Letting calls go to voicemail is completely unacceptable! The sooner you accept this, the sooner your firm will take off. Today’s consumer lives in a world where answers to their problems are available in an instant. If a consumer doesn’t get an answer from one particular source, they’ll immediately move on to another for help. So if a consumer calls your firm and gets no answer from a live voice, they’ll move right on to calling another lawyer.
We recognize that smaller firms with limited staff, and even larger firms with a ton of clients, will struggle to answer every call that comes into their office. That being said, letting even just one call go to voicemail is still completely unacceptable!
Just about all law offices will require some kind of call handling help in order to meet their maximum growth potential. Fortunately, there are phone answering services in existence that can help field all the calls attorneys can’t get to themselves. In this blog post we’ll break down three key benefits that come from having professional overflow call handling assistance, and later on, tell you where to turn for help.
Benefit #1- You’ll Stay On Task
It’s near impossible to be an effective lawyer, when you also have to be your own receptionist. Most attorneys won’t mind answering the occasional phone call for their firm, but when they end up having to pick up several customer calls each hour, getting any billable work done becomes highly difficult.
According to Clio’s 2018 Legal Trends Report, attorneys have an average utilization rate of 30%, which equates to lawyers only being able to dedicate 2.4 hours of an 8-hour work day towards billable work. The report indicates that there is already a lot keeping attorneys from focusing on cases, and there really isn’t any time for lawyers to spare on phone conversations, that in many cases can be handled by a receptionist.
With overflow call handling from an answering service, any calls that the attorney doesn’t have time to answer, can be immediately picked up by a live receptionist from an off-site location. Calling customers will still get the instant attention they desire, while lawyers can stay focused on doing the legal work that will actually make them money. In other words, while you’re capitalizing on the financial opportunity in front of you, your answering service will be hard at work securing future financial opportunities for your firm.
Benefit #2- You’ll Be Less Stressed
When there’s a long checklist of things to get done and a ton of phone calls coming in simultaneously, even the best lawyers will have a hard time not becoming overwhelmed. Feeling constantly stressed is going to take a toll on you both physically and mentally, and even if you are able to keep that stress from affecting your work, it will negatively impact your quality of life.
Many attorneys realize what we said at the beginning of this piece is true, and make the effort to try and answer every single one of their office’s calls. Getting stuck on the phone all day, unfortunately leads to lawyers frequently having to work late nights and weekends to get important billable work done, as they try to make up for lost time during the day. The Clio Legal Trends Report confirms this, reporting that 77% of lawyers end up working outside of normal business hours, because they feel they need to catch up on work.
Using an answering service can help alleviate a significant amount of stress from your days. When you have overflow call handling, you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that all your incoming calls are being handled by a live trained voice, even when you don’t have the time to be that voice yourself. Having an answering service will also make it easier for you to manage your work day and actually clock out at five, allowing you to enjoy your late nights and weekends away from the office.
Benefit #3- You’ll Better Meet Client Expectations
New data from Clio’s legal trends report backs up what we said at the beginning of this piece: client expectations are quite high these days. Their lofty expectations extend to interacting with law offices over the phone as well. 59 percent of clients expect to be able to book appointments over the phone, 46 percent of clients expect to get quick questions answered over the phone, and 37 percent of clients expects to get status updates on a case over the phone.
Failing to meet the high phone expectations of today’s clients can not only lead to them choosing another firm to handle their case, but your firm receiving negative feedback in the form of online reviews. These types of reviews aren’t something you can just laugh off, as they will often be one of the first things an online consumer sees when looking up your practice online. In the digital age, clients carry a high amount of trust for the online reviews of their peers, so a bad review can and will cost you new business.
An answering service can help make sure all your clients’ phone expectations are met and prevent your firm from receiving damaging reviews. That is of course assuming you’re using the right answering service.
The Best Overflow Call Handling Solution
Answering Legal is a specialty answering service catered exclusively to the needs of law firms. We provide 24/7/365 service, meaning we won’t just answer the calls you can’t get to during the work day, but calls outside of normal working hours as well. We’ll also have no problem impressing your first time callers, as we provide features like customized greetings and have trained receptionists that can take new potential clients through full legal intakes.
Our service will also provide an important customer service buffer between you and your clients, allowing you to better prioritize which callers need immediate attention and which callers can have their needs addressed at a later time. When your current clients call, our receptionist team can either take a message (the details of which get sent you via text and/or email) or attempt to attempt to patch you in on the call. The end result will be you getting more work done, without neglecting client needs.