Data Quality Management and CRM Systems for Law Firms

The past two years have brought dramatic change to every aspect of our lives, and CRM and data quality management are two areas that have seen major shifts as well. Here Chris Fritsch explores some key trends that are reshaping CRM and data quality management for law firms – and some ideas for addressing them.

1 – Out with the old (CRM), in with the new

In working together with hundreds of firms in the last 15+ years, I have never seen so many considering changing CRM systems. A lot of this is because firms are interested in moving to the cloud and because many firms have become more sophisticated about business development and want more advanced features to support opportunity tracking, referral tracking and ROI tracking, so they are looking for systems to do more than just contact and list management.

Read our guide to selecting the right CRM system that can help you identify need and requirements, enhance adoption and provide value to your users – as well as return on your technology investments.

2 – ERM has become indispensable

Many lawyers are just not interested in engaging with technology, especially when it comes to using and contributing contacts to CRM. Additionally, the old method of collecting contacts from Outlook has become obsolete as many lawyers no longer use Outlook, and for those who do, the data in their address book is often incorrect, incomplete and dated.

As a result, firms have had to figure out a new adoption paradigm. That’s where ERM, or Enterprise Relationship Management, comes into the equation. Rather than relying on Outlook sync, ERM automatically creates contacts from the email signature blocks of emails.

It also creates a relationship to the attorney and uses an algorithm to identify the strength of relationship based on recency and frequency of communication. Meanwhile attorneys can spend their time doing what they do best (and want to do) work with clients.

3 – Bad data is throwing a wrench into technology projects

Over the past two years during the Great Resignation, many people have changed jobs and even more are now working from home. As a result, more firms have dirty data than ever before because contact data is rapidly changing making it challenging to keep up with it. †

In the past, research suggested that about 30% of data degraded each year, but since the pandemic, it could easily be more than 50%.

Your lawyers likely spend a lot of time writing, speaking and doing webinars, but if their marketing messages don’t reach the right people, that’s wasted billable time

Additionally, if your invitations don’t reach the right recipients, events attendance can suffer and getting ROI can be challenging, so having clean data is essential.

4 – Outsource when it makes sense

People continue to quit and change jobs in record numbers, and law firms are having a hard time filling open positions, especially in marketing.

One solution is to continue to innovate and think outside the box by figuring out a different way to staff by leveraging technology and outsourcing.

More than ever before, our clients have been reaching out to us for outsourced support with CRM management, eMarketing and data stewarding – and that trend continues to escalate.

Smart firms have realized that they aren’t in the data stewarding business – they are in the law firm business, so it makes sense to delegate some of these non-strategic tasks to outside experts who can do them more efficiently and cost-efficiently. This also frees up the marketing and business development teams to work on more strategic projects.

5 – Invest in finding your alumni

Alumni can add a great deal of value to your firm from a business development, recruiting and marketing perspective, so creating a lifelong relationship with your alumni is important for many firms. At the core of a strong alumni relations program is good, clean data on your former lawyers and where they are now.

Spend the time to find your alumni’s updated contact information and segment that information so that you can use eMarketing and other tactics to engage with them.

Without good alumni contact data, all of the events, emails, content and programs you have planned won’t matter.

One More Trend: Smart firms are reaching out for assistance

Addressing the impact of these five trends is an opportunity to be more strategic, efficient and effective in a competitive market when it comes to your CRM and data quality management efforts, and there’s no downside to that.

© Copyright 2022 CLIENTSFirst ConsultingNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 166

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