How does a legal tech software product stay relevant to a broad user community year after year? A lot of that owes to the advocacy of that community, and the commitment of the provider behind the product.
Every IT department or user community can probably reel off a few horror stories about how an entrenched, widely-used software solution suddenly was sent off into the sunset by its provider without so much as an email or a press release.
That’s contrary to a philosophy that’s driven the success of software industry leaders, who understand how important it is to be truly invested in the success of their customers. It’s simply good business to keep a user base happy by supplying a favorite product with the support and improvements that can keep it up-to-date and useful for them.
Take eCounsel, for instance. If it was provided by other companies that are eager to force users to migrate to other solutions, they might brand it as a “legacy” product that should be retired. Rather than taking that route, we provide regular updates to eCounsel intended to add greater capability to what’s become an entrenched solution for many legal departments.
Before you accuse us of patting ourselves on the back or humblebraggartry, understand this is a strategy rooted in the good business practices we just mentioned. If we ever disappointed the extremely loyal eCounsel user community, we’d undoubtedly hear about it for a long, long time to come. The best way to avoid that? Don’t disappoint them.
Staying engaged with the eCounsel community
One of the ways to maintain good engagement with a user community? By constantly listening to what they’ve got to say, and by creating opportunities for them to give product leads face-to-face feedback about a product.
We strive to do that with eCounsel through events like our recent “A Day of eCounsel” User Group gathering in Chicago, which was actually co-led by our clients. Another way? We’re providing a session track that’s exclusively dedicated to eCounsel users at Interact 2019. In both cases, we want to provide the eCounsel community with the chance to take an active role in shaping the future of the product.
When updates to a legal tech software product are made, hosting a webinar to keep a product’s user up-to-speed on new features ought to be a mandatory for any company. In our case, an eCounsel Product Roadmap Webinar like the one coming up on August 28th is a good way for users to not only learn what’s new, but also join in a dialogue with product experts where they can help plot the next round of updates to eCounsel by telling us what they want from the product.
Taking a client-centric attitude
The process of evolving eCounsel exemplifies “design thinking,” which renowned User Experience designer Jesse James Garrett described about as well as it can be said:
User-centered design means understanding what your users need, how they think, and how they behave – and incorporating that understanding into every aspect of your process.
The best safeguard against obsolence for a product like eCounsel, then? To stay in partnership with the people who use it, who make it succeed for their organizations, and who know the most inventive and innovative ways to improve it. That’s a philosophy we know will keep eCounsel – and our other legal tech solutions – viable and relevant far into the future.