What if my firm just kept using Outlook and did not add IntelliPad integration?
To answer this question lets consider what happens if your firm uses an an outdated address to send something to a client. And for the moment lets assume that your firm was advised by the client about the address change and that the new address was not updated everwhere it should have been.
The cost of postage and/or shipping is not the problem. It is the embarrasment of already having been told about the address change and then using the old address. This could result in a delay of some needed action or information. Equally important is the message to the client is that your firm is not sufficiently organized or efficient. Instead of increasing their trust in you, they begin to question and worry.
Will IntelliPad keep this type of problem from ever happening? We would like to make that claim, but cannot. However, you will dramatically reduce the possibility of such problems with IntelliPad since there is a single record for each client contact in a central database that is kept up to date with the latest changes as they occur in Outlook contact folders.
What about personal contacts in Outlook?
When IntelliPad is installed, a modified Outlook contact form is provided with a “Marketing Database” checkbox. Unless that checkbox is checked, the contact is not shared to the central SQL Server database.
When new contacts are added, an organizational option controls the default setting of the Marketing Database checkbox. Also, with our automated conversion, we offer an option to add contacts to IntelliPad that are not marked in Outlook as “Private”.
How can IntelliPad improve the accuracy of contact information, with minimal effort?
IntelliPad provides options that enable each firm to customize the processing of new contacts, and changes to existing contact information, from Outlook (or imported from other sources).
- Automatic search of the shared files when adding contacts in Outlook for both the contact name and the company name. If a contact or company is found, the Outlook contact information is filled-in.
- Data cleansing rules can be applied to all incoming data: For example, two letter abbreviation for all state names. If new rules are added, they can optionally be applied to existing contacts.
- When a company address is changed, the person making the change is asked whether it is a correction to an existing address or a new location for the person. If it is a correction, then other contacts at the same address are fixed automatically.
- Each firm can determine which data fields need to be looked at when changes are made, before these changes are propagated to other attorneys with the same contact in their Outlook.
How does IntelliPad help attorneys collaborate and cross-sell?
IntelliPad provides a variety of features to help attorneys share their knowledge about the firm’s clients and prospects.
- Firm-specific People Categories (multiples per contact): typically used to designate practice areas or lines of business.
- Firm-wide relationships: Which attorneys know a contact, who else does the firm know at a client or prospective client organization, which mailings is a contact receiving, and which events have they attended.
- Public Notes: Each attorney who shares a contact can provide notes about the contact in Outlook; these notes can be seen by other attorneys with the same contact in their Outlook and by the marketing staff. (Private contact notes are also available.)
- Custom data fields, both contact and company: A maximum of 15 of each can be created to track additional information. For example: Hobbies, professional organization memberships, family information; company annual revenue, number of employees, private or publicly traded.
What can be done to improve business development follow-up?
To improve the consistency of follow-up with client contacts on a per-attorney basis, IntelliPad provides an “Activity Log” in Outlook for each contact. The user-defined Activity Types are setup with the desired “Recurrence” such as weekly, monthly, quarterly, third Tuesday of the month, etc.
Each Activity Log entry added for a contact in Outlook has a date, time, and comment. IntelliPad automatically produces notification emails to participating attorneys which provide them with follow-ups not yet completed and upcoming follow-up activities. The firm can set the frequency and content of these emails, for example: once a week on Monday containing all open activities for the coming week.
Attorneys can share individual follow-up activities will all other attorneys, selected attorneys, or just with the Marketing department.
What about creating Excel spreadsheets, Word documents, and Avery-formatted labels?
All IntelliPad user-defined views can produce Excel spreadsheets and CSV files (for use in Word documents, Word merges, and for other purposes). IntelliPad also provides a Word Macro that produces any selected Avery address label format, including its ability to automatically pick up the contact names from the last user-defined view that was run for each user. In addition, a utility program is included that allows for the production of selected information into spreadsheets or Word documents, that can optionally be placed as an icon on attorney computers.
Will IntelliPad make our Holiday Card process easier?
In our view, absolutely yes. And, that is true for both eCard and traditional Holiday Card productions.
A major consideration related to Holiday Cards is the determination whether one or more attorneys want to either sign the physical card or have their name shown on an eCard. IntelliPad provides control of that by each attorney, both in Outlook and while looking at a list of their shared contacts in a browser (ContactLink) view. To make it even easier, all attorneys linked to a contact can be included unless they indicate otherwise.
Holiday eCards can be produced by IntelliPad directly, or the information can be provided to third-party companies like Vivid Greetings, which offer music and animated artwork designed for each firm.
If using traditional Holiday Cards, IntelliPad provides a variety of solutions, including:
- Labels where only one attorney is going to sign the card, organized and paginated by attorney.
- Labels where more than one attorney is going to sign the card, sorted by contact, and routing slips for each contact showing which attorneys are going to sign.
- If a conference room will be used for signing cards, a list of all contact names of Holiday Card recipients for each attorney.