How Small Law Firms Can Benefit From a Legal CRM

Erica BirstlerCosmoLex Blog, Legal Practice Management, Running a Law Office

How Small Law Firms Can Benefit From a Legal CRM

There are many benefits to having a small law firm or solo practice. Your clients have access to more personalized service than they would at large law firms, giving you a leg up on client loyalty. You’re able to make nimble business decisions without the bureaucracy of deciding on changes as a team. You can pick and choose the precise clients you take on, every time. 

Unfortunately, there are many challenges to managing a small law firm, as well.  

For example, the loss of one client might constitute a major portion of your annual revenue. Additionally, when you’re on a small team, it’s difficult to delegate tasks, create that essential-but-elusive work/life balance, and juggle critical business development needs with client work. Moreover, you might not have the resources to invest in technology that could help address all of these problems.  

However, investing in technology is something that small law firms should consider carefully, especially when it comes to a legal CRM. A legal CRM helps small law firms compete effectively with large firms, increasing client load, revenue, and operational efficiency.  

Let’s look at some of the key benefits a legal CRM provides to small practices. 

What is a legal CRM? 

Legal client relationship management software, or CRM, is an all-in-one client communication tool. It allows law firms to store and organize client information, leading to more relevant, personalized messaging for prospective leads and current clients.  

A legal CRM provides law firms with actionable data regarding which clients, cases, and case types are the most profitable, leading to smarter business decisions. And last but not least, a legal CRM can automate many administrative functions for small law firms, easing the non-billable burden and making more time in the day for revenue-boosting tasks. 

In short, law firms using a legal CRM have the capability to effectively scale their business with less stress and effort. 

Uses of legal CRM 

Conceptually, a legal CRM sounds great, but how do you actually put this software into practice? Here are a few tangible ways a legal CRM can save your firm time and boost your business. 

Client intake 

A smooth intake process is critical to converting interested leads into paying clients. If prospective clients feel overwhelmed or confused during the intake process, they may change their minds about partnering with your firm. 

With CRM, clients can easily access and complete online and mobile-friendly intake forms. These forms can be set up to help qualify leads by asking the right questions. Not only does this reduce administrative time spent sorting through leads, but it can also help you prioritize the most profitable clients for your practice 

Finally, law firms can even create personalized templates for intake documents, setting the tone for a strong attorney-client relationship from the very first interaction.  

Document automation 

Duplicate data entry is a waste of time—plain and simple. A legal CRM reduces the need for tedious data entry, making the legal documentation process more seamless and efficient. It allows lawyers to automatically populate documents with client demographic information once received. Documents can be sent, signed, and returned in minutes with secure file sharing and e-signature capabilities powered by a legal CRM. 

Text and email marketing 

Without effective marketing practices, you won’t gain new clients. But small firms can’t just hand off marketing tasks to another department—they have to manage them in-house. How do you make time for marketing on top of a full client caseload?  

A legal CRM allows you to automate email and text marketing, keeping your firm on the radar of prospective clients without you having to spend the time typically required to maintain communication. These customizable messages boost your open rate while highlighting your firm’s accessibility and legal expertise. 

Top benefits of using a legal CRM 

The best Legal CRM software should contain six essential features 

  • Automated email and text marketing 
  • One-click e-signature 
  • Text and video messaging 
  • Insightful dashboard analytics 
  • Marketing task management 
  • Software support 

This host of useful features gives law firms the power to improve business practices, boost the client experience, and effectively scale their business without wasted time or effort.  

Consider the following benefits of using CRMs. 

Keeps firms organized 

Using a legal CRM keeps all client information in one central location. Instead of jumping between outdated or clunky software to stay on top of marketing leads, current clients, and new referrals—and inevitably losing track of some important documents in the meantime—all information is housed in one location. 

It might sound simple, but staying organized is a game-changer for busy attorneys. Effective organization saves firms time as they work through cases. It also helps attorneys ensure they are handling cases and client information in accordance with ethical standards. 

Streamlines intake and client management 

The longer it takes to get a contract signed with a lead, the more likely that prospective client is to slip through the cracks of your sales funnel and sign with another legal office. A legal CRM allows law firms to seamlessly guide leads through the client intake process, ensuring that no lead is lost to a competing firm. 

Customized intake forms are available online for clients to review and complete, and integrated eSignature capabilities mean that leads are never inconvenienced while navigating complex legal documents. 

Improves client communication and experience with automated tools 

Communication is the key to client service. 84% of customers say being treated like a person— not a number—is very important to winning their business. But it can be difficult to juggle efficient communication, a long to-do list, and a packed schedule. That’s where automation comes in.  

Automation can create impactful communication touchpoints throughout the lead generation process. Keep leads from slipping away by implementing automated text messaging or drip campaigns. That way, you can continue connecting with potential clients even when you’re in the courtroom.  

A legal CRM also allows attorneys to tailor methods of communication to a client’s preference, whether email, text, or phone call. Clients can not only receive messages from their attorney via their preferred method, but they also can send messages back in the same way. Clients with active cases can easily text photos, documents, and other case-relevant information in a just few clicks. 

Monitors profitability 

When you’re in the thick of managing legal matters, it can be hard to tell which cases are cost-effective and which aren’t worth the effort. Fortunately, a legal CRM does the heavy lifting by helping you visualize each matter’s profitability for you. 

With a legal CRM’s wealth of data, it’s easy to determine how much time you’re spending on individual matters or tasks and, consequently, whether you’re billing appropriately for costly, time-consuming clients and matters. Acting on the insights provided by a legal CRM helps firms increase profitability over time. 

Gives firms actionable information through analytics and reporting 

Whether you’re a solo firm or a small, mid-sized, or large one, you’re likely hoping to scale your business and maximize revenue. A legal CRM gives your firm the tools and insight to make impactful business decisions the first time, without wasting time on trial-and-error changes. 

A legal CRM houses so much more than client demographic information. It contains data on your most profitable cases and clients, which types of marketing messages have the highest open rate, and even demographic information that can help you target your ideal client every time. Savvy law firms can use the information stored by a legal CRM to locate and communicate with their most profitable leads, increasing the likelihood of converting them into a client—simultaneously saving effort and boosting business. 

A legal CRM is just the tip of the iceberg 

When you partner with CosmoLex, you access a wealth of efficiency-boosting tools and features, including:  

  • A legal CRM 
  • Automatic time tracking 
  • Legal-specific trust and business accounting 
  • Legally compliant online payments 

CosmoLex helps law firms manage their business better, so they can spend more time improving the lives of clients. To see all of CosmoLex’s comprehensive features in action, schedule a demo or register for a free trial. 

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