Message taking is one of the most basic features of any answering service. After all, if you’re not getting the messages your callers leave, why even have an answering service?
And yet, there’s a lot that can go wrong with your messages. Other answering services might not get enough information in your messages, might get some of that information wrong, and may take forever to send you the message in turn.
Here at Answering Legal, we take pride in making sure that our messages contain all the relevant information about a call, that those details are accurate, and that they’re delivered immediately. Below, we’ll go into detail on how we make sure that gets done, and why that matters to attorneys using our service.
How Our Message Taking Works
Before we can talk about what our message taking can do a for a law firm, let’s walk through how it works, step by step:
- First, when a call comes in to one of the law firms using our service, one of our virtual receptionists handle that call according to that law firm’s call protocols, including legal intake.
- Throughout the call, our receptionist takes notes about the information needed for that call’s message.
- Once the call concludes, our receptionist immediately begins preparing the message.
- We add all relevant information to each message; things like the caller’s name, their contact information, their reason for calling, the contents of the legal intake, if applicable, any message they wanted to leave, and more.
- Then our receptionist immediately sends that message to the law firm via text, email, CRM, or any combination of the above.
As we’ll get into later in this blog, this process is highly customizable. Each of the law firms using our service requires something different from us, and these differences can range from minor alterations to major changes.
The fact that each of the firms using our service need something different from our message taking raises a question: how do we make sure that our service is accurate and mistake-free?
The answer to that question lies in our training program. Our receptionists undergo months of training before they ever pick up the phone for a law firm. And even once that initial training is done, they still attend weekly training sessions to learn about how the preferences of the firms they answer for might have changed. If you’d like to learn more about how we train our receptionists, click here.
Now that you know how our message taking works, let’s go deeper on what makes us stand out from the other answering services offering to handle your calls: instantaneous messages and customization.
Our Messages Are Sent The Moment The Call Concludes
Have you ever missed a call, had it go to voicemail, and then forget to check your voicemail for hours, or even into the next day? Missing a call is bad enough, but if you aren’t able to immediately check who called and what they were calling about, you might miss out on important business.
And yet, attorneys aren’t always able to check their voicemail. If you’re busy, sometimes you only have time to take a quick look at your phone. And if you don’t recognize the number that called, you’re out of luck. That’s where our instantaneous messages come in.
Unlike other answering services, we send our messages immediately after the call is over. Attorneys using our service never sit around waiting for a message, which means they always know what’s going on with their firm.
In order to make this happen, our software doesn’t allow our receptionists to take another call until they collect the information gathered within the call and send it to the firm they answered for. It’s a simple but effective solution, and it leads to some fantastic results for our clients. Below, we’ll go into why instantaneous, detailed messages matter to the attorneys using our service.
The Instantaneous Difference
Quite frankly, if you aren’t getting your messages immediately, then you aren’t really in control of your phone lines.
According to Clio’s 2021 Legal Trends Report, 71 percent of legal consumers prefer initially reaching out to law firms over the phone.
Our clients delegate their phone answering to us because their time would be better spent elsewhere. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t still be in control of the most important communication method their firm has.
In addition, in 2019, Clio’s Legal Trends Report found that 79 percent of law firm clients expect a reply within 24 hours. But in 2018, an ABA study found that 42 percent of the time, it took law firms over three days to respond to a voicemail.
It’s clear that legal consumers want to speak to a lawyer right away, and also clear that attorneys aren’t the best at meeting that demand.
That’s why our messages are sent immediately. We want to help our clients succeed, and in order to do that, we operate as an extension of their firms. We strive to make sure that not only will their callers think our receptionist is in their office, but that they might not be able to tell the difference themselves.
Our Message Taking Is 100 Percent Customizable
As we teased above, every part of our message taking process is customizable. Mainly, the firms we answer for adjust the information our receptionists gather and send in their messages.
Our receptionists can take down any information a law firm might need. Usually, a firm will stick to the basics (caller’s name, contact information, reason for calling, etc.) and also add in a few practice-area-specific questions.
For example, traffic attorneys might want to learn the date of the violation, while family attorneys might want to know if there was a prenuptial agreement. These questions can also be included as part of the legal intake for new clients, which will also be sent in every message following a new client call. If you’d like to learn more about our legal intake process, click here for an in-depth guide.
We can also customize how attorneys using our service receive their messages. Most of our attorneys opt for text messages or email (or both). But thanks to our automatable processes, we can do much more.
For example, we can deliver messages straight to your CRM. If you use a desktop messaging program, we can make sure you get a notification whenever a message comes in. And if you just want the information from our messages sorted into new client files for your perusal on your CRM, we can do that too. If you’d like to learn more about our software integrations, click here.
Why Customization Matters
As we mentioned above, we pride ourselves on acting as an extension of your firm. We want our receptionists to answer every call as if attorneys using our service had trained them themselves. If we’re providing a cookie-cutter service, then we aren’t meeting that goal, and we aren’t fulfilling the needs of the firms using our service.
In addition, legal assistance is a highly personal business, as you’re helping people with, often, very sensitive issues. Legal consumers want to feel like they’ve contacted a lawyer and made some progress toward solving their legal problems, which is exactly what happens once our clients customize their service.
Finally, every law firm is different, and has different needs. We’ll pick one example: every business needs to pick up the phone, but lawyers need their receptionists to be proficient in legal intake, and every firm’s legal intake process is different. If we didn’t prioritize customization, we couldn’t make sure that every firm gets the most out of our service.
Answering Legal Makes Sure You Never Miss A New Client
If you’re looking to delegate your answering, we hope this blog has convinced you that our message taking service is unlike others in the industry. Not many other answering services can say that they’re 100 percent bilingual, U.S. based, and specialize in answering for law firms.
All of our virtual receptionists work from inside the US, so we never outsource our clients’ calls. We can provide all of our services in both English and Spanish, and bilingual message taking means there will never be a language barrier or miscommunication.
Finally, we mentioned above our months-long training process. We can afford to train our receptionists so long because they only answer for lawyers. They become experts in answering for law firms like yours, able to improvise and adapt to overcome any challenges answering for so many law firms may provide.
Make more time for the work that matters. Click here or call 631-686-9700 to sign up for our free trial. For a limited time, we’re offering firms that sign up for our service their first 400 minutes free.