Legalex – the Tech show for the Legal sector

The recent Legalex expo at London’s ExCeL venue highlighted a range of technology and services designed to help law firms develop and grow their businesses.

Amongst the practice management tools, document management systems and cybersecurity offerings, several companies caught our attention – either because they were offering something new, different or just a very practical solution to a clear business problem. 

In a series of articles, we’ll be highlighting some of the companies, products and services that captured our attention – and why you might consider using them in your business.

Managed Live Chat – is Melu on to something?

One company that immediately stood out was a managed live chat service from Oxford-based Melu.

We are all familiar with ‘live chat’ or chatbot ‘help’ boxes that often appear on the bottom right of web pages. These are designed to help the website visitor with any questions they might have to smooth the customer journey.

These have been around for a while now and they are useful – and increasingly popular – tools.

If you are a large company with lots of web traffic, it can be cost-effective to have people dedicated to maintaining the service by answering questions directly as they come in.

The problem for many smaller organisations, or those with less traffic, has been that servicing online requests has been too costly or too difficult.

Either you have someone underemployed sitting around waiting for questions to answer, or you add this task to someone’s already busy work schedule and rely on them responding to chats on top of whatever else they are supposed to be doing.

This rarely works as chats will get missed when the people who are supposed to be handling them are away from their desks, on the ‘phone or just busy doing something else when questions come in.

We all know how impatient users are these days – especially on mobile devices. If you aren’t responding to questions straight away, your prospect has moved on and the opportunity has been lost.

Some organisations try to automate their live chat with chatbots that can answer some simple questions or just try to direct visitors to the correct part of the website.

The user experience with chatbots isn’t great. Typically you have a bit of to and fro with the bot before they ask you to wait for a real agent to come online.

Talking to robots and the added delay before getting to a real person is the online equivalent of working through a complex menu on an automated ‘phone system before getting to speak to a human being (‘Press 1 for sales, 2 for technical support, 3 for billing…’). We all know how frustrating that can be!

Can we help?

Are you making the best use of technology in your business?

Are you using technology to save time and accelerate business processes? Are you spending so much time managing the tech that other areas of the business are suffering?

If you want to have a no-hype discussion about what technology could do for your business, fill in the form below and we’ll get right back to you.


Melu’s Solution – Managed Live Chat

Melu has an interesting solution that could work well for a lot of companies.

In an era where there is a drive to more and more automation, Melu offers a managed live chat service with real people chatting to real visitors in real time – at a fixed fee that will be affordable for most businesses.

Instead of trying to automate the chat process through bots or AI, Melu uses technology to route the chat to pools of real people – trained in customer service and familiar with their clients’ businesses.

As Lee Rennie, Melu’s MD, explained on the stand, this isn’t some kind of offshoring operation using cheap labour in the developing world. Melu has a team of skilled customer service agents at its Oxford base who handle live chats for their growing client base.

Lee knows that many of Melu’s potential clients may not have dedicated IT resources in house, so the service has been designed to be easy to set up and configure – it just needs a couple of lines of code to be embedded into a website.

Some clients will be able to do this themselves, or their web designer can normally implement this in a matter of minutes.

If a client has any problems with the setup, Lee says that Melu is happy to help clients install the necessary code – they just need access to the client’s website.

It’s clear that Melu’s focus as a company is on customer service rather than the technology, which bodes well for teh company’s future.

 Who could benefit from Melu’s Managed Live Chat service?

We can see Melu’s service working well for legal firms where busy (and expensive) staff may not have the time to monitor questions from their website, but the lifetime value of new clients could be substantial. 

There certainly appeared to be plenty of interest at Melu’s stand at Legalex.

As well as legal firms, there will be many other use cases for Melu’s managed live chat service. For example, anyone providing professional services like accountants, insurance brokers and financial advisors.

In fact, managed live chat could be a good solution for any business looking to drive more leads from their website visitors.

Managed live chat would be a great service to include on jobs pages for a recruitment agency or on any company’s career pages. Agency recruiters and internal HR hiring teams are busy people and unlikely to be able to monitor website visits throughout the day.

Melu says they guarantee to respond to all chat requests within 30 seconds and will never miss a chat. Few companies will have the resources to match that kind of level of service.

Melu’s service has been described as a virtual receptionist, but we see it more like the equivalent having someone in a retail environment ask ‘Can I help?’

When you have a potential customer already in the store (your website) this simple interaction can make a big difference.

While there is often a focus on automation and removing people from processes, often the best use of technology is where automation facilitates getting to the point of human interaction.

Especially for those of us embedded in the technology world, its easy to get sucked into believing that every process will be automated and jobs will disappear as robots and AI take over the world.

However, in the real world of business, it is often the ideas that are simple and affordable that can have the most impact.

Melu’s offering isn’t really a technology solution – it just uses technology to augment your customer service.

Services like Melu’s Managed Live Chat solve a business problem at an affordable price and with demonstrable ROI.

That’s a great value proposition for pretty much every business with a website.

Perhaps Melu’s business model will be superseded by Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Robotic Process Automation, but it’s not likely to happen anytime soon and it certainly won’t be affordable for a typical SME if it does happen.

You could wait for some perfect AI chatbot sometime in the future, but in the meantime, you could try Melu’s free trial and see for yourself what results you get!

About Melu

Melu is a company based in Oxford that provides managed live chat services. 

Once the live chat widget is installed on a website, Melu’s team of agents handles chat with web visitors in real time. 

You can find out more about Melu’s managed live chat service on their website.

The FAQ section should answer most questions – or just type your questions into the live chat box!

If you want to try Melu’s managed live chat service for yourself, you can get a free trial here.

About Trade IT

Trade IT is all about using technology to improve your business processes. This might mean new kit, the latest app or software package – but more often than not it is about organising your business processes to optimal efficiency and empowering your staff with the right skills and tools be more productive.

The technology available to organisations of all sizes today is incredible – but few companies are taking full advantage.

If you have Office 365 or G-Suite or Zoho One, you probably aren’t taking full advantage of the capabilities you are already paying for.

Your intranet (you do have an intranet, don’t you?) may not be delivering the results and employee engagement that you expected. 

Is your CRM integrated with your marketing tech stack? 

Is your website attracting targetted traffic and delivering warm leads?

Are you concerned about security and data privacy and want to know how technology can help (and where it can’t!)?

If you want to find out more about how you could improve your business processes and make everyone more productive without working any harder, fill in the email request form on the right and we’ll get right back to you.

About Legalex

Legalex is the leading expo for technology solutions for the legal sector. Held at London’s ExCeL centre, Legalex brings together technology vendors offering the latest products and services to help ambitious law firms to grow and develop their business. Leading industry experts provide keynote speeches on the hot topics of the day and a number of workshops and masterclasses throughout the show cover all aspects of managing and growing a legal business.

If you work in the legal sector and want to keep up with the latest technology, Legalex is the place to be. All the leading vendor under one roof and some great seminars with CPD accreditation.

Sources and Useful Links

Melu FAQ

Melu Free Trial

Legalex 2020