CRMs Aren’t Just for Big Law: Features That Can Help Every Firm Be More Efficient and Profitable
Although many people think that customer management relationship systems (CRMs) are relatively new in existence, the practice of keeping customer records has existed for centuries. Merchants, even those selling their wares in ancient times, understand that it’s much easier to sell your goods to a current or past customer than to try to cultivate new business.
Modern CRMs are simply digital, highly sophisticated versions of customer records traditionally kept on paper. While most businesses of any size in any industry can benefit from the use of CRMs, some cannot run their organizations efficiently without them. In recent years, niche-specific CRMs have been designed specifically for certain types of businesses, including law firms.
The main objective of all law firms – big and small – is to attract and retain clients to increase profits and growth. Legal CRM systems help law firms grow by automating various business functions, such as referral tracking, client intake, scheduling, follow-up, case management, and revenue tracking to turn those who were once potential leads into profit-generating clients.
What is a Legal CRM?
A legal CRM is technology that helps law firms streamline the efficiency of their practices. Some of the critical functions that a legal CRM platform provides include:
- Better client communication. A system to manage all client communications while maintaining privacy. During the intake process, a receptionist, intake coordinator and attorney may all be in the mix. Having a centralized system which tracks all phone call notes and emails can help to improve collaboration and efficiency.
- Referral Tracking. Research has shown that over 70 percent of a law firm’s business comes from client referrals. A CRM makes it possible to easily identify the source of new business, so you can nurture past client relationships to encourage repeat business and stellar reviews. It also allows firms to see a gauge of whether marketing campaigns (such as Pay-Per-Click advertising) are effective.
- Contact management. Organizing all of a law firm’s contacts can be a complex process. But with a CRM, a single platform can give you a 360-view of each contact, outlining everything from basic contact information to the status of the matter they’re connected to. No more wondering whether a case needs a follow up – a CRM manages it all.
- Increased efficiency. A law firm is made up of many moving parts. A CRM provides one centralized database that makes it possible to track every stage of every case and instantly determine what the next step should be. Because many people might be working on the same case, having all the information in one place makes the process as efficient as possible for the legal team.
- Custom reporting. A CRM will tell you exactly what’s working – and what isn’t – in your law practice. Custom reporting extracts the data and presents it in a simple format that will allow you to make data-driven decisions. Built-in reports track critical metrics like your best sources of leads and most profitable practice areas.
- Integration with your firm’s practice management application. To ensure that your firm has a single source of truth that spans the entire matter lifecycle, you’ll want to choose a CRM that is native to your firm’s practice management software. If the CRM isn’t built into your case management platform, you’ll want to make sure there is a two-way sync between the two.
Spreadsheets don’t cut it anymore when managing your firm’s pipeline. From understanding what/who is driving new business, how likely prospective new clients are to retain your practice and how far along a client is in the intake process, a legal CRM can help you better forecast profitability and growth. Frustrated clients? A comprehensive legal CRM system could be the answer for your firm.
How Zola CRM Takes Your Firm from Prospect to Client to Profit
From initial contact to client retention, Zola Suite’s cloud-based CRM and intake management for law firms can help your team respond to leads, automate your intake process, track referral sources, and serve more clients. Here’s how Zola CRM can help your law firm transfer prospects to profits:
- Automate intake. Once a prospect submits a contact inquiry on your firm’s website, Zola CRM automatically creates a lead so each and every piece of data is located in a centralized dashboard. You can easily share an electronic intake form (and receive a notice when it’s completed), keep track of every email and phone call, securely share documents and convert the lead to a matter with a single click.
- Track referrals. What isn’t measured cannot be improved. With Zola CRM, you can identify and cultivate high-value prospects, track where your leads are coming from, and easily generate advanced reports.
- Retain clients. Zola’s CRM is native to its practice management solution, meaning you’ll be able to analyze client service and monitor the activities of your legal team in real time. You’ll be able to retain more clients by building and enhancing client relationships and providing them with the highest level of customer service possible.
Ready to get started with Zola CRM? Request your free 10-day trial today.