This week I want to talk about data and Client Relationship Management (CRM).
The stat I used in the email title is from Forrester; according to their research, if a CRM system is implemented correctly, businesses can see a return on investment after only four months.
Most law firms have a huge amount of data, but most law firms struggle to control, update and manage their data. And this data and management issue is common across firms of all sizes.
An example: It’s the height of the golf season and I see on LinkedIn that many professional services firms are running or attending golf days.
This always reminds me of when I was in house organising a law firms golf day before we had CRM software. We asked our lawyers to tell us who to invite, they provided us with a list of names and email addresses in a haphazard format that we compiled into a master list – an excel spreadsheet.
The invitations went out ... and the replies came in.
I cannot forget the person who responded – thank you for the invitation, but as per last year and the year before, I don’t play golf, in fact, I really dislike the game, so please stop inviting me!
This stuck with me, and it prompted me to accelerate and push forward a project at that firm to do two things:
To organise our data better – if we have been told something once, we shouldn’t need to be told again … plus it might be a really important thing we’ve been told … so let’s capture it … and importantly ... act on it.
To get CRM software implemented and used.
The information and data firms have is incredibly valuable and useful. You know a lot about your clients and their needs, you have key dates in your systems, you have contact details and much more.
If organised, maintained and managed – your firm could be using this data to secure a significant amount of additional business from your existing clients.
Following up with every client who hasn’t updated their Will in more than 5 years.
Automating communications to clients approaching key dates e.g. lease renewals, contract clauses or simply wishing them happy anniversary for their house move or happy birthday.
Creating and sending lawyers helpful reports/prompts re key clients – e.g. summary of their dealings, business, work undertaken to facilitate better client relationship management.
Only inviting ‘golfers’ to your golf day in the future!
Getting and organising data doesn’t need to be onerous and it doesn’t need to cost lots.
Do you need a CRM system?
Do you have a CRM system?
How should you manage your CRM?
How can you get all people at your firm to use and maintain the CRM if you have one (out of date data is worse than no data!)
Is getting CRM worth the hassle?
These are just some of the questions I often hear when the topic of CRM and data crops up in professional services firms.