Customer relationship management (CRM) systems have become essential to improving law firm marketing plans and management systems. A CRM application lets you manage sales, marketing, transactions, accounting, vendors and other types of operational data, all in one easily accessible solution.
A decent CRM system will let you track interactions with clients and prospects, but increasingly sophisticated applications will analyze data and allow you to learn more about your clients, giving you the opportunity to engage with them on a personal level. A robust CRM application can be the foundation for maintaining relationships with existing and past clients and can help attract new business as well.
How to Choose a CRM Application
More and more CRM systems on the market are specifically tailored to law firms. A CRM for law firms adds specific features to track critical information, perform client intake and manage workflow. While a standard CRM can nurture leads and clients, a law firm CRM does this while maintaining legal compliance requirements.
When researching CRM systems, it’s important to assess your law firm’s needs. Some factors to consider are price, business objectives, features, compatibility, and vendor strength and reputation. To get started, this short online CRM Needs Analysis tool will help you identify what is important to you and point you in the right direction for success.
Once you’ve figured out your CRM needs, you will need to research the many options out there. Here are four applications worth considering.
Note: These offerings are just a small representation of the overall marketplace. Jaffe has no conflicts of interest with any of these companies. This list was compiled after looking at product websites, multiple product reviews and user reviews. The product specifications here are the most up to date to our knowledge, but keep in mind that developers are constantly updating their products.
Clio Grow is an add-on to Clio Manage and the most widely used law practice management CRM, largely because any law practice can use it. It’s highly versatile, providing niche and specialized tools for virtually all legal practice areas, from estate planning and injury cases to intellectual property and bankruptcy law. Clio Grow is a great option for firms looking to market their services, convert leads and bring clients on board in the best way according to their niches.
Claim to Fame:
It syncs with the Google Suite of products, is intuitive to use, is made for law firms and comes with 24/7 customer support.
- Accounting integration
- Billing and invoicing
- Calendar management
- Case and client history/case management
- Client database/contact management
- Email integration
- Campaign tracker
- Easy to use
- Clean interface
- Affordable pricing
- Responsive support team
- Frequent design and interface upgrades that may not be fully tested or developed
- Can’t customize reports
Lawmatics is a cloud-based legal CRM platform. It gives law firms an end-to-end CRM solution to automate the client intake, retention and marketing processes of the firm. With Lawmatics, firms can streamline their operations by automating tedious administrative tasks — from client intake to marketing and beyond — and bring in more business and impress clients along the way.
Claim to Fame:
The only complete, end-to-end CRM, intake and marketing automation platform designed specifically for law firms.
- Modern and intuitive user experience
- Fully automated intake process with a personal touch
- Instant client engagement to increase responsiveness
- Robust online form-builder capable of handling the most-complex intakes
- Custom reminders to eliminate phone and email tag
- Intelligently gathers client info with custom forms
- Built-in scheduling tool
- File request and storage
- Document assembly and e-signature
- Two-way text communication
- Email marketing suite
- Advanced data and analytics
- Source reporting to track marketing campaigns
- Open API to connect third-party platforms with ease
- Lacks a mobile app
- Automation can be hard to use
- Customization can be improved
Law Ruler is a legal CRM system that solves the problem of converting leads to signed clients and automates much of the intake process for firms. Law Ruler is unique in that it combines five apps: CRM/contact management, text message marketing, email marketing, referral management and phone call tracking. A stand-alone CRM system, Law Ruler integrates with Needles or Clio legal practice management systems to provide one comprehensive CRM and case/practice management program that should meet all of a firm’s needs.
Claim to Fame:
Proven to increase revenue by 20%+.
- Automates much of the lead nurturing and conversion process
- Includes text messaging, email marketing, click-to-call dialer, text e-sign and phone call tracking
- Simplifies client sign-up and includes referral management
- Integrates with most major case management software
- Redesigned and upgraded user interface with the release of Law Ruler 2.0
- Easy to learn and use
- Manageable costs for smaller firms
- Great customer service
- No Gmail integration; Microsoft Outlook two-way sync only
- Customization may require added fee to complete all integrations
Comprehensive in its slate of features, OnSite CRM saves your law firm time and money by providing an integrated application that tracks clients, court dates, contact requests, filing dates and more. With OnSite CRM, you can move beyond simple customer relationship management to integrating all the forms, calendars and other data needed to grow a firm’s business and track important dates, including filing deadlines.
Claim to Fame:
A lead management solution designed to automate sales process, provide greater insight into your business and propel success with AI tools.
- Email and SMS marketing tools included
- Well-developed lead tracking, conversion and sales automation tools
- Customizable set of features
- Document and case management system included — court dates, filing dates, etc.
- Detailed reporting
- Easy to learn and use
- Good integration options with Quickbooks, MailChimp, Google, etc.
- Works with all major devices
- Not as well reviewed as other CRMs — more difficult to find unbiased information about it (although nobody seemed to have anything bad to say about it)
- No free trial
CRMs for law firms provide lawyers with general CRM functions such as contact management and lead generation, plus law-specific features that enable firms to keep track of critical information, perform client intake and manage their legal workflow. Finding one that fulfills your firm’s needs will lead to the development of key relationships that will ultimately help you build your client base. If you have questions or comments about CRM systems, email me, Jennifer Faivre, at firstname.lastname@example.org.