Today, growing a legal firm is a monumental undertaking.
Thanks to increased marketplace competition and digitalism, it’s easier than ever for would-be clients to quickly shop around for the right attorney. Similarly, a current client’s loyalty can be easily tested, especially when there are so many “better,” “cheaper,” and “more available” options advertised.
Law firms need not only to acquire clients but must also retain them. And for that, customer relationship management (CRM tool) lies at the heart of modern legal business strategy. If you fail to foster those connections in your legal practice, your litigation skills will do little to sway a potential client or from seeking greener pastures in the legal industry.
So, how do legal firms juggle their various legal practice responsibilities on top of emphasizing customer relations?
CRM is the solution for your law practice.
What Is CRM?
Customer relationship management is not just a technology; it’s also a strategy and a process.
- The legal crm software makes it possible to automate customer relationship processes and capture important data about the interactions between your firm and its clients.
- The strategy focuses on how to optimally manage relationships with current as well as convert potential clients.
- The process is the systems you instill to manage and continuously foster relationships.
Every call you make, every email you send, every touchpoint you have with a current or potential client falls under the auspices of CRM. Each action you take has the potential to push them away or draw them further down the sales funnel.
When it comes to data capture, successful customer relationships management must traverse an entire firm. From marketing to accounting to social media, every department and aspect of the business has the ability to gather client and market information. Armed with these insights, a law firm can better understand its client base, which empowers them to act.
And in a digital age where we rely on automated tools to work, communicate, and to self-evaluate, a CRM system is one of the most powerful in your arsenal.
What Is a Law Office CRM System?
A CRM system is the technology component of customer relationship management. These cloud-based platforms are designed to manage every client interaction and relationship. A CRM can track and capture a wealth of actionable data, including:
- Existing clientele
- Potential leads
- Sales opportunities
- Service issues
Historically, generalized CRM systems lacked the design specificity to be of significant value to legal firms. They were costly, difficult to use, and often failed to meet an attorney’s unique needs. However, now, there are CRM systems that are designed explicitly for the legal industry to help lawyers efficiently maintain and nurture relationships.
Common features of a legal CRM include:
- A client database – Running a successful practice requires steady growth. A robust CRM will have a client database and management tools that help you log clients and then see to their needs.
- Sales automation – CRM helps facilitate the entire sales process. You need ways to create leads and track calls, emails, clicks, and conversion metrics. This empowers you to build and then grow a successful sales pipeline and to follow up with prospects.
- Marketing tools – The right CRM has tools that help you create and then measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, allowing you to pivot or adjust on the fly.
- Calendar and email sync – Sync your email and calendar so you can see your schedule and emails sent or received when viewing a client’s file.
Reasons Why a Law Firm Needs CRM
From the initial touchpoint to years down the line, a CRM allows you to centralize your customer data and outreach efforts. The ability to track and quickly integrate any contact—be they a potential or existing client—is of vital importance, especially as your clientele continues to grow.
Reasons why your law firm needs a law firm CRM system include:
#1 Streamlined Workflows
Do you spend precious time on spreadsheets, data entry, or client data management?
When done manually, such tasks are not only time-consuming, they’re also prone to human errors. But with a CRM, it becomes easy to accurately record onboarding and intake information from the outset.
This ensures that no current client or potential opportunity passes you by.
This not only helps optimize intake, but also allows you to spend more time focusing on legal matters that actually require your expertise. Put simply, your time is valuable. It should be spent on practicing law or interfacing with clients—not on data entry.
#2 Better Organization
Instead of relying on spreadsheets and email contact lists, save time and improve your clients experience with easy access to contact information, automate responses, and communication tracking.
Because client intake is automated and centralized, your system can instantly gather, collate, and manage that crucial data. Auto-population ensures that all of the important info is recorded and on-hand the moment it’s required. A CRM also makes it easier to arrange, modify, or share critical documents.
And these organizational benefits aren’t simply limited to existing clients. The system can also store lead information, which can then be leveraged via email and SMS campaigns.
