Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software can offer a big boost for businesses, regardless of their standing and reputation. Top tier professional services such as law firms deal with customers and clients every day and it is important that they build strong, lasting relationships in order to retain them and stay ahead of the competition.
CRM and Law Firms
CRM systems can benefit law firms by bringing them closer to their clients. By collecting all of the necessary data to provide the most useful and effective service for clients, CRM software can be a valuable asset for any law firm.This guide outlines 5 of the most popular and respected options on the market right now, and should give you a good idea of which CRM systems would be best for your firm and its unique challenges. They aren’t in any particular order, as there is no ‘one best solution’ for every type of firm.
Bitrix24 is a free, cloud-based CRM package that can easily be tailored to the specific needs of legal firms. In fact, Bitrix24 is even more wide-ranging, incorporating collaboration and project management tools that may be very useful to some practices, but may simply gather (virtual) dust in others. It even integrates a VoIP system and associated call logging features.
It is highly mobile-friendly, with native apps available for both Android and iOS devices. It has top of the line time management features, and is very good at storing and organising your documents securely.
Lastly, it really does bear repeating that Bitrix24 is completely free to use. This is a huge plus, especially for small firms.
2. Proclaim by Eclipse Legal Systems
Eclipse Legal systems is a subsidiary of Capita PLC, who has a great deal of experience providing other CRM, case management and practice management systems as well. Proclaim is currently the only CRM solution to be endorsed by the Law Society.
With a pedigree like that, it isn’t at all surprising that this is one of the few ‘all in one’ legal CRMs that really do almost everything. A stickler might point out a lack of trust accounting support, but this won’t be a ‘deal breaker’ for most users.
Proclaim can be delivered as a Cloud or SaaS solution, or as an installable application for Windows-based PCs. As such, the price you’ll pay for using it can vary dramatically. Still, this leaves a lot of room for a good negotiator to make a deal.
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Lexicata is a cloud-based CRM system that was written specifically for law firms. As such it isn’t surprising that it has all of the features most firms, large and small, will need. It has a particularly well-made client intake suite, making that part of your administrative workload much easier.
Lexicata also boasts direct integration capability with Clio, another piece of software on many firms’ radar. Lexicata’s intake suite can collect, collate and e-sign your paperwork, and export all the data to Clio with a few clicks. If your firm is already using Clio for case management, this is a huge time saver.
The package’s WordPress integration will be another huge time saver for some users.
Lexicata is not overly expensive, starting at £40 per month for a single user, and £20 per month per additional user. You can usually get a reduction to the price for paying for a year’s subscription all at once, but that eliminates some of the advantage of not having an up-front price at all.
4. HoudiniESQ by LOGICBit
HoudiniESQ is a legal CRM solution that is fairly easy to use, and integrates well with most of the services you already use, such as Adobe Acrobat, Word, WordPerfect, Excel, Outlook, QuickBooks, and even Calendar/Court Rules and Evernote.
It can be cloud-based or installed locally on Windows and Mac systems. It is highly mobile-friendly, and native iOS and Android apps are available.
Houdini can be remotely hosted for around £55 per user per month, or you can host it yourself for a fee of around £155 per year. That is an excellent savings, if you already have the hardware and tech-support resources on site. Smaller firms will probably appreciate the support and lack of overhead of remote hosting more than they would the price decrease, though. LOGICBit even offers a free trial, lowering the risk of investment a bit further.
5. InterAction by LexisNexis
Though LexisNexis is already a familiar name in the legal profession, their CRM offering, InterAction, is a bit more wide ranging. LexisNexis markets it as an ‘Enterprise CRM’ suitable for any professional services organisation. InterAction has been around for quite years as well, so its users know they are getting a mature, developed package.
Its special strength is in relationship intelligence, and giving you a clear picture of your firm’s interactions with its clients over time.
On the down-side, some users complain that InterAction doesn’t have the data management features they need, and keeping your database accurate takes a great deal of (expensive) time.
Lastly, LexisNexis has a reputation for being well-developed, but expensive. Pricing for InterAction can vary wildly, especially among firms of different sizes. Expect to do some negotiating when it comes down to brass tacks.