Recently, our CEO Lynn Foley spoke with Jennifer Whittier, President of ContactEase, about client relationship management in law firms. “Law firm leadership is experiencing data overload when trying to make decisions for the future,'” says Whittier in the Legal Marketing Trends piece from earlier this year. “While the law firm business model is based on relationships, the financial data that drives firm management is often disconnected from the relationship data.”
Experts from the “2019 Trends” Share Insights
This interview is part of a series of discussions we had at the 2019 LMA Annual Conference with contributors to the 2019 Legal Marketing Trends. Each interview focuses on an important development in the legal industry. This is the second of four videos which we will be sharing to our Insights library. Have a look at last week’s video, Integrating the Sales Function into Law Firms, here. Check in next week for video #4 the final video in the series: an interview Pamela Cone, Founder & CEO of Amity Advisory, on corporate social responsibility.
Interview with Jennifer Whittier, ContactEase
What trends are you seeing in Legal Marketing related to CRM (Client Relationship Management)?
Firms are asking a lot of good questions around: Where can we get more value from our CRM? Where is CRM going for all of us? What are lawyers going to be asking us to do? And of course, they all have fewer resources each year and their challenge to get the data out and make it really manageable data for those lawyers. So the trend, some of the trends, we’re seeing around are going to be integrations, data augmentation, looking at data sources you have within the firm, getting more value from that, and marrying all that data up to really add some value to get back to your lawyers.
Could you talk about the integration side of what you’re seeing?
I think integration is sort of the buzzword we’ve been seeing and that means many things to different people. One of the places you can really start when you think about integrations is to make yourself a list. What are the processes you have that are inefficient, that are taking a lot of time, so start to think of an integration as a way just to buy more time for you in a day give you back some of your work? And then think about what’s the next step after that, now that you’ve built this platform and you’ve got data coming in through integrations, what could you do to enhance it and even have more value?
A buzzword at this conference is ‘data’. What are you seeing with data integration with CRM?
Data is the big buzz, right? But what we really should be talking about is information. What we don’t need is more data. We all are super busy and our lawyers are busy and we can’t just give them data and ask them to take action on it. So let’s think about information or actionable data. I really like the word actionable data. Because I can give you a list of items and say here’s where I think you could target your efforts. If you have time to make two or three calls this week, this is where you can do that.
What is Contact Ease seeing in the market?
There’s a lot happening with CRM. People are wondering what they can do to plan for next year and the year after I think what we’re going to see is easier data to get into the system. Where can we get the data in other ways? ERM (Enterprise Risk Management) is a big trend, obviously tools that can scoop that data up for our lawyers that are just busy aren’t able to participate, have other things going on. You can get you to market faster. You can really use ERM as a way to bring data into those data engines and augment that data that’s another important thing, so that what we’re evaluating is information rather than just static data.