Legal Case Management and CRM Are More Similar Than You Think
Law firms are being introduced to new legal case management software that combine a large set of legacy products into a single cloud-based application that does it all. NuLaw is one such product. Interestingly, NuLaw is built on the Salesforce customer relationship management (CRM) platform.
If this doesn’t make sense to you, it’s probably because you don’t view legal case management as being in any way similar to CRM. But actually, it is. Legal case management is more similar to CRM than most people realize. A CRM platform offers the perfect foundation for a comprehensive case management platform in the cloud.
Understanding the CRM Mindset
Customer relationship management really came into its own about a decade ago. Those who know it well fully understand that CRM is not merely good customer service. In fact, CRM and customer service are two distinct practices. Customer service is about addressing needs in the here and now; CRM is about managing customer relationships over the long term.
The CRM mindset is one that understands the importance of retaining customers. It is a mindset that seeks to manage relationships so that customers always feel as though they are the number one priority. Its goal is rooted in the understanding that retaining loyal customers is more profitable than having to continually find new customers to make up for those lost.
CRM is a mindset that can and should be applied to the practice of law. When law firms concentrate on cultivating rock-solid relationships with clients, they can rely on those clients to return time and again. They can rely on those clients to recommend them to friends and family. This is how you build a successful practice.
Managing the Customer Journey
At the root of CRM is the concept of the customer journey. What is that journey? It is the entire experience a customer has from initial contact through product delivery and follow-up. It covers every touch point along the way. When a customer has a pleasant and successful journey, he or she is likely to return in the future.
In the practice of law, customer journey can be quite complicated. Making sure clients are happy and kept in the loop can take an awful lot of effort. Unfortunately, legacy software systems only make things more laborious and complicated. Adopting a CRM mindset along with case management software designed to facilitate a better customer journey changes things completely.
As just one example, consider a secure communication platform that keeps everyone involved in the particular case on the same page. Imagine a communication tool that behaves a lot like a social media conversation. Attorneys, support staff, and clients can all login to the same collaborative space and carry on a conversation.
This is the sort of thing that makes clients feel empowered. They become active participants in their cases rather than sitting on the sidelines paying the bill while their attorneys make all the decisions.
Customers Know What They Want
Law firms looking for a little motivation to adopt the CRM mindset need look no further than customers themselves. Today’s client – or customer, if you want to call him that – is someone who knows what he wants. He also knows he has access to an exceptionally large pool of resources from which to get it. If the law firm he has used in times past cannot deliver, he will go elsewhere. That is just the reality.
Legal case management and CRM have a lot in common. Law firms that have figured it out are now reaping the rewards of doing so.