How Tompkins Wake used Josef to reach a new generation of clients

Many small businesses don’t seek legal services because it’s inaccessible and costly.

Most small business owners only want to talk to a lawyer when they must, even when legal assistance would directly help their business. Getting legal help is seen as time consuming, difficult and expensive.

This is the story of how one firm adapted to a changing legal market. Using Josef to digitise its legal services, this firm attracted the attention and loyalty of a new generation of business customers.

Problem

Leading New Zealand firm Tompkins Wake wanted to change the legal market by making the law more accessible for busy business owners who prefer to do it themselves.

The firm decided to digitise legal advice and guidance around common issues. Tompkins Wake Partner Philip Monahan and Professional Support Adviser Catherine Bryant had designed a digital “health check” product to give business owners the option of self-serving simple legal matters quickly, online and on-demand.

They had tried using a developer and a different software solution, but they weren’t happy with the outcomes. They wanted to be able to build and deploy their product quickly and easily, without engaging a third party for each product or change.

Philip and Catherine tried Josef, and discovered how quick, easy and effective legal automation could be.

“We were getting new bots out in two days. I’d build it, it would get reviewed the next day, and it would be up the next. That was just fantastic, having that flexibility and the ability to build at speed.”
– Catherine Bryant, Professional Support Adviser

Solution

“During lockdown we were getting new bots up in two days. I’d build it, it would get reviewed the next day, and it would be up the next. That was just fantastic, having that flexibility and the ability to build at speed,” Catherine said.

Within weeks, the team designed, built and deployed multiple bots. These bots were designed so business owners could complete a health check in the length of a coffee break. In under 3 minutes, the bots can help a business owner identify key legal risks, and guide them to different solutions.

Catherine Bryant, Professional Support Adviser at Tompkins Wake

Catherine Bryant, Professional Support Adviser at Tompkins Wake

“Because Josef is so quick and easy to build with, we could just put out something that was literally about helping people, and not worry about the return. I really liked that. We were producing something that would help others in what was really not an easy time for businesses,” Catherine adds.

At a glance

Results

A successful new product

The bots are being used hundreds of times per month. The launch of the bots created significant public interest and exposure for the firm and its services. The AdviSME suite of bots have generated so many interactions and new client leads, that they are worth as much as a high value client.

Tompkins Wake continues to develop new bots for different customer needs and segments. As the suite of bots grow in complexity and price points, the bots are an extension of the firm’s services and brand. 

“We still have a traditional law firm behind us. But this is a way to do something different, get a bit of attention for doing that, and learn for ourselves how we can pivot and shift,” Philip comments.

 

Philip Monahan, Partner at Tompkins Wake

Philip Monahan, Partner at Tompkins Wake

New client base

The bots have also gained a loyal following from a new segment of business customers. The nature of the bots allows the firm to connect with new and previously untapped client leads, with thousands of interactions logged within the first six months.

It’s a win-win. In three minutes of our clients’ time, they save an hour’s worth of fees. And we can then spend that hour focusing on specific issues that need attention, rather than finding out what the issues are,” Philip concludes.

Better data integration and internal efficiency

Philip says the bots are an efficiency driver that has helped to automate a range of documents and reduce internal pain points. The firm is also using the data and notifications from the bots to explore additional automation and customer opportunities.

The AdviSME bot gives business owners a legal health check in the time it takes for a coffee break

The AdviSME bot gives business owners a legal health check in the time it takes for a coffee break

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