CRM (or Customer Relation Management) is a crucial issue in everyday professional activity of every company – from small start-ups to established worldwide giants. Among those who employ various CRM solutions are law firms. Let us discuss what the main advantages of CRM for legal are and how law firms can benefit from it.
First of all, what is CRM about? CRM is designed for regular gathering, analyzing and using customer data with the aim to boost customers’ satisfaction. When your clients are satisfied, their loyalty increases and they are more likely to recommend you to their relatives, friends and colleagues. It goes without saying that all of this will eventually have its economic effect, boosting your revenues and making the market position of your company sounder.
Key advantages of CRM for law companies
Law firms are active users of CRM solutions but the nature of their professional activity is quite specific which implies using tailored automated solutions.
Here are main advantages of CRM systems for law firms:
- Huge data storage. You will be able to store and have a quick access to all information on your clients and their cases, court data, legal documents, contacts of experts and witnesses, etc.
- Quick processing of incoming requests. In most cases people who are looking for professional legal services need them quite urgently, and hence a law firm should quickly analyze all the incoming requests and give the feedback.
- Corporate calendar where all the important dates are saved – court hearings, meetings with clients, deadlines for filing legal documents and many more.
- Customizable data access. Most legal information is strictly confidential, so the platform allows setting limited access to sensitive data within the company. This will enable relevant employees and partners to find and use this data without any disclosure to irrelevant people or third parties. At the same time, everyone in the company will have all they need in order to perform their daily professional duties.
- Data integrity. Legal CRM implies having a single point of data entry. Once the data is put in the system, it will be reflected in all relevant fields and sections. This saves you the trouble of inserting the same data more than once and, most importantly, the risk of downloading divergent or wrong information is as small as possible.
- Drip email campaigns. Nowadays many legal enterprises use drip email campaigns to attract potential customers or to offer some new or specific legal services to the existing clients who did not have a need for these services before. However, the researches show that about 22 per cent of such business emails end up in junk mail and never reach their addressees, even when sent in response to the customer’s request. Law firm CRM systems offer unique opportunities for arranging corporate drip email campaigns. The partnership with SMTP, a publicly-traded email service provider with more than 10 years of success in this field, enables you to rest assured that your emails will always be successfully delivered. Apart from bigger clientele and more active business growth, this will also help you optimize your email campaign budget and not waste money on emails that will never get through.
- Simple use. The platform is user-friendly and very intuitive. Most legal companies that have switched to CRM solutions have not had to organize special training sessions or hiring new employees with an experience in automated CRM. The system is very easy to use and you will be able to introduce it with no complications or additional costs.
- Simple correction and tuning. CRM platform is not customized once and forever. It may happen that you realize that your CRM misses something or that the nature of your business activities changes and you need to adjust the system accordingly. In this case you will always be able to change the settings and add or delete some options depending on your needs.
- High level of transparency. CRM helps to improve the way your business is organized. Employees will have clearer instructions and will have a better understanding of the company’s business goal. This, in return, will improve staff motivation and reduce the number of internal conflicts.
- Cost optimization. Automated systems do not go as a fixed package that you should either accept and pay for or refuse. You can choose options and tools depending on your company’s current needs and pay only for the tools that you actually use, thus making your CRM both simple and cost effective.
If your law company has a website, then it will be integrated with the CRM platform. All the requests sent through the website will automatically appear in your CRM and the system will make necessary assignments for the employees.
CRM systems are fully compatible with other web tools, such as Google Analytics which performs the most comprehensive statistical analysis of your daily business activities and provides valuable results. Hence, you will always be able to enrich your CRM platform with additional options that your legal business might require.
Onsite CRM for lawyers
CRM solutions for legal firms are available in many different formats, and one of the most traditional ones is onsite CRM. It implies installing one or more specialized servers within your company’s premises. Onsite CRM brings everything together in a single package. All the data will be kept within the perimeter of your law firm while the platform will meet the needs of the company.
However, onsite law firm CRM has rather cumbersome installation, and many companies prefer hiring a group of full-time IT specialists whose main task is to control the performance of the hardware and to organize its technical maintenance. Besides, you may experience some unexpected problems with onsite servers during power surges or if your company transfers its office to some different address.
Cloud CRM for legal
Many of the above-mentioned problems can be solved with the help of a cloud CRM. This is the latest and truly unique version of automated systems which is gaining popularity among many legal enterprises all over the world.
The idea behind cloud CRM solutions is that all the data is stored in a virtual cloud. Managers and employees can get access to this data from any place in the world, so in case your law company is transferred to a different city or even a different country you will have no difficulties using you corporate CRM system in the new office.
Cloud CRM for lawyers can be accessed not only from laptops but also from smartphones or tablets which makes this solution much more flexible for employees of any rank. Besides, such systems do not require special server rooms and can be monitored distantly by external IT consultants.
How to choose your law firm’s CRM
If you have decided to introduce a CRM system to your law firm, then you should check three main points:
CRM will give your company an added value. There is no sense in introducing CRM just because you heard it is useful or because some of your acquaintances who run their own legal companies do that. You should make sure that CRM will fit your company and that your business will benefit from it. In order to do this, try to make a list of business difficulties that you are now experiencing and that will be overcome with the introduction of CRM for law firms. If you produce an impressive list that consists of at least 3-4 items, then you are on the right way.
Your staff will be able to use the new system or, if not, you will be able to provide adequate training. Despite being quite an intuitive and easy-to-use system, CRM may still require some additional training or at least will need your employees to get used to the new interface. Hence, make sure that the benefits of CRM for your law company will outweigh possible complications associated with its introduction.
You will actually use your CRM on a permanent basis. Automated solutions provide added value only when they are used regularly and consistently. There is no sense in using them only for certain operations or in certain periods of time. If you feel ready to transfer all your business activities to the new system and use it for every single aspect of your law business, then CRM will indeed be a wise solution for your company.