#3 Improved Client Communication
A CRM strengthens privacy and facilitates client communication. As noted by National Law Review:1
“With your law firm CRM software system, your firm has access to a secure client portal. This online platform allows clients to message their attorneys in confidence regarding legal matters or anything else. Secure documents can be shared safely through the portal—with clients, colleagues, or other collaborating parties. The level of security within this portal is incredibly high—the same level offered by online banking platforms, ensuring all legal documents remain safe and confidential.”
This improved organization and communication will inevitably be noticed by your clients. When you have the data and insights you need on hand, you’re better prepared to support their needs and address their concerns.
By demonstrating to your clients that they matter and are a priority, you drive client satisfaction, which can lead to positive reviews, client loyalty, and future business.
#4 More Referrals
What is the number one way you land new clients?
Chances are, it’s referrals.
A 2017 Legal Trends Report discovered that the vast majority of clients—62%—look for a lawyer by asking a friend, family member, or another lawyer for a referral.2 And even if they aren’t asking close contacts, they’re probably seeing what others have to say about your legal firm on the internet.
As mentioned, when you strengthen relationships with existing clients, you incentivize them to sing your praises. If they have a great experience, they’ll be sure to share that information with close contacts. And if they have a bad experience, you’d best believe they won’t be shy about conveying that sentiment as well.
Therefore, the fact that your CRM facilitates client relationship building increases the likelihood that existing clients will refer you to others in a positive light.
#5 Actionable insights
All of the data in the world is of little consequence unless you can understand and then act upon that information. With a CRM, your system can automatically collect, collate, and then analyze client data to produce actionable insights.
This can help you paint a more clear picture of:
- Who your existing clients are, including their:
- What your ideal client persona looks like
- The optimal way to reach them
From there, your system can create automated processes like reminders and follow-ups. This empowers you to target would-be clients as effectively as possible without needing to expend a significant amount of time or energy.
#6 Enhanced Collaboration
Law firms rely on teamwork to manage cases. There may be dozens of attorneys, paralegals, and law clerks working on a given case at the same time. To best represent their clients, every member of your team needs access to all of the relevant documentation and case resources.
A CRM streamlines internal communication, making it easier to collaborate, share information, or see how clients are spoken to. The addition of a communication log helps you maintain a consistent messaging posture. Similarly, CMS tools allow teams to make notes, send messages, or add alerts.
Even if someone isn’t working a case, they can pop in to see where the process is at or to reference documents. This increases transparency and accountability across the entire firm, which helps foster a healthier work environment.
#7 Boosts Your Reputation and Brand Image
When you account for clients’ needs, listen to them, and then respond with alacrity, the result is a more satisfied clientele. By making this a habit, you can slowly shift public perception in a positive direction. As time passes, people will start to associate these positive qualities with your brand, making it easier to convert and then retain clients.
Convert It—Legal Marketing Experts
Law firm CRM systems are just one of the many tools legal firms can leverage to build relationships with their clients. But they’re not the only ones. While a CRM has some marketing and sales automation features, those are just a small component of the entire system.
Do you want to enhance your client outreach and acquisition?
That’s where we come in. At Convert It, our digital marketing platform has everything you need to generate new clients, including call & lead tracking, PPC campaigns, behavioral targeting, captivating ads, and website optimization for law firms.
By combining the powers of CRM with our digital marketing expertise, you position your legal firm for ultimate success. Discover more today!
- National Law Review. Law Firm CRM Software. https://www.natlawreview.com/article/law-firm-crm-software-why-your-firm-needs-one
- Above the Law. Referrals Remain Leading Way Lawyers Get Clients, Per Legal Trends Report. https://abovethelaw.com/2017/10/referrals-remain-leading-way-lawyers-get-clients-per-legal-trends-report/
- Attorney At Work. Why Every Lawyer Needs a CRM System. https://www.attorneyatwork.com/why-every-lawyer-needs-a-crm-system/