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Voice recognition and digital dictation technology has come a long way, and many of us have already begun to appreciate the ways in which this technology can help to make life easier and more efficient.  Especially as it is becoming possible to use our voices to instruct our devices to carry out ever-more complicated tasks, it is clear that these technologies are poised to make a significant contribution to our working lives, improving efficiency and productivity on routine tasks and freeing up more time for more creative or complex projects. Already, legal firms are leading the way, integrating these technologies into their daily work flows –  for example, innovative audio dictation software leads to great gains in productivity.  Here are some of the ways that your firm could benefit from this technology.

Client Service

There is no question that it is faster to speak than it is to type.  This means that documents can be produced via audio dictation software much more quickly than they can by typing.  Responses to email or other correspondence can be quickly dictated while “on the go.” Cloud-based dictation software means that documents, notes or other items can be easily transferred to co-workers or other team members.  All of this means that you are able to do your work more efficiently, which translates into better client service.

Delegation and Team Communication

Cloud-based voice productivity systems make it possible to greatly improve work flow by allowing for the easy transfer of files and information as soon as it is available so that bottlenecks are avoided.  Instructions for assistants can also easily be dictated on the fly and sent seamlessly. All files can be easily and securely stored.

Savings

There are several cost-saving efficiencies that with integration of digital dictation technology.  Given that it can used on smartphones and tablets, there is no need to purchase separate voice recorders as used to be the case. Similarly, because the files are digitally stored, there is no need to continually stock up on tapes. Labor costs, especially for extra typing staff during periods of peak activity, are dramatically reduced – assistants previously tasked with preparing transcriptions will now need only to review them for errors.  This will make it possible for assistants to spend their time on other items, and may reduce staffing needs in the office as a whole.

Tracking Hours

Lawyers bill by the hour, and the task of entering hours into a management system can be tedious to the point that some people may delay doing so until they no longer remember exactly how many hours were spend on a particular client’s file.  Dictation software makes it very easy to send a quick to an assistant to track the time immediately upon completion. This is especially useful for lawyers who are working away from the office.

These are just some of the ways that your firm’s productivity and efficiency can be dramatically increased through the use of audio dictation technology, and as the technology continues to improve, its impact will certainly increase.