Why Immigration Law Firms Need a Client Relationship Management (CRM) Tool

As an immigration lawyer, you need to keep track of a lot. Having a CRM, or client relationship management tool, is [key to managing a business’s growth](
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As an immigration lawyer, you need to keep track of a lot. Having a CRM, or client relationship management tool, is key to managing a business’s growth in any industry. And that goes for immigration law firms, too. These systems help you gain a deep understanding of your clients and their needs, build a closer relationship with them, and ultimately offer an exceptional service. A CRM can also help you make decisions based on historical data from your caseload, anticipate workload and assign tasks accordingly.

In this article we’ll look into what the purpose or goal is in utilizing a CRM and important reasons to consider one for your practice. Let’s jump in.

What's the goal of a CRM?

The goal of using a CRM is to help you centralize client information so you can see everything concerning your clients in one place. Data analytics can show you trends in your caseload that you may not pick up in other ways, or that would look like isolated incidents when there may actually be a trend. Based on such data, you can make smarter, more client-driven work decisions, refocus your marketing content, and more.

A CRM can also help you plan follow ups with your clients when new steps along their immigration timeline are coming up. For example, if you assist clients in their applications for naturalization, your CRM may be able to let you know when they are scheduled to become eligible to apply and prompt you to send a follow up message to the client with the required information, questions, document requests and more. Ideally, you would up such a follow-up with enough time for the client to retrieve necessary documents and file on time, and should they decide to not retain your services for this next stage of their immigration journey, give you enough time to adjust.

Yet many immigration law firms don’t actually use a CRM system to keep up with potential clients, review conversations with existing clients, and get data about the business success of their firm. Many use homemade spreadsheets, calendar reminders, or perhaps just try to keep everything in their heads. So, what are the benefits of having a CRM platform for your immigration law firm?

Three important ways your immigration law firm can benefit from a CRM

There are many ways businesses of all types can benefit from using a client relationship management tool. While many of them differ depending on the type and size of the business, the industry and other factors, we wanted to point out three ways that immigration law firms specifically can benefit from using a CRM.

1. Track and manage prospective immigration clients

A CRM can help you keep track of prospective clients in one place, which is especially important if you’re trying to find and reach out to potential clients through multiple channels. While that might mean more opportunities to market, it can also lead to scattered interactions that are difficult to follow up on. With a CRM, it’s easier to organize all these leads to ensure you’re taking the necessary steps to follow up with prospects and convert them to paying clients.

For example, whether a potential client that fills out a contact form on your website or talks to a chatbot or sends you a message on a social media platform, you can assign them to specific categories in your CRM. This allows you to continue building a relationship with them and following up as interest grows or their need increases.

2. Track correspondence with existing immigration clients in an organized way

It’s equally as important to keep up with your existing immigration clients, especially given that immigration timelines span multiple years and include multiple steps. Using a CRM system can help you keep your client’s options mapped out so you can reach out to them when it’s time to take the next step in their immigration journey. If you have a CRM that has immigration forms integrated into it, you can follow up with your clients and send the forms corresponding to the next status they’re eligible for right with the follow up so they can start the process right away. So instead of starting a back and forth thread of questions and answers that don’t include actionable information, you can provide information and the action required in one step.

Immigration law is highly relationship oriented. By following up with your clients when there is action to be taken in their timelines, you show that you are committed to their success in the long term and that you see your relationship with them as more than a transaction.

3. Run reports on law firm metrics

One of the most helpful features of a CRM system is reporting. Reports generated through a CRM help you understand the way that clients behave, so that when the next decision or step in the client’s immigration journey comes along, you are ready with actionable items.

There are a number of reasons why reports generated through a CRM are so useful when following up with your clients:

  • Reports help you see what’s going on with your current cases and adjust your sales and marketing accordingly. In other words, if you find yourself with too many existing clients that don’t have a next step for a long period of time, you can adjust your client outreach to encourage referrals or step up your sales and marketing activities to get new clients.
  • Reports help you see if your marketing efforts are actually working or not. Instead of guessing what’s been working and what hasn’t when it comes to your marketing tactics and campaigns, reports can analyze your sales data and show you when you took on new clients, how they found you, your lead conversion ratio, and provide other valuable insights. This way you can adjust your marketing strategy accordingly so you’ll be doing more of what actually works.
  • Reports can also help you evaluate the financial health of your practice. A profitability report can help you see whether you are bringing in enough clients to be profitable - or how many you need to get there - and whether it’s time to adjust your rates, augment your staff or make other changes to impact the bottom line.

