For many firms one of the magic wand wishes in the LPM Frontiers: Legal IT Landscapes 2021 report was the call for more automation and better gathering and use of data with the quality of data being a must. Like all businesses in the UK, we all agree that the pandemic has had lasting impact on the way our teams work. The research shows that our teams want to work from home more regularly, 32% in fact, which is double what it was last year.

With the explosion of Zoom and Teams to support client, prospect and referrer conversations, firms have had a lesson in how easy it is to communicate and collaborate. As a result our interactions have increased compared to the levels before March 2020.

However, some things remain the same and 61% of respondents remarked that they struggle to maintain up to date records on who is talking to client and referrer contacts. If firms are having more connections and failing to record them then they will continue to suffer the curse of data lag and data omission that ultimately manifests itself in missed opportunities for growth.

We recently deployed our relationship intelligence system, Client Sense, to help a firm gather missing contacts, email addresses and connection history. Another firm we have spoken to disclosed that between 60% & 70% of the contacts in the practice management system had no email address. Let’s think about the impact that has on client communication, business development and what’s not happening or being missed.

We could argue no firms practice management or CRM system is up to date due to data lag and the omission of key communication insights. These help inform a firm to determine who is talking to whom and who they are not. 33% of respondents stated that they miss opportunities within a client relationship because they are talking to the wrong people. 30% said that referrers are under-served.

This highlights a key problem with practice management and CRM systems. Firms can invest significant amounts of money only to realise that they are missing the quantitative and qualitative data that helps solve these problems. This data is what supports the insights of recency and frequency between the firm, clients and referrers and importantly highlights what is missing in a relationship or not working.

Fortunately, there is a happy ending to this and one that can complement and enhance the use of existing practice management and CRM platforms. Client Sense integrates to the communication platform used by a firm (Exchange or 365) to provide the real time insights necessary for strong profitable relationships for no effort whatsoever by the staff within the firm.

The commentary by our CEO, Brian Coventry, featured in the LPM Frontiers: Legal IT Landscapes 2021 report.