Why should a customer care if a software supplier is independent or not?
By Brian Welsh, CEO at Insight Legal
Some legal software suppliers are backed by finance supplied by venture capitalists. VCs provide investment in the expectation of a handsome return; they are the ‘masters’ at the end of the day. This means a supplier can be conflicted at times between what is best for the customer and what is needed by the investors.
Insight Legal is wholly independent and owned by Directors who are working day-to-day in the business. The Directors agreed a ‘Day1’ set of values creating a culture that customers and employees can judge them by. These are:
- Proudly independent. Decisions are made based on what is right for the customer.
- Honesty. No tricks, no hidden conditions or nasty surprises. When a contract ends, access is provided to the full practice database.
- Competitive. Solicitors have a choice of legal software provider. The best will be agile and able to meet the changing requirements of customers quickly.
- Expertise. The Directors have nearly 100 years legal sector experience between them.
- Customer focused. Product development is shaped largely by feedback from customers.
- Friendly. Support is at the heart of the business and a rapport between the support team and customers is encouraged.
It is people who make the real difference
Values are worthless unless people in the business live up to them. The Insight Legal Directors drew up the values and both protect and promote them. The Directors also drive strategy which means that the direction of the business and how to get there is in the hands of the same people. The values play out in various ways including:
- Support – The team is encouraged to get to know every customer they speak to, rather than moving to the next call, just to meet a quota.
- Marketing – Marketing revolves around thought leadership and independent endorsements. Articles are written for Practice Managers / Managing Partners. Insight Legal has become a Law Society Strategic Partner for practice management systems.
- Sales – Prices aren’t set artificially high, just to bring them down to secure a sale. The service is based on a subscription model; customers pay and stay for as long as they want.
Successful independent businesses share similar core characteristics. These are:
- Collegiate values that staff and customers can buy into.
- An interest in customers and being able to respond quickly to their changing needs and priorities.
- An attitude of continuous improvement and investment back into the business.