The use of a professional phone answering service can save up valuable time for busy lawyers like you.
You already have a lot on your plate without having to worry about fielding phone calls as well. In an ideal world, calls would only be sent to lawyers when needed. In fact, we think a lawyer answering service for incoming calls is an essential tool for any thriving law firm. It’s one of the best and least expensive strategies to boost your company’s billable hours.
Legal Answering Service
Using a legal answering service is the most efficient approach to keep track of your clients and stay on top of your game.
With this system in place, attorneys won’t waste time on things like scheduling meetings or answering frequently asked queries. Legal receptionists, who are educated in the art of communicating with prospective clients, are responsible for handling such activities.
With the help of a legal answering service, attorneys may make the most of their billable time. They can now devote more energy to planning their legal approach. It also helps the company live up to its customers’ expectations. After all, when people contact your business, they anticipate being helped immediately. Customers are more likely to provide their money and trust if they know they can always get in touch with a real person to answer their questions.
Involved Duties of a Legal Answering Service
Overworked lawyers can benefit from using a lawyer answering service because:
Avoid the Need to Respond to Calls: It’s not always easy to take a call, especially if you’re in the middle of something crucial like a meeting or case preparation. Having a virtual receptionist ensures that your company always has someone available to take calls from clients. The receptionist’s duties extend beyond only taking messages and making appointments.
Get Someone to Answer Common Questions as a Receptionist: Typically, first-time callers will want to know the same information: your hourly rate, specialty, office hours, etc. Those are the kinds of questions that should be handled by the receptionist at your law firm.
Turn on around-the-clock accessibility: Clients often mistakenly believe that their lawyers should be available whenever they need them. If you use an answering service for lawyers, however, a receptionist will answer your calls whenever they come in.
Make Use of a Scheduling Assistant Service: Calls are just the beginning of what this service offers. Appointment setting and message taking are included in most legal answering service prices.
Make sure the supplier you choose for your incoming call solution has these useful capabilities if you want to improve the efficiency of your law firm’s phone operations.
What to Think About When Selecting Legal Answering Service
1. Consider online interface
A lawyer answering service can send messages through email, text message, or fax; however, internet access to the messages is not provided. While some may benefit from receiving communications in bits and pieces, most companies would rather easily access their current and archived messages in one convenient location. Web portals give you more flexibility in managing your inbox. Despite the considerable variation, the following are some aspects that many answering service client portals share:
A record of your calls and messages
Access to past phone conversations
The ability to view and make changes to your call processing in real time
Reports available on demand
Possibility of importing and controlling one’s on-call schedule
2. Operators Act as the Face of Your Company
The success or failure of your business may hinge on your choice of legal answering service. One of the most crucial aspects of an answering service is the competence of its operators. You wouldn’t be able to guarantee that your customers will be treated with the same level of attention you give them if all of your staff were doing the work themselves if you don’t hire exceptional operators.
One of the most important aspects of any service is that the operator accurately represents the firm they are working for. A business like a funeral home or a doctor’s office requires a more reserved operator than one that sells used cars. In addition to having the right demeanor, a good call center operator must also be quick on their feet, able to adjust to the specific requirements of each call, and have the wherewithal to respond appropriately. You need representatives who can adjust to the needs of each caller.
3. Transform Your Callers’ Experiences Into Unique Ones
Make sure your lawyer answering service is as personable as possible if you want to ensure a smooth transition between the calls you take in your office and the ones they take for you. Callers to your answering service shouldn’t have the impression that they’ve reached the third party and not your actual business. In contrast to being treated like a number by impersonal call centers, your clients will appreciate the individual attention they receive when they dial your number.
Make sure the answering service’s call scripting can be tailored to your unique business demands so that customers perceive them as an extension of your company. Any answering service that treats every business the same and answers every call in the same way isn’t doing anyone any favors. Although it is essential to collect contact information, the service should also be flexible enough to accommodate the needs of a wide variety of businesses.
You may discover a lawyer answering service for every budget, from free trials all the way up to hundreds of dollars each month. The vast majority of providers have variable pricing depending on the volume of calls made through them. The more calls you have answered by the answering service, the more you will be charged.
