Launching Your Legal Product

In the last article, we covered the process to take before launching your legal application.  Now, we cover what to do after you’ve built it and launched it.  Spoiler alert:  The work continues after launch.  Just because you’ve built an application, it doesn’t mean your work is done.  For example, you should continue much of your pre-build work, especially user testing, in order to take care of your clients going forward.  In addition from continuing to gather and incorporate user feedback, you’ll want to remove bugs, keep your product up to date with current law, develop your marketing, and provide customer support.  

1. Testing And Feedback Is Crucial After Launch

User feedback is the lifeblood of the app you’ve built.  It’s vital to have users test your product and provide in depth feedback.  There are several ways to do this, and you should consider all of them.  It’s one of the best investments you can make as you go forward.

  • Continue To Refine Your “User Personas”

Recall that in our prior article we recommended creating “user personas” so that you could anticipate everything your clients would want in your product.  Continue refining these — and create new ones for new categories of clients as you expand into new market segments.  Remember, you want to build the product that the user wants, and solve the problem that the user needs to be solved, rather than making assumptions.

  • Start Your User Experience (“UX”) Testing

Now that you have a launched product, start “UX” testing, shorthand for User Experience testing.  One part of this is, of course, to find “bugs.”  But it’s more than that.  The process of UX testing is designed to examine all aspects of the user’s experience with your legal app, so that you can learn how users are interacting with it, and so that you can improve and refine its functionality.  Literally watch users as they navigate your automated tool.  Sit behind them and take notes about what is effortless for them, and where they get stuck.

It’s also a good idea to use analytics tools to help you measure UX.  For example, you can use Google Analytics to see where users are “dropping off” if your legal app is too difficult or confusing.  Analytics tools provide an array of useful metrics that are especially useful right after launch.  Other tools for this include Apple Analytics and Firebase.

  • Keep Your Focus On The Functionality Of Your App

The heart of your legal app is its functionality.  Learn from your users what features and functions they find most useful — and least useful.  The same analytics tools mentioned above are also helpful here, because they provide data on which functions your users are gravitating to over time, and which functions are becoming less and less used over time.

Focusing on functionality is important for two reasons.  One, it provides a roadmap for improvements when you build your next iteration and release an update.  Two, as discussed below, functionality is one of the keys to successful marketing and client loyalty.

A word about your app’s user interface, or UI.  This is the look and feel of your legal app.  UI and functionality go hand-in-hand, and should be seamless.  For example, can changes to the layout or menus will improve users’ understanding of the app’s functionality?  Most importantly for a legal app, can changes to the app’s own UI workflow make its functionality easier to understand?

2. Other Launch And Post-Launch Essentials

With any product, of course, comes the need for customer support.  What does this specifically mean in the context of legal apps?

  • The Two Basic Types Of Support: Email And Documentation (Including Video)

The goal of app support is for the client to need as little assistance as possible.  Still, support will be required and should be anticipated.  For apps, the two main types of support are e-mail and documentation, both written and video.  Here, we focus on documentation. 

  • Documentation Means Written and Video

These days, documentation about how to use your app should be both written — via a “knowledge center” or “help screen” available through your app — as well as by video.  These should be integrated.  For example, on Documate, you can embed your documentation and help videos directly into your Documate workflows.  

Of course, both written documentation and videos should be kept updated and current.  You’ll want to demonstrate this by including the phrase, “Last Updated On [Date]” in a prominent place on the public workflows of your app.  Lawyers may also want to provide information as to why the change was made as of that date, such as by citing the specific change in the law.

Tracking what your clients seek or need through customer support is also another great way to obtain user feedback.  The analytical tools mentioned above help with this as well.

  • Be Ready To Gain Clients With Above And Beyond Service

Be ready to satisfy the client who wants more than what your software provides.  For example, if the Documate app that you have built only helps people navigate an uncontested divorce in its first iteration, be ready to route clients to your related additional hourly rate services (or some other form of flat fee tiers) for clients who are looking beyond your current app for more assistance.  Always be on the lookout to capture leads that your legal app creates.

3. Marketing Flows From The Above

Everything discussed above, from updating your user personas to getting user feedback to what you learn from users’ customer support questions will help create and refine your marketing of your legal app.  With that information, it’s just a question of how you disseminate it.  You have two main goals:  Keep the loyalty of your current clients, and attract new clients. 

To do this, you first need a landing page on your related website.  This first page presents your app at its best.  This is the one place to have your pitch crystal clear to the user.  Next, have a presence on all of the major business-related social media platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter).  Finally, use highly-efficient direct email marketing, through platforms such as Constant Contact.  As we’ve stated throughout this article, your user personas and your user feedback are the keys to constructing a top-notch marketing campaign for new and future clients.  

  • There Are Two Types Of Credibility

In marketing a legal app, it’s important to maintain credibility with respect to what your app can and can’t do, and whether it is reliable and up-to-date.  In addition to the legal credibility of your app, you want to exude tech credibility as well, which means having, at a minimum, a landing page that is compatible with mobile phones, as mobile is the new normal these days.

  • Your Clients Are Stakeholders

Think of your clients as stakeholders.  Your interests are aligned:  Like you, your clients want your legal app to be excellent and produce top-notch results.  Your clients are also stakeholders because it’s their feedback that determines the improvements in future builds.  With their feedback, your clients are directly contributing to, and are affected by, what happens to your product.  Market to them accordingly:  While client stakeholders may not care about the process of how you built your app, they very much care about what the finished product does for them.  For the same reasons, think of your future clients as stakeholders, too.  Always anticipate how to capture leads, how to build upon existing clients, and how to reach new market segments by expanding the scope of your build as you go.

  • Updates Are Also Marketing Opportunities

One of the best ways to market your product is to keep the cycle going through updates: Refine your user personas, test your current build, obtain user feedback, keep your substance updated, and then release a build update.  And then continue the process again.

This updating process is a great marketing opportunity.  First, it ensures your product (your “robot lawyer” as some call it) continues to be the best it can be, which helps you retain current clients and generates new ones.  Second, updates keep you in the minds of your clients.  By updating on a frequent basis, your app gains more “mindshare.”  Third, updates show that you have listened to your clients’ feedback, which they appreciate.  This helps build loyalty and spreads the news of your app by word of mouth, both online and offline.  Updates are not just about functionality, they’re also about commitment:  They show you’re committed to your clients, and that you want them to be committed to you as well.

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