By Jennifer Gregory
Lawyers are often privy to private and personal client information, which means clients seek lawyers they can trust. While customer relationship management (CRM) software can benefit any business, many lawyers use it to strengthen their client relationships, which in turn helps grow their law businesses. Lawyers focused on current cases and clients find that small business CRM software can help them manage relationships with past and future clients, as well.
Here are four ways lawyers can increase their firm’s revenue through CRM software.
1. Keeping Track of Important Client Details
If you handle a client’s divorce proceedings and they return to your office a few years later to draw up his will, you may find yourself drawing a blank on his daughter’s name. “A CRM allows me to keep track of the names of spouses and children, gives me an easy place to put notes during the initial conversation,” says Andrew Legrand, lawyer and owner of Law By Legrand. By being able to glance quickly at your notes, you can increase your client’s trust and make him feel important by remembering important details, even from several years before.
2. Reminders to Contact Clients
While getting leads for new business is great, you will only grow your firm by converting those leads into clients. Often a person who contacts you over the phone for initial information may not be ready to sign as a client just yet, which means you will need to follow up.
“Sometimes leads will tell me to follow up in a week or a month,” says Legrand. “With a CRM, I’m able to add a to-do item to that lead to make sure I follow up.” If you forget to pursue the lead, the potential client may head down the street to another firm; but by following up when you say you will, you show that you’re committed to that person’s schedule, needs and business.
3. Tracking Return on Investment
When most lawyers sit down to work on the marketing plan and budget for their practice, they often make educated guesses about which marketing efforts yielded the best return on their investment. Legrand uses his CRM to track how each of his clients found the practice. “It’s useful to have an easy way to access data which shows ROI on different marketing efforts and shows which marketing methods I should focus my time on,” he says.
You will be able to see at a glance if, for example, continuing to pay for someone to handle your social media is worth the investment, or if you should focus on print advertising.
4. Collecting Networking Information
You can also use CRM software to track contacts that you meet at networking events. Ruth Carter, owner and attorney at the Carter Law Firm, meets between 10 and 30 new people each week through networking events. She uses her CRM to track who she met, where she met them and what type of legal help they might need to script her follow-up communications.
“When they call me, I can quickly bring them up on my computer screen and see all their information, instead of fumbling through my ever-growing stack of business cards I’ve collected and trying to read my chicken scratch notes on the back,” Carter says.
If you can’t convert the leads that you make through networking into clients, then your time spent networking is wasted. “Marketing is key when you’re a lawyer, so follow up is essential. Going to events and getting business cards is the beginning — it’s what you do with the information afterwards that really matters,” Carter advises.
How has small business CRM improved your relationships with your customers?