How to Use Your Legal CRM From Intake Through Case Closed
Let’s say you’re in the middle of drafting a brief, and your phone rings. The ringing catches you off guard, and you try to decide what to do. You could simply not pick up your phone, but it might be a potential client who would be the perfect fit for your firm. On the other hand, you’re slammed with work and could use those precious minutes to finally make some progress.
You let the call go to voicemail.
Ignoring phone calls is common, but it’s not a best practice. Delivering a responsive, client-centered experience at your law firm helps convert leads, retain clients, and build your reputation as the best law firm to work with. Yet balancing clients’ needs with the demands of your caseload is tricky. After all, you’ll never get your work done if you answer every phone call—or email or text message—as it comes in.
What is a law firm to do?
If you’re not working with a legal CRM, you may be scratching your head for no good reason. Legal client relationship management (CRM) software helps you maximize your time and resources with automated messaging, marketing task management, and other tools to streamline your work, from client intake to case wrap-up.
Here’s how to make the most of your legal CRM software.
Phase 1. Client intake
The client intake process can be fraught with potholes. A call goes to voicemail and you lose the client before you even speak to them. You don’t ask the right questions in the initial survey and end up with a client who’s the wrong fit, or you inadvertently waste time following up with the wrong leads.
Instead of trying to do it all on your own, use a legal CRM software to streamline your client intake process and smooth out the rough patches for a better user experience.
Reach out to clients before other firms get the chance
With many legal practice areas like personal injury law, people need their problems solved as soon as possible. Leads are more likely to go with the first law firm they can connect with. That’s why it’s critical to use a CRM that can offer automated lead nurturing so that you can bring potential clients into your pipeline before anyone else does.
One way to do this is to create voice-calling campaigns. If you miss a phone call, the software follows up using a pre-recorded voice message. You can also record your phone calls and track who called and when so that you have the audio file of your conversation for later reference.
Implement smart intake forms to make the most of pre-screening interviews
Not all clients are the right clients for your services. A robust pre-screening process ensures you identify the ones who are a good fit. Whenever a lead expresses interest in your firm (through a contact form on your website, phone call, etc.), a legal CRM can automatically send out a pre-screening interview for them to fill out. If the client is the wrong fit, refer them to a lawyer friend who could use the business and better understands their needs.
Once the client is further along in the intake process, send them a detailed intake interview form. If your CRM is integrated into your legal practice management software, all pertinent client information can later be used to create legal documents or update matters.
Qualify leads for higher conversion rates
Legal CRM software helps you not just get more leads, but also prioritize the right ones. The software takes the information from your logic-based intake forms and lists the ones that match your practice areas and services first. If the client needs services that you don’t offer, the software can disqualify them automatically. This way, you only follow up with clients who are the best match for your firm.
Use video and text messaging to keep clients engaged before signing
Unless clients hear from you regularly, they may become impatient and take their business elsewhere. A great way to keep your clients engaged is to use automated video and text messaging.
Remind them that they have a call with you coming up, or use it as a way to answer some preliminary questions they have before your meeting. Share some general information about what they can expect from your firm. Keeping them involved will make them feel heard, taking them from potential clients to current ones.
Phase 2. Work-in-progress
Most lawyers associate legal CRM software solely with the client intake process, but it can help you with current clients as well. Use these legal CRM features to simplify working on the case as you go along.
Move matters along with one-click e-signature
Signatures are required for most legal documents, but you can waste time and money trying to chase down your clients to get a wet signature. Instead of endless follow-ups, use your legal CRM to send documents over for signing. Clients can return them to you in seconds instead of days (and no more annoying trips to the post office for your team).
When your CRM either integrates with or is included in your legal practice management software, important documents will also automatically update to the corresponding client matter. (That means you don’t have to worry about doing it yourself—or worse, accidentally misplacing it, which can cause hours of extra work.)
There’s nothing more frustrating than setting up a time to meet with a client and then having them be a no-show. This wastes billable hours for you and delays the legal process (which can be bad news if you’re on a strict court deadline).
You can put your legal CRM to use with automated (and timely) appointment reminders via text messages and emails. Send them at intervals (for example, one day before the meeting and one hour before the meeting). And because we know that even the most diligent clients have things come up, you can also include a reschedule link.
Obtain necessary documents with secure file sharing
During the legal process, you must collect evidence and documents from clients. However, providing it can be cumbersome for clients. An alternative is sending file requests via your legal CRM. When you work with legal CRM software that offers secure file sharing features, your client can send you vital documents through their smartphone or tablet.
Phase 3. Case closed
After wrapping up a case, you’ll want to stay top of mind for clients so that they refer you to their friends or use you again if they need legal services. A legal CRM can do the bulk of the work for you by connecting with clients via email drip campaigns, law firm updates, and soliciting reviews and referrals.
Ask for reviews and referrals
59% of consumers seek a referral for a lawyer, so it’s critical to nurture client relationships. Using CRM software makes clients feel heard at every step of the process. When their case is over and you’re ready to take on new clients, let your happy clients know that you’re open to new business or ask them to write a review of your firm on your website. A positive review could be the reason why a potential client chooses your firm over a competitor, so compile as many authentic ones as possible.
Send firm updates
When your clients sign up for your services, allow them to check a box to be added to your newsletter. Send out monthly updates with information about what’s going on at your firm. Include promotions specifically for your email subscribers. This keeps people in the loop and rewards them for being loyal clients.
Re-engage previous clients
To remind your previous clients of how valuable your services are, implement email drip campaigns periodically. Include downloadable guides and ebooks that educate clients on topics in your practice areas. Set up email drip campaigns in your CRM software, and the email will automatically go out on the days you select. This lets clients know you’re still thinking of them and continue to add value to their lives.
Master your client relationships with Rocket Matter
Rocket Matter’s legal practice management software includes robust CRM software so you can offer the best service for your clients.
With Rocket Matter, you can:
- Automate follow-ups by email or text message
- Qualify leads to ensure that you follow up with people who are the right fit for your firm
- Create customized online intake forms
- Collect e-signatures and share files in seconds
With Rocket Matter, you don’t have to do any double data entry. Every piece of important information collected in your client intake form is automatically sent to the corresponding matter within Rocket Matter.
If you want a legal CRM software that simplifies every step of the legal process, schedule a demo with Rocket Matter today.