In other words, you can do the math if you run a high-volume enterprise. Some answering services have more expensive plans that come with more minutes of service each month. This makes things more economical, but it only makes sense if your monthly call volume is very consistent. The ideal pricing model for your company will be determined by your budget, call volume, and anticipated use of the answering service. The following are two fee schedules often used by answering services:
Per minute: Billing occurs on a minute-by-minute basis under a “per minute” billing structure. These arrangements are comparable to cell phone plans because they provide a monthly allowance before charging more for usage. A reliable answering service should provide you with multiple pricing tiers to choose from depending on your call volume. It should also be able to adjust your plan should you automatically exceed your usage limits.
Per call: The number of incoming calls directly correlates to the amount of money you will be charged. For the purposes of this pricing plan, call duration is irrelevant. However, your answering service may impose additional fees for delivering messages and calls that require dispatch.
What an Answering Service Can Do to Improve Your Law Firm’s Performance
Listed below are five ways in which a reliable laywer answering service can improve your ability to manage your legal practice and allow you to get more done.
1. You outwork competitors while sleeping
Like any other industry, legal practices are continuously on the lookout for methods to get an advantage over their rivals. Having an offering that sets your practice apart from others in the area is a great way to attract new customers.
Compared to similar businesses, yours will have an extra 16 hours of service daily thanks to your 24/7 answering service. Your company has a better chance of gaining new customers if, between the hours of 5 p.m. and 9 a.m., a live receptionist answers the phones, whereas the competition does not. The same applies to holidays and weekend times!
Assuming you have a live person answer your phones even while your business is closed, what are the benefits? Simply put, you will miss out on a great deal of possible connections with new clients if you have a machine answer your phones after hours. It’s quite unlikely that a new consumer will contact you again if their initial call isn’t answered. They’ll soon be moving on to another company.
2. Customers will see you care
It’s a rarity that a person calling a law firm is having a nice day. In most cases, individuals need instant aid with a traumatic situation in their lives and are phoning a company for help. In order to win over the business of a problematic legal customer, you’ll need to perform two things.
Let customers know you respect their time:
Forrester found that 77% of respondents rated having their time respected as the most essential factor in receiving good service from a company.
Make sure your customers don’t have to put in extra effort:
According to research published in the Harvard Business Review, decreasing customer effort is the most important component in retaining customers.
Many clients will be sent through to voicemail if you don’t have a reliable answering service supporting your business. When this occurs, potential customers may feel as though their time has been wasted and decide not to call again or try calling at a later time. They will instead switch to competing with companies that answer their inquiries in real-time.
The Identity of Anyone Contacting Your Company Can Always Be Verified
Keeping tabs on who calls in isn’t normally a top concern when you’re running a law firm, handling cases, and trying to have a life outside of work. Because of the volume of calls received on busy days, some customers may never hear back from the business. This may not seem like a big concern, but consider that many of those callers may have been potential customers.
Although the primary benefit of hiring a lawyer answering service is in handling calls outside of business hours, the additional coverage during regular business hours may be just as useful. Keep in mind that just because it’s 2:00 on a Tuesday afternoon doesn’t mean you have to answer calls immediately. It’s possible that you’re away from the office at the moment, either at a client meeting or in court arguing a case.
With the help of live receptionists, an excellent answering service may prevent your days from devolving into chaos by ensuring that all of your callers are attended to and keeping you apprised of new client opportunities through phone calls and messages.
You Can Rest Easy Knowing This
Anyone may respect the lawyer who stays late at the office or comes in on the weekend to get more done. In the legal profession, that kind of work ethic is often the deciding factor between those who barely make it and those who go on to achieve great success. A successful legal career, however, requires that attorneys take time off to recharge. Because you owe it to your coworkers and the people you stand for to perform at your best every day, you should avoid letting stress and exhaustion get in the way.
Working with a professional lawyer answering service for lawyers can do wonders for both your professional and personal well-being. Knowing that your calls will be answered promptly and competently even after you leave the office allows you to relax and take pleasure in the rest of your day. And if something comes up while you’re out of the office, you can rest easy knowing that your calls will be answered by a professional answering service—a lawyer answering service.
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