Alright, before you starting reading this blog post, make sure your receptionist isn’t in the room. Are they gone? Okay good, because we need to talk about your firm’s call handling. Now here’s the deal — if you want to see your firm grow, you really need to consider using a law firm call center.
Yes, we know your receptionist really brightens your day and is an invaluable part of your work family, but relying on just one person to handle your office’s many calls is likely holding back your firm. Law firm call centers in the past have earned reputations for being too unreliable and impersonal to properly handle calls for law offices. But, Answering Legal, an answering service that serves exclusively law offices, has completely changed the game.
In this blog post, we’ll put the Answering Legal team up head-to-head with your current office receptionist, comparing how each side performs with top law office call handling responsibilities. By the end of this piece, you should have a clear picture of what the best receptionist route for your law firm is.
Live Phone Answering
We’re gonna go ahead and assume your receptionist is on the ball, and is answering all of your office calls during your normal working hours. But, even the best in-office receptionists fall short of what a law firm call center can provide when it comes to live phone answering. With a high amount of calls coming into your office throughout the day and night, you’ll need to step up your live answering game in order to win over today’s “I want it now” consumers.
A quality law firm call center, such as Answering Legal, provides 24/7/365 live answering. The ability to answer calls outside of normal office hours can make a considerable difference in today’s consumer world, as studies have shown the modern customer has no interest in engaging with automated machines. With a call center behind them, a lawyer will be able to provide a live voice to every single one of their callers, and dramatically increase their opportunities for client conversions.
Winner: Answering Legal has the edge here.
Overflow Call Handling
There will be days at your law office where the calls just keep coming in — often at the same time — and even the best receptionist in the world won’t be able keep tabs on all of them. In order to best serve multiple clients simultaneously, you’ll need multiple receptionists available to answer calls. When using just a single receptionist, you risk callers having to deal with long waits to get in touch with you, or receiving subpar customer service from an overwhelmed front desk worker.
With Answering Legal, you can program calls to your office to be picked up by a law firm call center receptionist after a certain amount of rings. This ensures that your customers always get to speak with a live person right away. Answering Legal will have a whole team of trained receptionists ready to hop on a call at any moment, so you’ll have a great opportunity to connect with every person that calls your firm. Not a single potential client will pass you by.
Winner: It’s Answering Legal again!
Message Taking and Legal Intake
You and your current receptionist know each other well, and that familiarity can matter a great deal when it comes to their ability to take down customer messages and take customers through the legal intake process. Your receptionist likely has a strong understanding of what details you want recorded in a customer message, and how you want them presented. Their ability to meet your message and legal intake expectations, will help you in coming across as prepared and professional in your follow-up conversation with a potential client.
While the receptionists at Answering Legal may not know you personally, they will have a strong knowledge of your business and message preferences before engaging with callers on the phone. Upon signing up with Answering Legal, you’ll have an opportunity to customize your message taking and legal intake processes, giving the Answering Legal receptionist team the ability to provide your firm with the same quality of customer and case information that your regular receptionist would. And remember, Answering Legal receptionists can take customer messages and perform legal intake after hours too.
Winner: We’ll call this one a draw.
Handling Spanish Speaking Customers
If your current in-house receptionist doesn’t speak Spanish, your firm is missing out on serving a large number of potential clients in your area. As of 2015, the United States was home to 41 million Spanish speakers, giving it the second largest Spanish speaking population in the world, only behind Mexico. By not having a bilingual receptionist, your practice is letting a ton of potential business walk right out the door and likely into the arms of your competitors.
Answering Legal can help your firm communicate with every Spanish speaking caller that contacts your firm. Upon your office receiving a call from a Spanish speaker, you’ll have the ability to immediately transfer them to a bilingual Answering Legal receptionist. The receptionist will then perform a full legal intake on your caller and get you the information you need to help take on their case.
Winner: Unless you have a Spanish speaking receptionist, Answering Legal is the clear victor.
Taking three out of four categories, Answering Legal is the unquestioned winner here. This may seem like grim news for your in-house receptionist, but the truth is that the two can work great in tandem. While Answering Legal can effectively serve as a substitute for an office receptionist, the service can also provide them a safety net. Your current receptionist can continue to do the great work they always have, while Answering Legal’s receptionist team will be there to handle all the calls they can’t get to, including after hours and weekend calls.
With the affordable monthly rates provided by Answering Legal, both their service and the salary of an in-office receptionist should be able to comfortably fit in the budgets of most firms. Try out Answering Legal today, and see the difference in makes in your client conversion rate.