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CRM for Law Firms

Why Law Firms Need CRM

Customer relationship management (CRM) systems help companies interact with their current customers and give them the tools to attract new and potential customers. They are intended to strengthen the bond between customers and companies, keeping customers loyal and growing company revenues. All of this is centered around the acquisition of data from customers, and ultimately analyzing that data.

Law firms have historically been opposed to using CRM services. Attorneys are generally very busy and the perception is that inputting data into a CRM system is a waste of time. Simple mistakes such as not spelling client names correctly causing inaccurate CRM data, in the view of attorneys, can ruin the legitimacy of CRM systems. As a result, more attorneys start to doubt the importance of CRM in their firms, and the user base for CRM systems among law firms degrades. This causes the system to become less useful and less relevant over time.

Many analysts have argued that attorneys should re-evaluate their relationship with CRM systems and return to using them in large numbers. In fact, in recent years, CRM systems have demonstrated an ability to deliver more impressive value for firms. It is the mishandling and incorrect data entry that has made CRM systems ineffective. CRM systems have, to their credit, improved over time, simplifying the process to minimize inaccuracies and reduce any frustration companies (including law firms) may experience.

It is important to have marketing for any business, including law firms. But traditional marketing is not enough to drive potential clients to law firms. Many argue that a firm’s reputation can be damaged by not engaging with customers properly. And with a rapidly changing industry and world, clients are becoming more and more center stage. Clients now play a role and they need “love” and “nurture” from firms in order to keep them loyal and happy. Clients judge companies based on how effective their relationship with the company is. CRM systems were designed for just that—increasing the bond between client and company—and they are more relevant presently than they ever have been.

CRMs are essential for monetizing each lead a law firm captures. That being said, it is imperative for law firms and all CRM-using companies to align with the best CRM partners. Quality is important. Bad CRMs can cost firms more money over time than the benefits they are intended to deliver. They can instill client distrust and produce data that is inaccurate or irrelevant. Needless to say, choosing the wrong CRM partner can be a disaster to the client-firm relationship as well as the bottom line. Thus, firms need to diligently select their CRM partners. With a strong CRM system, firms can acquire relevant data. Data that is reliable and accurate is able to translate into the monetization of those customers. The difference between bad great CRMs is drastic. The former could destroy client-firm relationships and cost firms thousands, if not millions of dollars. The other can strengthen client-firm relationships immeasurably; in turn, transforming acquired customers to paying customers– through accurate and relevant data–a long-term asset to the firm.

In order for good, strong CRM systems to deliver firms and customers the benefits that were intended, attitudes towards CRM have to change. After establishing a strong, reliable CRM system partner, firms need to adapt to using the systems. Attitudes towards CRM need to be more open-minded, and the facts and clarity about CRMs need to be communicated to all employees of the firm. Lawyers need to learn to adapt to and trust CRM systems, and educate their employees through regular training and setting clear goals. Once firms are on the right track with CRM systems, they will be able to reap all the benefits they offer, including the monetary and customer relationship benefits– and better the health of their firm in the long run.