We’ve dedicated a lot of time on the Answering Legal blog to talking about our 24/7 live answering service, and the benefits our after hours and weekend call handling services can provide. We are of course quite proud of our legal intake receptionist team and all they are able to provide lawyers, but we understand why attorneys may need a little more convincing before trusting a company they don’t know, to speak with their prospective and existing clients over the phone.
Instead of asking you to simply take our word that Answering Legal is a must-have service, we want to share with you the experience of one of our customers. Earlier this year Zirkin & Schmerling Law, a Baltimore based law firm, began using our live answering service. In this post, we’ll share with you their story.
Why Zirkin & Schmerling Reached Out For Help
Before signing up with Answering Legal, Zirkin & Schmerling were in the same boat as a lot of other law firms, struggling to answer incoming calls that came outside of their normal office hours.
“Our office was always trying to find a way to be there for our community, but it was very difficult,” said Allen Walker, the firm’s VP of Strategic Services. “One of our company’s core values is to respect our employees personal time. On the other hand we want to be accessible to help people throughout Maryland.”
Finding a balance between being available for clients and not overworking employees was never easy for Zirkin & Schmerling, as they were frequently forced to rely on their internal staff to answer after-hours calls. This constant struggle eventually led the practice to seek outside assistance.
“We knew this was a problem, but did not realize the extent until we implemented our new after-hours system,” said firm attorney Josh Schmerling. “When we first started looking into after-hours options, we were hesitant because our clients and potential clients expect a high level of professionalism and competency from the person on the other end of the phone. Initially, ceding some of that control made us nervous. But it turns out we had nothing to worry about.”
The Answering Legal Impact
In recent months, Answering Legal has proved to be a game changing service for Zirkin & Schmerling. Attorney Schmerling has been particularly impressed with the abilities of our legal intake receptionists.
“They provide excellent service to our office and to our clients,” he said. “It seems like a small thing, but it can be the difference between us signing a new client or having that person take their case to our competition.”
We were hardly surprised to hear such praise for our legal intake receptionists, as lawyers often compliment our team for their ability to become a seamless extension of a firm’s phone answering staff. This of course doesn’t happen by accident, as we put all of our new receptionist hires through an extensive training program, which includes careful schooling on handling legal phone calls and executing advanced services such as the legal intake process.
“Answering Legal has quickly proven to be a wonderful service for us,” Schmerling said. “We are confident that we will continue speaking to people that we may have missed otherwise, and it gives me peace of mind because I don’t have to worry about making myself available 24/7.”
The Power of After Hours Phone Answering
If you were to poll our customers on their favorite Answering Legal feature, you’d likely get a lot of different answers. Some firms love our overflow call handling services, which provides them with additional coverage for when their staff can’t get to the phone throughout the work day. Some are more drawn to our bilingual phone answering abilities, which gives firms the chance to speak with Spanish speaking consumers 24/7. But for Zirkin & Schmerling Law, the standout feature was undoubtedly our ability to answer their calls after hours.
“With Answering Legal taking over our after hours calls, we have been able to find success in keeping to our core values and being there for people who are in need of help,” Walker said. “Answering Legal has allowed all of our lawyers to go home and not worry about answering calls after hours. We are no longer worried about missing a call from a current client or setting up a potential new client. Answering Legal takes care of it all.”
Which of our after hours features has Zirkin & Schmerling found to be most useful?
“If there is a potential new client they set the client up on our calendar without us having to do anything,” Walker noted. “We also receive texts and emails regarding every call that Answering Legal receives. Answering Legal makes life easier for our employees and provides a tremendous service for current and future clients.”
What Walker said is, of course, 100% true. We offer all Answering Legal customers appointment scheduling services, which give our receptionists the ability to book new appointments directly into a lawyer’s calendar. Lawyers that use our service, will also have the ability to view new messages that come in after hours right from their mobile device or laptop, as our receptionists will send it to them via text and/or email right after they finish speaking with a caller.