As the founder of a relationship science platform that helps legal firms optimize their CRM systems, our co-founder, Stewart Walchli, knows a thing or two about managing customer relationships. With some of the nation’s leading law firms both big and small as clients, Stewart also understands the unique challenges attorneys face when growing a practice — managing and growing a business isn’t necessarily covered in law school.
To help law firms grow their business, Stewart recently wrote an article, Customer Relationship Management: What They Didn’t Tell You at Law School, for Lawyer Monthly. Through his advice, your law firm can learn how to develop strong client relationships that increase your revenue. Read on to discover just a few of the insights he shared that can help you do just that.
Prioritize Useful Relationship Insights
Less than a third of lawyers actively use their CRM systems, according to an Ackert Advisory study. A majority of lawyers are not inputting or managing their client data. This leaves the lawyers that are using the CRM at a disadvantage because it means that their CRM system isn’t a reliable source of useful relationship insights. Without accurate insights to personalize communications or identify mutual connections, how can lawyers develop strong client relationships?
To overcome data obstacles, Stewart suggests identifying the best sources of key data and the best way to produce the output so that it is useful for lawyers. For example, if your attorneys are concerned with GDPR regulation compliance, your CRM can alert a lawyer when a client still needs to give their email marketing approval. This makes the data and notifications within the CRM more valuable for attorneys as it provides them with information they need. Don’t bog down your attorneys by asking them to record everything into the CRM, instead start with the data they see as valuable to their client relationships.
Spare Your Attorneys
According to the previously mentioned Ackert study, 44% of lawyers cite the high level of data entry as the reason they don’t actively use their CRM. Entering, maintaining, and analyzing client data takes attorneys away from their clients, hindering their ability to develop strong client relationships. And because they aren’t entering client data, they also lack insights.
The best way to boost CRM adoption at your law firm is to take lawyers out of the equation. As Stewart puts it, “lawyers need to be data consumers rather than data producers.” By taking lawyers out of the equation, they can spend more time interacting with clients and supporting their accounts instead of spending their time on manual data entry. An even better solution for your firm is to make sure no one in your firm has to do mundane data entry. With CRM data automation, your client data is automatically entered, maintained, and analyzed, making sure your firm stays focused on strengthening client relationships.
Enhance Your CRM With New Tools
Beyond receiving accurate relationship insights, an effective CRM solution can also offer useful reports for lawyers, including relationship scores, contact mapping, transactional history, and more. However, many CRMs hide these reports deep within the system or leave it to the lawyers to do the heavy lifting. This adds more time onto their already busy days.
Make your CRM work for you by enhancing your CRM with innovative software tools that automatically provide lawyers with intuitive reports. For example, your CRM could provide a pre-meeting briefing digest containing information about each individual, news about the client, recent meetings they’ve attended, if you share any mutual contacts, and more. This briefing is more timely, useful, and easy to use than a 100-page monthly report. In addition, your enhanced CRM system could track changes in relationship strength with new contacts and assess which activities are likely to drive change to improve your firm’s prospecting. By optimizing your CRM, your system can become a revenue generator for your firm instead of a seldom used database.
Get the Full Course on CRM Tips for Your Law Firm
Check out Stewart’s full article, Customer Relationship Management: What They Didn’t Tell You at Law School, on Lawyer Monthly.