Magazine article CRM Magazine

Secret of My Success: Solicitors on the Client-Service Team of U.K. Law Firm Eversheds Commit to CRM

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Secret of My Success: Solicitors on the Client-Service Team of U.K. Law Firm Eversheds Commit to CRM

Article excerpt

* Why CRM?

We knew there were things we could do better with regard to managing the relationships between each client and the various members of the client-service team. We needed vital information to be visual and accessible to all. That's critical in a law firm.

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* When did you first implement CRM?

Before this project CRM was inconsistent across the firm--some regions were more effective but there was no [uniform] program in place. Three years ago we realized that the market had grown more sophisticated, and that we needed to look after our very best clients. So the firm took the very best bits from the various programs, and developed a CRM program that is underpinned now by Interface Software's InterAction.

* What were your key criteria for selecting a CRM vendor?

We had to be able to configure it to meet our needs. We could see ways to make [InterAction] work for us. As an example, we spend hundreds of thousands on our "hospitality budget"--if you're not tracking where that money's going, you're losing vital marketing and business-development information. We needed a system that could track that.

* How did you gain executive and user buy-in?

One thing about a law firm: The business is owned by the partners, so any major expenditure focuses their attention quite quickly. Fortunately, they've been committed to this vision since day one.

We spent a long time talking to people, asking, "What do you want from the system? What's the most important thing you need?"

* What were the key challenges or obstacles, and how did you overcome them?

Integration of our offices in the U.K. and internationally meant we had around 22 databases to merge into one, with more than 100,000 contacts all in different formats. We had to get the data out of the lawyers' heads, hands, desks, and Excel spreadsheets. It's amazing how much data we've flushed out. We thought we'd done quite well with the 22 databases, but we've discovered another 100,000 contacts since we went live.

A big issue is training--we've got lots of people to be trained, and we don't want to lose momentum. Training is a massive undertaking. …

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