It’s no secret that effective client relationships are critical to the ongoing success of a law firm. Understanding your clients and client relationships – across offices, geographies, practice, and industry groups – is foundational to identifying opportunities for growth and delivering the legal services your clients deserve and expect.
Unfortunately, capturing and managing the details of these complex relationships can be difficult, especially for large and multinational law practices.
So, what are the challenges that stand in the way of capturing, managing, and utilizing this complex relationship data to drive better business outcomes? Here we identify five common challenges faced by law firms looking to better take advantage of the insights contained in their firm’s data.
- Siloed Data: Developing a true 360-degree view of a client requires a variety of data including client demographic and financial data, time-keeper information, case and matter details, campaign and event metrics, lawyer biographies and work history, communications, meetings and other activity data, industry classification information and more. In most law firms, this data is stored in multiple formats across different systems, including CRM, case management, new business intake, time and billing, marketing automation, and human resource software systems. Collecting and systematically organizing this information to deliver an actionable view of the client is often challenging.
- Relationship Complexity: Relationships provide the fuel needed to sustain and grow a law practice. Understanding and visualizing the full depth and breadth of these relationships is a challenge for many firms. Who are all our contacts for a given client? Which lawyers are connected to these client contacts and how well? Which practice group(s) are working with the client? Which lawyers? What work have we performed for the client in the past? What current opportunities are we pursuing? Which client team or lawyers are pursuing this opportunity? Who are we referring business to and who is referring business to us? And the list goes on. Few would argue the importance of knowing the answers to these questions, but how do law firm marketing and business development leaders overcome the challenge of curating and assembling the data needed to answer them?
- Trend Analysis: Nearly all firms invest heavily in the tools needed to gather and evaluate financial data relating to work in progress, work that has been billed and collected, or – gulp! – that’s sitting in Accounts Receivable. This information is critical, but it misses an important dimension that can shed important light on the health of the firm’s connection to a client; the increase or decline in the number of client relationships being formed along with the level and types of activity with these client contacts. Providing an added level of visibility into these trends allows firm leadership to identify at-risk relationships and take action to reverse or remedy the problem before an important client relationship is lost. How can this be accomplished?
- Identifying Opportunities For Growth: Demand for legal services remains uneven and often leaves law firms playing a ‘zero sum game’ where one firm’s gain is another’s loss, and vice-versa. This dynamic places enormous pressure on law firm marketing and business development leaders to develop strategies that not only protect their existing relationships, but also grow revenue-share with these same clients. Without the proper tools and access to data, surfacing relationship connections and cross-sell opportunities across practice groups, offices, and industry groups is a challenge.
- Data Integration: Most law firms are awash in data, but that data tends to ‘live’ in multiple systems and multiple formats across the firm. The value of a data integration strategy and model that captures, normalizes, and combines this data to deliver a secure and holistic view of clients to stakeholders across the firm is enormous. Despite the potential, many firms have not been able to tap the full value of their firm data in support of their client development objectives.
These challenges are real and they can combine to negatively impact your firm’s growth opportunities, however, solutions and strategies for dealing with them, and for driving marketing & business development success, can be found in the HSO ProServ legal360 platform of software and best practices services.
HSO ProServ’s legal360: An innovative solution to client intelligence challenges
legal360 offers the functionality and power needed to overcome your firm’s client intelligence challenges.
Built on the industry-leading Microsoft Dynamics 365 cloud platform, legal360 is an integrated marketing, business development, case and matter information tracking, and relationship intelligence platform designed specifically for law firms.
The legal360 platform aggregates and organizes firm data to deliver a comprehensive view of your clients and client relationships. From there, you can gain insights needed to build and execute client strategies that will drive both top and bottom-line growth and create competitive advantages for your firm.
Explore the impact legal360 can have on your law firm
Interested in learning more? Watch our on-demand webcast, Improving Law Firm Client Intelligence with Microsoft and legal360.