Skip to content

Improving Customer Relationship Management

The challenge

Castrén & Snellman Oy is a law firm of more than 250 employees, who with their offices in Helsinki, Moscow and St. Petersburg are globally connected. Castrén & Snellman aims at being the forerunner in its field when it comes to digital transformation and serve its clients even better than before by finding innovative ways of using data and managing sales in a more controlled manner. To assist them in achieving these goals they chose Loihde, whose specialists have the right kind of expertise both in developing an extended relationship management system (XRM) and in data management as well as the ability to share and roll out their knowledge to the client.

With this strategically important project they aimed for improved customer relationship management, the internal transparency of sales activities, cross selling and the marketing campaign management. Moreover, regulations and legislation posed strict requirements on data to prevent money laundering, the financing of terrorism, violating personal data privacy and the misuse of inside information.

The solution

Castrén & Snellman’s XRM project team received customized and specific training on client data management. This launched an independent thought process on the significance of client data and CRM processes for the success of the project. Data management had to be sorted out to be able to exploit data in different functions.

After the training, it was time to focus on the data needed by a business going through a digital transformation, and determine which processes would be the ones gathering this data. Applying business-driven data modeling, the big picture of the interlinked data relevant for the business in its operations was established. Loihde specialists held joint workshops with the client, producing a tangible description of the data they should manage on their clients, partners, assignments, sales opportunities, services and on the other cornerstones of their business. This description, also known as data standard, was then complemented to include detailed requirements on data content to ensure high data quality.

”Loihde was of great help to us in this project that set out to tackle rather complicated things. With their calm, thorough and professional approach, they showed us how to do this work, guided us and did a great deal of the actual work, too. I was especially pleased to note their pragmatism and focus on the essential,” says Development Director Heikki Ilvessalo of Castrén & Snellman.

After mapping out the data needs it was time to establish the distance from current status to target status and conduct a data clean-up required to achieve the target. In this phase, the old data was mirrored against the data standard, which was the target status, and the deficiencies were fixed, and the obsolete and unnecessary data was removed. Thereby the already existing data was ready to be used in the new sales and marketing functions in the CRM system.

After laying down the solid foundation, Loihde and the client together established which process areas will be first supported with the CRM system, and how to prioritize the development of the functionalities required by the different processes. Using an agile method, the system was implemented one process area at a time – specification sprints were followed by development sprints. End users who best know a certain process area were invited to join in the specification work, which ensured a better end user experience and served as preparation for the subsequent roll-out. Prototypes created in the specification phase were another way in enhancing end user experience. A concrete prototype of the system was easier to evaluate than mere specification documents.

System deployment was also carried out incrementally, to allow users to test the new functionalities and processes in smaller, more absorbable parts, and also to have the system in use earlier. An important part of the project was personnel training, which was tailored specifically for each role. Besides the project team members, the training was conducted by some of the end users who were involved in designing and testing the system, as well as a specialist from Loihde.

The benefits

The new system has changed the company’s working culture. Heikki is particularly happy in finding that the company’s own capability in data management has improved tremendously. However, what is most important is that the transparency of the system improves their internal cooperation, which results in better customer service. He also points out that the new practices and the system have demanded from them a great deal of commitment and understanding of the significance of data.

”We have been building a culture where information matters. This would not have happened without the top-notch professionals of Loihde, who have taught a lot us while doing hands-on work. Now we have clear-cut models for managing our data and processes. It will expedite our ability to renew ourselves and enable us to innovate new services, such as visualizing our international network in our online service,” Heikki says.