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How our customers help us build Legal Gateway

by Alex Smith, Customer Success Manager, Legal Gateway

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In this post, I’ll be focussing more specifically on how we engage with customers to inspire development of the Legal Technology that goes into Legal Gateway.

Psst, if you missed part 1 of my Customer Success series, read it here.

As we discussed last time, customer success is still a relatively new idea. A lot of people, (even in the software industry) don't necessarily understand just how entwined it is, and should be, with an entire company; not just the “looking after customers” bit. Of course, a huge driver of customer success is the product or service; in our case Legal Gateway. 

Before you have customers, you need a product offering. As you build your customer base, you need to continually refine your product. Why? Well it's not just to attract more customers; it's to continually add value that both new and existing customers will see huge benefit and value in. 

That’s where feedback is vitally important. Unfortunately, so many vendors in the software industry have their heads down, busy coding software. But they rarely take a moment to step back and ask the most important stakeholders, the customers, “What’s the one thing we could do to improve our platform?” “What feature would deliver the most value to you, each and every day?” 

So how does Customer Success fit in with the development of the Legal Gateway Platform?

It’s all about feedback.

At Legal Gateway we love to hold regular product roadmap meetings with our customers. This is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate new product feature prototypes and gather real-time customer-specific feedback to improve our product. The “Voice of the Customer” sits at the heart of our product development, ensuring we build features that you see value in, not just the “stuff” that we as a vendor think people want. Obtaining feedback on our automation and legal tech prototypes is great fun and we always learn something new from our customers. 

It doesn’t stop there. We also collate feedback, right from within the Legal Gateway platform itself. We’ve even got an ideas inbox that our users can submit ideas to that goes straight to the development team for prioritisation.

What do we do with this feedback?

Legal Gateway product developers use an Agile Software Development framework, which advocates adaptive product planning, building, delivery and improvement, driven by user feedback. We utilise Lean6 Sigma and continuous improvement methodologies to ensure the Legal Gateway platform grows efficiently and purposefully, without negatively impacting user experience. The key here, is to release great updates and iterations to the platform regularly. Little and often. This helps ensure we’re continually steering our development based on immediate feedback, and aren’t throwing confusing, wholesale changes out that would create large retraining disadvantages for our customers.

How often do we release updates and upgrades?

Our product development team work on fortnightly development sprint cycles and currently release new features and upgrades to the platform every two weeks. Our deployment strategy is centred around a zero-downtime deployment method, utilising Amazon Web Services cloud based server infrastructure, with load balancing across multiple servers, to deploy new features without having to “turn Legal Gateway off” whilst we roll out new features. The result is continued uptime for users and as minimal disruption as physically possible. We’re currently working to reduce that cycle even further, shortening the time it takes to get improvements to you. 

What’s more, we’re continually looking at ways to let our users know about these new features. Whether it’s in the form of an email out to our end users, an article in our ever-expanding customer help centre, or highlighted to you right there in the Legal Gateway platform itself. What better way to find something new than in the software itself, where you can see a quick introduction and start using it right away.

Next time… 

I’ll be discussing the Customer Success Cycle we’ve developed to help Legal Teams successfully deploy, adopt and grow Legal Gateway; creating their own success stories as they utilise Legal Automation to reinvent and deploy their own value to their own organisations.

Read more of Alex's blogs here

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