Many firms seem to believe that having invested in a Client Relationship Management (CRM) system (i.e. having CRM), the rewards will inevitably follow. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case.
Simply installing CRM software will not, on its own, transform a firm into one that 'walks the walk' when it comes to proactively managing client and prospect relationships. Doing CRM requires that the firm is clear on its strategic goals, communicates the objectives to everyone, achieves buy-in to these goals and is willing to transform processes within the firm, if necessary.
Of course, it is easy to be lured into expecting a new product on the market to transform things for you. There have been some interesting entrants in to the legal market space for CRM, but many of those vendors have come and gone. They come because the legal market looks financially attractive and in their eyes, it is no different from other markets like Manufacturing or Retail. They win over a few supporters from non-legal backgrounds alongside those who feel that they want something that is different from the rest.
However, the legal market is not like Manufacturing or Retail at all. Relationships and data quality are absolutely paramount to law firms whereas in Manufacturing and Retail, the volume of contacts and sales people are the key drivers of business. Continual expensive and time consuming data cleaning exercises and the heavy involvement of the lawyers themselves is something that few firms are willing to engage in.
'Doing CRM' takes more than just technology, though fundamentally the technology has to fit in with the way law firms work and not the other way around. Doing CRM takes focus, alignment, effort and a technology partner who has travelled the road with hundreds of law firms. It also requires firms to have a plan, an overarching goal they are aiming to achieve, and processes and measurements that both support the goal and show if the firm has indeed advanced towards it or not over the past 12 months.
Client Advising at LexisNexis Enterprise Solutions is there to help law firms to identify and stay on track with their CRM initiatives. We help law firms 'walk the walk' as well as deliver a solution that actually helps then achieve their CRM objectives.