As a solo lawyer just starting out, you probably only have a few clients and a few new inquiries each month. It’s relatively easy to stay organized. But as your law firm grows, you will hire more staff, take on more clients, and do more marketing to generate more inquiries. Growth is a great thing, but it comes with challenges as it becomes harder to stay organized. Email inboxes become cluttered, and spreadsheets just don’t cut it. This is why CRM (client relationship management) solutions exist in the first place. In this post, we’ll provide an overview of how to manage and organize your contacts in the Lexicata CRM, and we’ll also explain how to track client interactions using the Lexicata timeline. That way, as your firm grows, you and your staff can easily stay organized and never miss a beat.
How to Manage Contacts in a CRM
Before you can start to track client interactions, you need to get your contact database in order. This includes cleaning up some data, importing all your contacts from various sources, and tagging them into groups and categories.
Import all your contacts
Before you can properly track client interactions, you must get all your contacts into one centralized database. That’s what a CRM system like Lexicata is designed for – advanced contact management to keep track of everyone in your network.
Each person at your firm should have access to this database so they can input new contacts, update people’s contact information, and log their interactions.
You can import your contacts in bulk from a CSV or Excel spreadsheet to streamline the data entry process. But, it’s important that you first spend some time cleaning up your data and getting it into the proper format.
Many firms making the switch from a disorganized system (or no system) to a software based one will have a very messy contact database. You should always spend time cleaning up your data before you start using software, or else you’ll lose many of the benefits the software provides in terms of keeping clean, organized data.
Tag contacts to keep them organized
The great thing about a law firm CRM is that you can use it to manage prospective clients through the intake process, as well as your existing clients and professional relationships. It’s a centralized database for all the important contacts in your network.
Lexicata offers some handy functionality in order to keep all your contacts organized, most notably the “contact type” and “tags” features.
You can set the contact type to designate how a particular contact relates to your law firm. For example, you might have some of the following contact types in your database:
- Past Client
- Expert Witness
- Opposing Party
You can use tags to drill down even further and more precisely label those categories of contacts, or group them into lists.
For example, you might use tags for labeling the practice area of an “Attorney” contact. You might add a tag with the name of a group that a person is a member of so that you can have all members of the group on a list. Or you might have tags identifying “High Value” clients. The possibilities are endless.
Once you have a nicely organized database of every important contact in your network, you can start using the other CRM features to track interactions such as meetings, emails, appointments, etc.
How to Track Client Interactions in the Lexicata Timeline
Now that your CRM is updated and all your contacts are nicely tagged and categorized, you can start logging interactions.
Log phone calls and meetings using notes
The Lexicata Notes feature is a simple, yet very effective way to track client interactions. You can quickly jot down a note during a phone call or after a meeting to track what happened.
Each note in the system is linked to either a contact or a client matter. It will indicate the date it was created and which person at the firm created it so everyone has a record of what happened during the call or meeting.
You can also format your notes with bullets, numbered lists, or font styling such as bold, italic, and underlined text to make them easier to read.
All the notes in your account will be stored under the timeline so you can have a complete history of every interaction that has taken place with a specific contact.
Track email follow ups automatically
Lexicata has a super useful email sync feature which enables your email correspondence to be tracked automatically whenever an email is sent out from the system.
You can connect it to your Outlook, Google Suite, Gmail, Yahoo, or any other major IMAP based email provider. This means that the emails will be sent via your synced email account, not via a third party mail server. So your clients won’t know that you’re using software to send the emails.
You can even schedule emails to go out in advance, use templates to automate the drafting process, and trigger drip campaigns, or sequences of pre-scheduled emails.
Any email sent out will be stored in the Lexicata timeline, along with your notes and other interactions.
Set appointments to keep track of consultations
One of the most important client interactions at most law firms is the initial consultation. It’s essentially a sales meeting where the attorney discusses the client’s legal issues and advises about possible courses of action.
Scheduling consultations and keeping track of them is one of the most important parts of the legal sales process. Lexicata provides an easy appointment scheduling feature, including automatic reminders for the client.
Your consultations will show up in the Lexicata timeline along with the scheduled reminder email, and any notes you have taken, making it super easy to track all the correspondence with a prospective client in one place.
As your law practice grows, you take on more clients, and you hire more staff, staying organized becomes increasingly challenging.
By implementing a centralized contact database, such as a CRM software, everyone at your firm will have access to input contacts and keep track of any client interactions. This will help keep everyone on the same page and ensure no important people from your network end up slipping through the cracks.
If you are not a current Lexicata user and you’d like to learn more, please feel free to schedule a product demo and we’ll show you how it works!