Finding the perfect legal receptionist for your firm can take a lot of time and effort. You’ll first need to find an ideal candidate to give the job to, a process which is almost always an exhausting one. Then comes the several weeks of training, in which you must school your new hire on all of the unique challenges that come with being a law firm’s gatekeeper. After all of that, you’ll need to hope you’ve found a trustworthy individual for the job, and that the person isn’t scared off by all of the responsibility that comes with being a legal receptionist.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could skip all that, and instead, build a receptionist for your firm from scratch? For this blog post, we’ve decided to do just that, laying out five qualities we think a dream legal receptionist should carry. Stay tuned for the end of this post, when we’ll tell you how to get this dream employee working for your firm.
1- 24/7 Availability
If you post on a job board that you’re looking for a receptionist to work 24 hours a day and seven days a week for your firm, you’re not likely to get many applicants. But since this is a dream exercise, let’s discuss what your firm could achieve if it had a live receptionist answering calls on a 24/7 basis.
The biggest change you’d likely see is more leads captured for your firm. Failing to answer calls in real time and forcing people with urgent legal problems to interact with voicemail is one of the biggest reasons law offices miss out on new clients. With a receptionist always providing your prospects with a real person to speak with right away, your firm will always be able to make the best possible first impression. Often in the legal industry, it’s the law office that answers first that gets the client, and a 24/7 receptionist would ensure your practice never misses out on an opportunity to earn more money.
2- Experienced With Talking To Law Firm Callers
Being a receptionist for a law office is a lot different than being a receptionist elsewhere. The stakes tend to be much higher, as people will often be calling in about life altering legal issues. The moods of the callers can also be wildly unpredictable, and receptionists are often the recipient of misdirected anger and frustration.
A dream legal receptionist would join your firm already having a great deal of experience with working on behalf of a law firm. This receptionist would be completely unphased by a highly stressed caller, because they’ve dealt with hundreds (or maybe even thousands) of highly stressed callers before. This receptionist would also already be trained on proper phone etiquette. They would know when to listen, when to sympathize and when to politely cut off a rambling caller and transition to offering solutions. When a game-changing new prospect reaches out to your firm, you can trust this receptionist completely to say all the right things and make them want to hire you.
3- An Expert At Performing Legal Intakes
One of the most challenging parts of being a legal receptionist is capturing information from prospective clients. During a new lead’s initial phone call, the right questions need to be asked, and the information recorded needs to be accurate. Law office receptionists also need to come across highly prepared, and inspire confidence in new potential clients when taking them through the legal intake process.
Anyone that wants to refer to themselves as a dream receptionist, must be highly skilled in the area of legal intake. They must be highly familiar with the intake questions your firm asks of new prospects, and adept at getting all of the information lawyers need to move forward with a new case. A dream receptionist would also be able to send all of the personal and case information collected during the legal intake process over to the appropriate lawyer in a highly detailed and accurate message. Having this type of receptionist in place would allow law firms to get new clients started quickly, and keep prospects from shopping around for help with their competitors.
4- The Ability To Speak Both English And Spanish
If your firm is looking to expand its new client opportunities, having a receptionist that speaks Spanish can provide a significant boost. Chances are there are a high number of people in your area who feel most comfortable speaking in Spanish, and would love to use a law firm with a receptionist who is able to communicate in their preferred language.
Being fluent in Spanish undoubtedly belongs on our list of qualities a dream legal receptionist should carry, as their presence allows law firms to confidently advertise their services to Spanish speakers. Law offices with bilingual receptionists immediately gain a significant edge over their competitors, as they’ll not only be able to make Spanish speakers feel right at home when contacting their firm for the first time, but can also take them through the legal intake process much faster. The Spanish speaking population in the United States is constantly on the rise, so having a bilingual receptionist should be a high priority for all businesses.
5- Can Keep Your Time From Being Wasted
Law offices are unfortunately one of the biggest targets for telemarketers and robocallers. Without a proper call handling buffer in place, attorneys can see their work days constantly interrupted by calls that have nothing to do with their business. It goes without saying how aggravating and stress-inducing this can be.
As an attorney you already have enough to deal with each day, and should only be getting on the phone when a call is regarding something relevant to your firm. This is why a dream receptionist must be highly skilled at accessing who a caller is and what exactly they are calling about. They need to serve as your first line of defense in the fight against telemarketers and robocallers, and quickly filter out the people who are reaching out to your firm for the wrong reasons. Your time is incredibly valuable, and the right receptionist will make sure it’s always being utilized correctly.
Where Can You Find Your Dream Legal Receptionist?
We’re sad to tell you that there isn’t one single receptionist that meets all of the qualifications laid out above. The good news is that there is a receptionist team you can hire that is available to answer calls 24/7, is highly experienced with answering calls on behalf of law firms, has been highly trained on performing the legal intake process, features both English and Spanish speakers, and is able to filter away all unwanted calls.
We’re of course talking about Answering Legal’s virtual receptionist team, a group that currently answers phones on behalf of thousands of law firms around the United States. Not only does our service meet dream receptionist qualifications, but we also come significantly cheaper than the cost of paying salary for a full-time employee for your office.
All law practice have the opportunity to try out Answering Legal for free for seven days. If you want to talk to our team about potentially setting up a free trial, just fill out this form or give us a call at (631)686-9700.