Alternative Takeaways with Emma Jackson, Client Innovation Manager at Mills & Reeve

Here are three takeaways from Emma Jackson, Client Innovation Manager at Mills & Reeve who talked to us about communicating with clients in a post-COVID environment during our recent Hangout which focused on how legal teams can best serve internal clients in the current and post-Covid remote/digital environment.

Be human

Emma reminded attendees that we are all in the same situation, trying to make agile working and working from home work for us. Whether that is working around young children, pets, flatmates etc. everyone understands that we are all trying to do our best whilst navigating the ‘new normal’.

“People really appreciate the humanity of a Facetime or a Zoom call, with someone’s dog in the background or kids shouting. It’s much more natural and it strengthens those bonds – we’re all just people trying to do the best job we can for our clients – more than any highly polished corporate video ever could. It shows you’re there and ready to communicate and to listen to how you can make their lives easier. Formal barriers are slipping, and that can only be a good thing for lawyers and their clients.”

Be flexible


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“Before the crisis, we were quite strict on which technology we allowed staff to use to communicate. We didn’t use Dropbox. We didn’t use Teams, for example. But now we are saying, ‘use whatever you need to use to communicate with that client, if that’s what the client wants you to do.’ We still have our preferred platforms, but at the end of the day, it is about being flexible and doing things in a way that is easiest for the client, obviously bearing in mind any security issues.”

Overnight businesses have had to adapt to what their clients want. As Emma highlighted this may mean using platforms that were not previously allowed within a business and that, as long as the platforms met security parameters, this was ok.

See the opportunities

It is often said that in times of challenge and change we find the greatest opportunities. Emma used their events team as an example to highlight how business functions can adapt and change to work in new ways to ensure client satisfaction and new opportunities.

“Our events team were all furloughed at the very beginning of lockdown, but they were also among the first to return. They now have a new purpose and are probably one of the busiest teams in business services. They’re arranging webinars, sorting out content for client training, editing videos for clients. We’ve also found that clients want help, particularly those that don’t have large IT departments themselves. So we’ve been creating online platforms for them to work collaboratively with us and sometimes to work collaboratively with other people. We’ve also been hosting virtual meetings for them. There are lots of little extras we are doing that are building on these relationships and delivering added value to clients.”

For full details of the Alternative Hangouts series please click here.