Top Law Firm Contact Management Best Practices

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In the legal industry, your contacts are one of your most valuable assets as they are fundamental to creating a steady stream of business and referrals. Would you ever throw your diamonds in a junk drawer and forget about them? So why would you treat your valuable legal contacts any differently? Because contacts are the key to the commercial development of your law firm, organizing them is essential.

Read on for practical law firm management tips to manage and track your contacts and eliminate “contact chaos” in your law firm.

1. Start things off right

Whether it’s arranging legal contacts or putting together a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle, the logic remains the same: it’s much easier if you have a systematic organizing process from the start. Going back and trying to pick up the pieces later without a system in place not only takes longer, it will test your sanity.

As soon as someone contacts your law firm or submits their contact information through your website, collect as much information as possible. Even if they’re not hiring you right now, they’re still a prospect – hang on to their information!

This is where a legal CRM is an indispensable resource for storing contact details for your contacts.

Enter your contacts’ names, phone numbers, emails and any other important details like their job title. The more details you can gather, the better. From then on, a CRM law firm will store all important notes and contact details for you to refer to later. Once a contact decides to hire your company, your CRM can seamlessly populate their existing information directly into important contracts, eliminating the risk of errors and increasing your efficiency.

2. Ditch the spreadsheets and redundant systems

One of the biggest culprits of chaos in a law firm is the distribution of your processes in multiple places. Your law firm should have a single database to work with that doesn’t require digging through your inbox or scrolling through a long spreadsheet. Store your contacts in a single, cloud-based location in a CRM.

This way you can access your details wherever you are, as long as you have an internet connection. This makes it much easier for all of your staff to stay on the same page and eliminate the risk of confusion and errors. Not to mention the additional costs and connections associated with managing multiple systems at once.

3. Make it easy to send and receive important documents

Collecting important documents is a routine process for onboarding new customers. Real estate clients may need to send you property contracts, criminal defense clients may need to send you court appearance waivers, and so on. It’s easy for things to get chaotic when collecting these essential documents from your clients leaves them jumping through hoops.

Instead of asking your customers to print, scan and sign important documents – or worse, go to the post office, allow them to download them directly using a file request generator digital.

Lawyers can find and receive files in seconds while collecting an electronic signature, implementing a much more streamlined workflow in their practice. The end result not only makes things easier for your customers, but also for everyone on your team. With everything in one place, you can save yourself hours of searching for the files you need. Centralized storage will modernize your practice and take care of keeping your important contacts and documents organized.

4. Make automation your friend

Automation speeds up your data collection and makes it easier to manage and nurture your potential and paying customers. No more manually analyzing your leads and scrambling to figure out who should take what action and when. A pipeline management tool organizes your contacts into segmented lists so you can categorize and add tags in a way that makes the most sense for your practice. From case types to past clients to current clients, your pipeline allows you to effortlessly analyze how each contact is progressing through your workflow and what needs to be done next.

Automation tools ensure the right email is sent at the right time, ensuring your contacts receive personalized attention throughout every phase of the customer journey, from receipt to invoicing.

Whether it’s a welcome email as a new customer or a drip marketing email to a prospect to keep them engaged and one step closer to becoming a customer paid, the automation takes care of it for you.

5. Integrate your tools

Running your practice on multiple platforms can quickly become chaotic. When workflows between software begin to overlap, your processes have become inefficient and you can easily make mistakes. The best way to organize your contacts is to sync everything across all your different programs. A CRM and client onboarding software like Lawmatics easily integrates with a wide variety of applications that you likely use every day in your law practice.

Integrations allow you to automate your tasks and build a technology stack that will modernize and streamline your practice. You can integrate your CRM with your law firm management software, billing software, Zoom, and more.

There is no organized chaos when it comes to your contacts

26% of legal professionals fail to follow their leads in any capacity. This is a huge missed opportunity to organize leads and retain customers. And while a leads spreadsheet is definitely a start, it’s not the most effective way to ensure your marketing methods are giving you the kinds of results you need.

If you want your practice to be a success, it’s essential to organize your contacts and follow them through the client journey. Implementing a CRM for lawyers in your law firm will accelerate your growth by meticulously tracking and tagging each of your contacts in the best way that works for your law firm. The end result is not only a smarter and more flexible solution for you, you’ll impress your clients with your modern and organized approach.

FOOTNOTES

Martindale, The State of Online Marketing in the Legal Industry, 2014, http://www.martindalenolo.com/sites/default/files/MHN%20Whitepaper.pdf

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