Are Clients Ever Happy to Speak to a Bot?

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As many firms are considering which technology solutions could support their goals for 2022, the question of AI and chatbots often appears. AI can certainly help a firm with efficiency, and automating certain tasks can take the pressure off contact management. However, the problems begin when the bot comes into contact with your clients.

Law is personal. A client’s case is frequently loaded with emotional attachment and a complex narrative. A firm’s first task when securing a new client is to establish that they can be trusted with the client’s personal issue. This trust isn’t just built on your firm’s experience and reputation, but whether the client feels that you care about their case as much as they do.


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A bot cannot build this trust – it takes real people responding with real empathy to forge that relationship. Hubspot research has shown that 8 in 10 people would prefer to speak to a human over an AI or bot. This preference can have a considerable impact on firms that depend on bots to handle the client experience.

At best, a bot may pass on a now-frustrated potential client to a member of your team, who has to pick up the pieces of an impersonal exchange. At worst, the potential client will just walk away. Eighty-five percent of consumers have abandoned a call after reaching an auto-attendant – normally due to a lack of faith that the bot can handle their more complex inquiry (Vonage, 2019). It can be hard enough getting potential clients to take the plunge and get in touch at all!

The Benefits of People, Not Bots

No. 1: Priority. Real people help to reassure a potential client that they are the priority. Not only was a human available to respond to their inquiry quickly, but that person listened, asked follow-up questions, and showed concern for their situation. This is the way to establish loyal clients who recommend your firm.


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No. 2: Consistency. When clients see the same tone across all your touchpoints, they feel like they get to know your firm. Real people help to establish that consistency.

No. 3: Complexity. Real people can handle more complex issues than bots. Especially in legal intake, people understand nuance and can ask relevant questions to establish detailed information.

No. 4: Empathy. Tone of voice is everything. Potential clients can be very sensitive to a tone that doesn’t match the situation. If a client is describing the need to resolve a will after a family death, positivity is the wrong response.

Ultimately, legal is a people-centered profession. Much of a firm’s success depends on how clients feel their case has been handled by attorneys and legal staff. To that end, technology and AI should never replace people in the legal industry, only be used to enhance their effectiveness.


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Bre Swanson

Bre has been introducing business owners to LEX Reception since 2009. She started out as a sales superstar and went on to become the Operations Leader. Bre helps the LEX brand thrive by ensuring processes and partnerships are running smoothly. LEX Reception is a dedicated legal virtual reception service with 24/7 availability, helping law firms around the United States grow. Visit their website to learn more.

Comments 2

  1. jana says:

    there really is no comparison between bot vs human, the people have empathy. A human will make a person feel welcomed as a customer/client, where as a bot cannot.

  2. Sara Meyer says:

    The basic social interactions that humans can offer compared to bots is amazing. Being on a phone call with a human is so much more personable than a bot. A human makes you feel more heard and appreciated as opposed to a robot. Robots should only be used to enhance human’s skills in the legal field, not replace humans entirely.

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