Your CRM is likely one of the most significant new tech investments your law firm will make this year and, if done with care, could take your client care and efficiency to a new level. There are many different CRM options to choose from and ones with features that are specifically designed for law firms. It can be difficult to assess all of the different offerings and functionalities, especially if you are new to customer relationship management. With that in mind, below are some of the essential criteria when selecting a CRM system for your law firm.
Scheduling and Reminders
Scheduling and reminders are two of the most important elements of good relationship management for law firms, making them essential criteria when choosing your legal CRM. Your clients need to know when their upcoming deadlines are when they need to have certain documents signed by, when it is time to pay for services and billable hours and when they need to arrange meetings to speak to you in person–either in office or virtually. A good legal CRM will be able to handle all of that and more and make keeping your clients informed and up to date on their cases, legal responsibilities and, importantly, ingraining it in their mind that your firm provides superior communication and client care.
Document management is another fundamental part of the criteria when choosing a CRM system for your law firm. Document management starts the moment you first make contact with a prospective client. The initial documentation you get from your clients, including their personal information, as well as any legal documents, need to be well organized and easily retrievable from the beginning. Another essential part of a document management system is its ability to be searched quickly and accurately for necessary casework and other files. Document management should also help you harmonize and centralize all of your existing paper documentation with all of your electronic copies.
A CRM’s onboarding features are another component you should be looking at closely because it is critical for continued client loyalty. Onboarding is the process by which new clients are integrated into your system and familiarized with your team. From meetings to after-meetings to getting new clients set up with the necessary accesses and permissions to keep track of their files and view billable hours, your CRM should be able to make navigating your firm straightforward, even for less tech-savvy clients.
A good CRM should be able to handle at least the above tasks and more. There are various CRM developers out there offering these products, but not all are created equal. Make sure that regardless of the product you choose, you are committed to learning and helping your employees learn how to make the best use of it. Many of these products come with tutorials and demos as part of the package and access to customer service should you need to troubleshoot an issue. As with any new piece of technology, a CRM should be something that aligns with your business objectives and whose adoption is well communicated and justified to employees.