As a business owner, I am constantly getting pitched services that will “help me grow my business.”  Virtual offices, search engine marketing, doctors who want to send me patients, the list goes on and on and it’s usually 3-4 calls a week.

The latest pitch I got I’d never heard of and it came from e-mail. Essentially it’s a “service” that allows attorneys to not have to talk to their clients.  Instead they will send automated text messages, e-mails and phone calls on your behalf to help you stay in touch with your clients.

They are calling it artificial intelligence which is certainly the buzz phrase in technology today.  When you go to Target or a fast food restaurant in the future, a robot of some sort will be doing the job that humans currently do.  That’s what they are proposing we make happen in our law office.

This will NEVER ever happen in my law firm. I can’t imagine having a client who is worried about their benefits or health or being foreclosed on and making them feel better by text and it not being one that I write but one that some computer tries to figure out.

Being a lawyer is a customer service business.  Yet some lawyers don’t return calls, don’t explain the law, yell at their clients and now apparently can use technology to help them blow off your concerns.

This stuff is going to happen, but you don’t have to encourage it by hiring or sticking with a law firm that does it.  The law firm you hire should be working for you.  You aren’t their boss, but they sure as hell need to treat you like a customer.  If they aren’t giving you strong customer service you shouldn’t expect that they are being a strong advocate for your legal rights.  If you made the mistake of hiring a bad firm you can and should switch before it’s too late.

I’m all for modernization and progress, but this service is not that.  Expect excellence or you are going to be doomed by mediocrity.