We speak to Samuel Dixon, a partner and UK head of innovation at Womble Bond Dickinson, about the top 20 law firm’s selection of Peppermint Client Engagement.
Top 20 UK law firm, Womble Bond Dickinson (UK), has selected Peppermint Client Engagement, in the latest big win for the legal software company, we can reveal. According to our UK top 200, Womble Bond currently uses Intapp OnePlace for CRM.
The transatlantic firm’s UK office began the selection process earlier this year and is in the process of deploying Peppermint, which is a Microsoft Dynamics 365-based client relationship management system. Womble Bond has also selected Introhive, which is a Peppermint partner and helps to automate CRM data entry.
Speaking to Legal IT Insider, Sam Dixon, a restructuring partner and UK head of innovation, who was involved in the selection process said: “With my head of innovation hat on, the question re CRM is how it meets the day-to-day requirements on the fee-earner side. My role was to try to simplify things as much as possible. There is a great benefit from a GDPR perspective of having CRM, but we wanted to leverage CRM well beyond that and maximise our relationships and knowledge to provide as much value as we can.”
Built on the Microsoft cloud, Peppermint Client Engagement natively integrates with Microsoft’s workplace applications and brings together a firm’s data into one place, which was part of the big appeal for Womble Bond.
Nick Barwood, chair and project sponsor at Womble Bond said: “What made Peppermint stand out was the simplicity of the software and how our lawyers can easily access it while they are working in Outlook, Teams, or via the web app while at their desks, or on their mobiles. This integrated collaboration provides a fertile ground for exploring new ways to better serve our clients.”
Dixon agrees, commenting: “A key selling point was Peppermint’s ability to avoid context switching. One of the challenges the legal profession has is that because our systems are a bit piecemeal, we end up with lots of different systems to log into. No-one can remember how to login and while we are working on various solutions to that, the more we can put through Outlook and Teams – the systems where people are working every day – the better.”
All of Womble Bond’s calls go through Microsoft Teams, and Dixon says: “Our fee-earners can just interact with Peppermint in there. Mobile is also a big one when you are scanning or updating something, so mobile was key, but what it boils down to is that it needs to be as easy as possible.”
CRMs in the past have often been underutilised by fee-earners, who have in many cases not got in the habit of using them. Dixon refers to Stanford behavioural scientist BJ Fogg, who talks about habit forming being made up of motivation, ability and prompt. He says: “Where Peppermint helps is that it’s easier for people to use and that goes to the ability aspect. Because it’s easier for people to do what they need to do, it’s more likely to happen, and the motivation doesn’t need to be as high. The system can also be used to generate push notifications, which act as an ongoing prompt.”
Law firms are increasingly leveraging their Microsoft stack, but Dixon says that there was no deliberate move to buy a Microsoft-based product, commenting: “Are we deliberately going out and buying a Microsoft product, no. We’re looking at what is the best fit for us,” although he adds: “Part of that is trying to make things simple for the end user and fit together.”
Womble Bond adds to a growing list of top 100 firms for Peppermint Technology, following recent wins including Irwin Mitchell, Kingsley Napley and Shakespeare Martineau LLP.
Peppermint’s chief sales and marketing officer, Matt O’Callaghan said: “Womble Bond Dickinson is a great example of a law firm that wants to get the most out of CRM, by bringing the knowledge capital of their lawyers into their business development platform and activities.”