When Your CRM Strategy Goes Stale

Breakups aren’t easy. When a relationship is good, but not great, it can be easy to just keep going through the motions; but, what about your firm’s relationship with CRM? Sure, implementing new technology is a challenge, but maintaining the momentum and keeping things fresh can be just as difficult. When you lose momentum, you also lose any efficiencies you hoped to gain and your firm’s users will often be left frustrated and frazzled. They may even feel like their time and efforts have been wasted and check out completely.

So, what’s a firm to do when they find their relationship with CRM has gone stale? Some firms reimplement their existing system with a focus on new goals, strategies and incentives. Meanwhile, others may choose to look for a new system altogether. From buy-in to implementation (and even ongoing adoption and usage), moving to a new CRM can take a toll on a firm’s already limited resources. When a firm invests in technology and no longer sees the value, it creates challenges for everyone.

Amber Elliott, Director of Client Services at ContactEase, understands this struggle all too well. “When we talk to firms looking to make a CRM switch, lack of user adoption is something that comes up often. Sometimes it’s because the system is just not a good fit or difficult to use. ContactEase has one of the highest adoption rates in the industry and that’s not through luck,” she said. “We’ve worked hard to to define a custom implementation process to prevent our clients from falling into that trap. When a firm’s users understand the purpose behind the project, there is a sense of unity that leads to CRM success.” And that’s the case whether a firm is making a switch to a new system or looking to reimplement an existing one.

Just as systems go stale, so do strategies. That’s why it’s important for firms to evaluate CRM strategy on an ongoing basis. It’s important to know if a system is meeting a firm’s objectives, but it’s just as important to make sure that the firm’s objectives are in alignment with the firm’s current goals. This is why it’s also important to focus on CRM as a strategy and not a one-off project. Whether it’s a new platform or a new approach to your existing system, there are a few things you can do to reinvigorate your firm’s CRM strategy:

  • Leverage Relationships with Vendors. With team of former law firm marketing and IT professionals, the team at ContactEase has not only have seen and heard it all, we’ve most likely experienced it. Ask your technology vendors what they’re hearing from other firms and don’t be afraid to look outside of your industry for new and innovative ways to approach your CRM strategy.
  • Think About Your Users. Defining value to your users is a key component of a successful CRM strategy, but it’s important to remember that what matters to one set of users, may not matter to another. Outline your use cases and establish key messages focused on your different user groups.
  • Communicate. Communication is the foundation of any successful relationship. After you’ve defined value to your users, develop a focused communication plan for each group and stick to it. You can’t communicate too much when it comes to obtaining buy-in and charting a course for CRM success.
  • Define, Measure and Celebrate Success. Think about what a successful CRM strategy looks like for your firm. Track your successes and don’t forget to celebrate them, too.

Relationships are hard enough, your CRM doesn’t have to be. ContactEase and its team of of former law firm marketing and IT professionals have worked with firms of all sizes to successfully reinvigorate stale CRM relationships. Thinking about breaking up with your current CRM or want to know how to regain momentum with your existing platform? Let’s talk about it!
Additional Reading: ContactEase Case Study: CRM Conversions Made Easy.

ContactEase welcomes new law firm client…

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ContactEase welcomes new law firm client Drew Eckl & Farnham, LLP with over 90 attorneys located in Altanta, GA. http://www.deflaw.com

CRM Implementation Best Practices Whitepaper

What 3 Leading Firms Did to Achieve Success – To discover what goes into a successful CRM implementation we convened a panel of marketing directors from two law firms and an accounting firm to share best practices learned in the process of identifying needs, getting buy-in, implementing a system and maximizing ROI. http://colevalley.com/Resources.aspx

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ContactEase CRM welcomes new law firm client…

ContactEase CRM welcomes new law firm client, Rhoades McKee with 48 attorneys located in Grand Rapid, MI http://www.rhoadesmckee.com

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ILTA Annual Conference

ILTA 2014As the summer is winding down we are preparing for the 37th ILTA Annual Conference in Nashville, TN! This year’s theme “Imagine” promises to bring together ILTA’s community, and the collective power of imagination will take everyone – as professionals and organizations – to new heights.

In conjunction with the Conference the entire ContactEase team will be in Nashville for our annual company retreat.

This will be a great opportunity to meet the team in person and catch-up on what’s new at Cole Valley Software. If your interested in grabbing a coffee or meeting up with us for dinner let us know by emailing marketing@colevalley.com.

 

Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation: Commercial Electronic Messages

In our previous post about Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation we briefly covered the law and provided some recommendations and considerations. In this post we will cover Commercial Electronic Messages. As defined by the law a Commercial Electronic Message (CEM) is any electronic message that “encourages participation in a commercial activity” regardless of whether there in an expectation to profit. CEMs include:

  • Emails
  • Instant messages
  • Text messages
  • Any other electronic correspondence

Examples of CEMs:

  • Offers to purchase, sell, barter or lease a product, goods, a service
  • Offers to provide a business, investment or gaming opportunity
  • Promoting a person, including the public image of a person, as being a person who does anything referred to above, or who intends to do so

Parts of a message to examine to determine if it encourages participation in a commercial activity include:

  • Content of the message
  • Hyperlinks in the message to website content or a database
  • Contact information in the message

Accordingly, businesses should consider removing all promotional messaging, including messaging promoting the business itself (e.g. an award or ranking) from electronic messages that are not categorized by the business as being a CEM to avoid having such messages caught by CASL.

