CRM’s today are a powerful tool for law firms and other professional service organizations. With a CRM in place client Law firms use it to manage contact histories, mailings and develop leads with sometimes using pipelines among the manifold other tasks that lead to growing a law firm. Some amount of relationship management is plainly necessary for professional organizations and a good CRM specialized for law firms can be very helpful.
CRM technology, as with all other technology solutions, does have some common issues that users will complain about and features which do not satisfy some users’ needs well.
Let’s describe these common issues and how they can best be avoided.
User Interface Issues
The user interface is one of the most important aspects of any piece of software and many users have complained about their CRM’s user interface being too complicated or difficult to navigate. This is typically due to an overly complex design that doesn’t take into account how law firm staff will use the software.
With any software UI user experience is always front and center. It doesn’t matter how elegantly the code can handle a tricky issue if the end result is a tool that has essential features that are either an annoyance or an unpleasant chore to operate. Conversely, some software can sometimes be annoyingly complex trying to execute tasks that should be intrinsically simple. Usually that occurs by trying to be overly predictive of what you’re going to do or potentially using of a technology designed for other businesses or organizations. To address this issue, look for a CRM solution that has been designed specifically for law firms and offers an intuitive user interface with easy-to-navigate menus and tools.
Without having a developer who understands law firms’ day to day needs you could expect that some critical inefficiencies will be overlooked. The best software should meet us where we are in our workflows and not be constantly running ahead of us or upselling needlessly.
Using aesthetically pleasing software is also underrated at times. At minimum the color schemes and fonts should be inoffensive within a focused working environment. Appearance becomes an even greater necessity when you consider the amount of time you spend working on it. Who would elect to work in an ugly office if they had the alternative not to? Software that reminds you of another era aesthetically can be irritating if it is jarringly different than other apps you use. Software is part of our environment. Difficult to navigate screens can lead to wrist strain if you need to scurry your mouse great distances to press buttons that should be near to each other logically.
Clunky Data Migration
Contact data has to get into the CRM by some means, and minimizing or eliminating manual or repetitive entry is important. In the implementation process, data must be migrated from existing systems such as legacy databases and on-premise solutions. The process can be complicated, and many users report difficulties migrating their data in an efficient manner. Integrations are an essential part of any modern business system as they allow you to link different applications together in order to streamline processes and increase efficiency.
Having a CRM that does not integrate well with other applications staff rely on will make it difficult to access critical data when needed. When selecting a new CRM system for your law firm make sure it facilitates the implementation by easily pulling data from other software you use such as accounting programs or spreadsheets.
All-in-one solutions are becoming more commonplace in the legal world. But, having an effective and flexible CRM designed for law firms will not “step on” other processes can be a less expensive and an equally or more rewarding investment.
Lack of Effective Support
Having a company supporting your CRM which can respond in a timely fashion to critical issues in the high-pressure legal world is essential. Eventually there will be some problem or misunderstanding on using the product. Even if it’s only to optimize the tools available without having readily available help, even the simplest software can run into issues. It’s important to have a support staff who has a deep understanding of legal business and a reputation for reliability. Automated sales pipeline software and other tech aimed at salespersons can also be over-kill for professional service firms and law firms especially. Expensive add-on features or the necessity of using consultants doesn’t present an ideal fit for many law firms either.
While buggy tech is probably worst of all, some complications as things are changing are inevitable. An easy way to only have minimal setbacks is by starting with software that was built for law firms and developed with broad feedback from their daily users over years of use.
Fortunately, most issues can be resolved by choosing the right CRM from the beginning with support team that understands law firms well. CRMs can be a great asset for any law firm but there are some common complaints associated with using them including user interface issues, poor data migration processes, and lack of integration capabilities with other applications. To avoid these problems, it is important to select a CRM solution that has been designed specifically for law firms and offers an intuitive user interface as well as integrations with other software you may need access to quickly when handling contacts.
With the right CRM in place you can ensure your staff has a powerful tool that won’t interfere with their good motivations to use it for business development.