How a CRM specific to the immigration industry stacks up against bigger players

You may have heard about CRM systems like Salesforce, which is the most widely used CRM software, but when considering a new tech tool to use in your immigration law firm, you may be wondering if a tech tool you’re considering using provides too many capabilities you may not need while not getting industry-specific ones that might be helpful. That’s where Docketwise comes in.

We at Docketwise are always expanding and adding features to make our product comprehensive and optimally helpful for immigration attorneys. While Docketwise started out as an immigration forms software, since adding the Leads feature, it can now stand out in the CRM category too, with the added advantage of it being specifically designed for immigration lawyers.

So here are just two of the ways Docketwise’s Leads CRM feature is great for immigration lawyers:

Helping with immigration leads

Docketwise Leads is available on Docketwise Suite, and its goal is to pull leads from different places into one. Here is how it works:

  • Docketwise Leads allows you to collect leads either by embedding a contact form on your website using the HTML code provided, or by using our integration with YoTengoBot or by adding leads manually from your Docketwise dashboard.
  • The Leads tool then informs the user when the lead is due for follow-up based upon a contact frequency set by the user. Contact may be done by phone or by sending a follow up email.
  • Leads may be placed in a status so you know what is going on with the lead (eg. scheduled appointment, not ready yet, unreachable, etc.)
  • Finally, it converts your leads (potential clients) into clients on Docketwise once they sign with you and you start working on their case.

We have step-by-step instructions on how to use the Leads tool in Docketwise. Once you’ve added your leads, you can set up reminders for next steps and see them as they become due on the Docketwise Leads tab.

Running reports on your immigration law firm

There are a number of reports you can run on Docketwise, each zeroing in on a specific type of information, from contacts to invoices to matters and leads. Let’s dive in a little just into the reports you can generate just on client leads:

  • Leads over time, which lets you see what has happened with a prospective client contact since it was created
  • Leads converted over time, which shows you what percentage of prospective clients have actually become clients
  • Leads by status, which lets you see where your firm is in terms of actions taken with the client

Ultimately, you can customize what you see in your leads reports, depending on the kind of information you see, and even add columns outside of the preset categories.

Docketwise is the first CRM in the market made specifically for immigration lawyers.

If you’re an immigration lawyer, just having a forms and case management tool isn’t enough for you to grow your firm and have insight on how it’s going. That’s why at Docketwise we’ve built CRM capabilities and continue to roll out new features.

So, with our CRM, full library of immigration forms, easy-to-use client questionnaires and industry-leading API integrations, Docketwise helps you stay up to date on all your immigration cases, communicate easily with your clients, and otherwise build and manage your immigration law firm.

If you want to learn more about Docketwise, schedule a demo at the link below, or sign up for our Immigration Briefings newsletter for daily and weekly immigration updates!

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Saja Raoof, Founder and Principal
Saja Raoof, Inc. Law Corporation
“Docketwise is the fourth immigration software I've used in my career. None come close. It's everything I'd wished for in an immigration forms software. Law offices would be well-served to at least give it a try. I've already enthusiastically recommended Docketwise to several colleagues.”
Shahzad Khan, Principal Attorney
Shahzad R, Khan Legal, PLLC
“This product has increased my law firms productivity ten fold. Before I used to do forms on my own from the USCIS website. Using Docketwise, has caused me to give up paper questionnaires and keeps me from inputting information directly into forms.”
Sandy Yeung - Yeung Law Office, LLC
Anna Ernest, Managing Attorney
Ernest Law Group, PLC
“I am extremely pleased with Docketwise. This software streamlined my Immigration practice and enabled me to process more cases in less time. Clients (and my staff) love how "user friendly" this software is. Definitely a great value for the money.”
Mohammed Ali Syed, Founder and Principal
Mohammed Ali Syed, Founder and Principal
Syed Law Firm, PLLC
“Hands down the best solution for a busy immigration practice. The interface is very user friendly and intuitive. There are lots of cool features that make handling a large volume of cases and ensuring accuracy a lot easier. The customer service is phenomenal.”
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