associated. Setting SLAs and tracking deadlines became easier with the implementation Freshservice. Requesters could now login and track the status of a ticket raised instead of sending out repeated reminders. Agents will have a deadline and work towards it.
3. Set up a Central Repository System
Shuffling between your mailbox, cloud storage and recalling telephonic conversations is a tough ask. Looping in a team member into the conversation, the central repository gives more context. A central portal with templates/instructions for updates and complete communication history makes it simpler.
4. Deflect those little tickets with Self-service
Many legal queries are repetitive and can be self-serviced. Solution articles were implemented with Freshservice. Suggestions popped up even before someone could raise a request. This can deflect a lot of tickets!
5. Simplify approvals with Automation
Legal processes involve a number of approvals and having Freshservice helps track everything to make sure that no detail, however small, is overlooked. The context of the conversation is also maintained. Exceptions are handled better with reasons and the complete history on record. Automation helps in simplifying the approval process.
6. Plan resources better
Tracking SLAs, analyzing the workload on agents, allocation of tickets, handling large projects can be executed better with Freshservice. Agents can plan their work better with the portal and there are solution articles exclusively for agents that help them complete their work more efficiently. Hiring or outsourcing can be justified with the comprehensive reports in place.
7. Canned Responses save time!
A lot of nifty little touches throughout Freshservice has helped the legal team cut down on a lot of time. For common queries, there is the option to insert a canned response. This helps close L1 and L2 tickets swiftly.
Favorite Features of Freshworks Legal
DocuSign integration helped bring down the number of steps required for attestations and approvals. What used to take forever has now been reduced to a 2-step process!
Handling over tickets to someone else in the team or a new recruit is no longer a problem. With every detail centrally placed the complete background on the incident makes handovers easier.
The legal team could have private conversations and leave notes among themselves or to other stakeholders for future reference. Solution articles for agents could be stitched together as a Central Playbook from these conversations. This in conjunction with the canned responses while solving ticket made life easier.
Service catalog made it simpler for requesters. They have a lot of clarity on what to request and this reduced the back and forth that used to happen previously.
Plugging in solution articles reduced the number of conversations that used to happen before.
Lastly, the management was able to get a bird’s eye view of the legal operations. The reporting system threw light on the high efficiency of the Freshworks Legal team. This also helped justify the hiring needs and reallocation of resources within and outside the team.
Check out this case study to understand the benefits of using Freshservice for your legal team.
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