In our post next week we will cover the four key requirements of CASL and specifically the types of consent and the burden of proof.

Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation: Is Your Firm Prepared?

With Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation entering into effect in two weeks, this blog series will focus on how to become and remain compliant. Once the law is in force, it will help to protect Canadians while ensuring that business can continue to compete in the global marketplace.

If you haven’t already determined if the law applies to your firm, it is critical to understand that CASL applies to any commercial electronic messages (CEMS) where a computer system located in Canada is used to send or access the electronic message. Here is a great infographic created by CakeMail to help you determine if CASL applies to your firm:

CASL Infographic

With the impact of CASL and the scope of its liability, it is crucial for firms who are impacted to have a strategy in place. Here are a few recommendations we suggest considering if you haven’t already:

  • Review all existing communication practices internally
  • Assess whether your communications are CEMs and whether they are subject to CASL
  • Determine which entity in your organization should “own” the consents
  • Take steps to collect necessary express consents in the next two weeks. This cannot be done after July 1, 2014 using CEMs
  • Identify such communications where consents are not required but the informational requirements and formalities are still required
  • Develop a database of your contacts that enables all consents to be tracked, retained and retrievable; and allows any waiver or variation of such consent to be readily tracked and implemented
  • Maintain policies to ensure that CEMs are not sent where there is no consent or where implied consent has expired
  • Create and maintain an easy-to-use and effective unsubscribe mechanism for the CEMs
  • Ensure that all records of your compliance procedures and policies are maintained (as such documentation may support a due diligence defense at a later point in time)

To learn more about the key requirements of CASL and how to become and remain compliant check back for our latest post in the series.

Heartbleed

Heartbleed

Recently, a major security vulnerability named “Heartbleed” has made headlines around the world. This is a severe vulnerability stemming from a coding mistake in a widely-used security utility called OpenSSL. The bug affects the encryption technology designed to protect your sensitive data on the Internet, like usernames, passwords and emails. This is a flaw in the OpenSSL encryption code itself and not a virus that can be stopped by any consumer security/virus scan software.

With that being said, please note that ContactEase is not impacted by Heartbleed. Our web add-on components (such as Mobile Solutions, Mailing List Manager, Change Tracker, Online Update and RSVP Forms) are required to be installed on IIS web servers, which do not by default rely on OpenSSL.

It is still recommended that you check with your hosting provider or IT professionals to ensure your servers are not using OpenSSL. In addition, you may want to check with any online services that you use.

What You Should Do:

  • Confirm that both your internal web servers and hosted web servers are using a safe version of OpenSSL.
  • You can check which major online services have been effected using the list provided by Mashable.
  • Reset your password for every online service affected by Heartbleed. But beware: you should only change your password after the afflicted business has fixed its servers to remove the Heartbleed vulnerability. Changing your passwords before a company’s servers are updated will not protect your credentials from being leaked.
  • Follow best practices for creating passwords, using strong passwords.
  • Ask an IT professional inside your organization for additional tips to keep your accounts secure.

Learn More:
For specific legal vendor information related to Heartbleed, you can learn more on ILTA’s Connected Community.

Contact Us 
If you have questions regarding ContactEase and the Heartbleed security vulnerability please contact support@colevalley.com.

Which Hat Are You Wearing Today: Part 3

Continuing our series “Which Hat Are You Wearing Today” we literally took it to a new level at the New England Legal Marketing Association’s Annual Conference. Amber Elliott, our ContactEase Director of Implementations, and Chris Fritsch, President and Business Development Consultant, Clients First Consulting presented the session Which Hat Are You Wearing Today: Balancing Marketing, Business Development and Client Services.

During the presentation Amber and Chris took turns actually wearing different hats to represent the different functions marketing takes on from a day-to-day basis. Below are the different roles and associated tasks:
Fire Fighter & Builder Traffic Cop & Miner

Stop back as we will cover the technology that can help streamline the tasks and make success a possibility.

Welcome: Lewis, Rice & Fingersh, L.C.

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We would like to welcome Lewis, Rice & Fingersh, L.C. as a new client of ContactEase.

Lewis, Rice & Fingersh, L.C. is one of the leading regional law firms in the Midwest with more than 150 lawyers practicing in all of the major legal specialty areas. They have implemented ContactEase to create a firm-wide centralized database. The firm’s marketing department will also utilize the tool for their targeted marketing campaigns and business development initiatives.

We are thrilled to have them on board and as a part of the ContactEase family.