CRM Software for Your Law Firms
At its most basic, Client (or Customer) Relationship Management (CRM) software could be described as a client contacts database, combined with a to-do list, and a calendar. But, when used right, it can be so much more. Good law firm CRM software gives you a systematic approach to maintaining and strengthening client relationships and trust. This is not just client intake, it’s an integral part of a comprehensive Legal Marketing plan.
How Should I Select a CRM?
In selecting proper software, ask yourself, “What do I want to achieve with a law firm CRM?” If you’re unsure, take a look at your Marketing Plan (or create one using our Legal Marketing Guide). Don’t just grab software off the shelf and start using it. Plan, document your processes, and then determine what you need.
What Features Do you Need in a Law firm CRM?
If you don’t have CRM software, or the one you have doesn’t meet your needs, then ask yourself what features your firm would benefit from. Go back to that Marketing Plan and determine what you want to do. If you don’t know what features will accomplish that, yet, take a look at the Features list below. It should give you a good idea of what is out there.
Can I Customize Those Features?
Once you find software that has the features you’re looking for, determine if you can customize those features to fit your needs? How difficult is it to make the law firm CRM fit your needs? Or, alternatively, does it come ready-to-use (or almost ready-to-use) right out of the box?
Is it Easy to Learn?
This matters in all kinds of ways. First, you’ll need to learn it yourself so you can get comfortable with it as a solution for your firm. And if you anticipate needing to train other people on the software, make sure you and your colleagues will have plenty of resources available. Comprehensive documentation should help you learn how to use your fancy new tool without too much issue. And if it is tricky to learn (and, probably, even if it isn’t), a good law firm CRM should offer free training.
Does it Integrate with Software you Already Use?
Does it integrate with your LPMS? What about your email, or your calendar? Processes can get really cumbersome if your new law firm CRM exists on a digital island. That means more things for you to download, transfer, and pay attention to. Integration with Office 365, or G Suite is often a extremely helpful, if not a necessity.
After you’ve narrowed down your choices, give them a test-run. Most have a free trial of CRM for lawyers. When putting new law firm CRM software through its paces, see if it works by importing just a few contacts, rather than your entire client list.