posted by Alan Joenn on May 31, 2013
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CRM and Professional Services

In the third part of our series examining the collection of data for CRM by users out on the road, we discuss the implications this method of data collection poses for professional service firms.



Hello and welcome to this CRM Whiteboard Session. This is the third in a series of three, which are talking about collecting good quality data for CRM, from people who aren’t necessarily based at your head office location, or the same location where your CRM main usage takes place.

Today, we’re talking about Professional Services. And in this context the team that’s collecting some of the high quality data that you need to keep your client relationship management system bang up to date are in fact your fee earners. They’re the people who are travelling out of the office ,meeting with clients, looking for opportunities to improve relationships, checking on client satisfaction, looking for cross sell and up sell opportunities, and so on.

These fee earners are the people who are best placed to provide the high quality data that you need for target marketing, for targeting client satisfaction improvements. These are the people who are best placed to collect this high quality data.

But in our experience the only tool that they actually use on a regular basis is Outlook. The correspondence that they have with clients is Outlook based; people have a propensity to keep their contact list in Outlook so that they come down to smart phones; they probably keep their calendar in Outlook as well. And so this is the device of choice where a lot of the client data is actually being recorded in terms of where they’re going, what they’re doing and the communication that’s happening with the client.

CRM-PROFESSIONAL-SERVICES-WHITEBOARDAnd if that’s the case, rather than fighting with the fee earners here to get them to try to use the CRM application – which often people will say they don’t have time to learn and they certainly don’t have the time to sit down and collect really complicated data – we think that the right way to handle good quality data collection in Professional Services is to acknowledge the fact that this team, your fee earners, are Outlook users and enhance the use of Outlook so that it harvests the data or much of the data that you need to get good quality client data into CRM. That it does this of almost an automatic by product of the fact that these guys are using Outlook on a daily basis.

So the information that they need from CRM in order to prepare for a client meeting can be delivered to them as a report in Outlook, the information that they collect whilst with a client can easily be added as a plug-in to the Outlook toolbar so it’s all in a familiar environment where they don’t have to learn a piece of new technology.

There’s more information about harvesting good quality CRM data through Outlook for fee earners in Professional Services organisations on one of our sister websites – please go there and have a look. There’s also more info about CRM in Professional Services and in law firms in, particularly in the blog on that site.

I hope you found this session worthwhile this afternoon. Thank you for watching!

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