In today’s competitive legal marketplace, law firms must find ways to stand out from the crowd, and one sure-fire way of doing that is crafting a well-known reputation for excellent legal representation and top-notch client services. While this post cannot help you with the skill and expertise needed to provide excellent representation, it can help you craft a reputation for excellent service that starts from the moment a lead is introduced to your firm.
Lead conversion is essential to a successful legal practice, and Client Relationship Management (CRM) is the key to helping law firms turn leads into paying clients. So, doesn’t it make sense that CRM needs to take centre stage when it comes to your firm’s marketing plan? This post will show you how to make that happen.
What is Legal CRM?
CRM is all about building better client relationships by streamlining the time-consuming tasks of client management for more effective communications. Without the right systems in place, maintaining positive relationships with clients and leads can turn into a time and resource consuming task. That’s why law firms need the ability to communicate with current clients before they become dissatisfied and prospects before they look elsewhere for legal representation.
Legal CRM benefits law firms in a variety of ways, including:
- Analysis of leads to determine whether they are a good fit for the firm.
- Centralized contact lists for better organization and categorization.
- Automatic entry of client data upon first communication.
- Streamlined client Intake through customizable form builders and templates.
- Automated client analytics regarding client behaviours, topics of interest, and potential services.
- Access to valuable marketing data.
With these valuable capabilities, your firm can efficiently maintain consistent communications and prevent any lead from falling through the cracks.
Building a Marketing Plan around CRM
Marketing plans provide law firms with a strategic roadmap to structure, execute and analyze their marketing strategies. They are essential to driving growth, and law firms that operate without one risk spending valuable resources with little to no return on investment.
An effective marketing plan requires forethought and planning. It’s about setting goals and then mapping the course to reach them. When CRM is placed at the center of a marketing plan, lead management also becomes central to the overall firm goals. It is a recognition that prospects are vital to firm growth, along with a commitment to market accordingly.
Here are two vital ways that this commitment shows up within a law firm marketing plan:
- Relevant Social Media Content
When prospects search for legal representation, they often look at a firm’s social media presence as a way to gauge skill, reputation, and overall firm culture. So, this is a valuable opportunity for firms to connect with leads right from the start with content that strategically meets these expectations. For instance, if your firm has a stellar trial record, that type of information should be easily found within your social media content. If your firm is one of only a few that handles a rare but complex practice area, highlight that within your social media presence and tailor a portion of the content to that area of your practice.
It doesn’t have to be all serious though. Sprinkle in an appropriate amount of personal information so that leads gain some sense of your firm’s personality and culture.
There is no escaping the important role of social media for effective law firm marketing. But it serves little purpose to randomly throw out social media content without thought to what potential and current clients will find valuable. A CRM centered social media strategy can help facilitate ties with leads and current clients, with the potential to make a profitable impact.
- Lead Nurturing
Leads don’t magically turn into paying clients without some effort from your firm, so you need systems in place to ensure an appropriate level of communication with all of them. Remember, consistent communication is one of the most common complaints against legal practices, so when leads search for representation, they are also paying attention to the amount of time it takes to hear back from your firm after initiating contact.
Your response time often plays a key role in the lead’s decision about whether or not to use your services. The faster the response time, the better the conversion rate, so have a CRM system that makes this a quick and easy task. Responsiveness makes leads feel appreciated. It also helps your firm establish their trust and increases the likelihood of a conversion.
Lead nurturing also requires some level of persistence. Your firm should routinely make a minimum of three attempts to contact leads that you deem likely to become paying clients. It’s just a reality that not every lead represents a potential client, but for those that do, your firm should never stop with just one communication attempt. If one phone call goes unanswered, have content like a newsletter or relevant article, ready as part of your marketing plan, and send it by email. You can even send a link to your material by text if the lead provides that as an acceptable method of communication. Don’t just assume that your efforts are in vain before making a sufficient attempt.
Make CRM the Base of your Law Firm Marketing Plan
If your law firm is seeking to increase lead conversion, CRM should be at the center of your marketing plan. With efficient strategies and processes in place, you can impress potential clients and prevent them from moving on to the next firm for their legal needs.