Many people that deal with customers on a daily basis might wonder: “Does CRM actually help law firms? What are the advantages and how does it affect the business model?” I was once asked these exact questions while I was helping a Spanish-based law firm during the first steps of their business.
So is CRM beneficial for lawyers and if yes, what shape does it need to take to fit the law market and achieve results? Keep in mind that this was asked by senior lawyers, experts in their field with years of experience even though this was their first firm together. Thus, it is only natural that every single one of them knew how to treat customers but what I was offering was not meant to teach them new ways to approach their clients. It was meant to show them how to combine their efforts into one and better organize the firm in a customer-centric culture. This could be achieved with the use of efficient CRM processes and a client database where evaluations and other customer information would be stored for a better organized approach.
When in motion, the plan had 4 parts that spanned across half a year. The first part was to collect and analyze data regarding client interactions, technical support and details about decision taking. Essentially it meant getting everyone on the same page and ensuring the customer centricity of the firm’s services.
The second part involved requesting feedback from the customers, in order to find out about their expectations and needs. This turned out to help a lot as the results proved. In fact it was observed that some of the services that were offered up to that point seemed pointless to the clients while others were rated much higher than expected. This was a crucial part in developing a better CRM approach towards them.
Thanks to the data we collected from the previous parts, in the third part new procedures were implemented for the whole company, including all staff and employees. This involved even people who had no contact with customers. It’s because they also needed to understand the meaning of the customer-centricity that was getting established. In addition, there was a supervisor, who would take care of office-wide CRM while collecting data about the annual customer contact plan. This helped because the data was passed to the senior lawyers before conferences with the clients improving the database and more importantly offering greater value with their service.
In the final part which is in fact an ongoing process, the whole firm continues to be trained in CRM processes improving the understanding of client-centricity. This is not only meant to educate new employees but it’s also a great way for everyone to improve as we continue learning about the cultural values of CRM.
It is a very sensitive step in the plan because it signifies what was mentioned earlier about combining the effort into one. If the whole firm has understood and assimilated the values of CRM then it will create customer value that will be felt by the clients giving them a sense of professionalism and trust towards us.