A lot needs to go right for a solo or small law firm to succeed. There needs to be a market for the legal services they are looking to provide, a strong cash flow, and the right team of people around the lawyer. But, even when small firms seemingly do everything right, they still often end up getting outperformed by competitors.
A recent study from CB Insights revealed that strong competition contributed to 19 percent of startup failures. In a reaction piece to the study, Above The Law writer Carolyn Elefant noted that new law practices often deal with similar woes.
“Many lawyers also struggle with competition, particularly those firms that start a practice in a competitive practice area like personal injury or criminal defense without any way to distinguish themselves from large providers that dominate the market,” said Elefant.
So what can solo and small firm lawyers to do gain a competitive edge and distinguish themselves from more established competitors? If you’re one of these lawyers, your best bet is to provide exceptional customer service and go above and beyond to make sure that whatever lead opportunities your firm is generating aren’t being wasted. And in order to do that, you’ll need some outside help.
Investing In A Virtual Legal Assistant
If you want to keep new clients from passing your firm by, having a great phone answering service behind you is a must. And the only answering service lawyers should ever consider turning to is Answering Legal. Our virtual legal assistant team only answers the phone for law offices, and provides the additional phone coverage that solo and small firm lawyers need to grow. Let’s take a look at three Answering Legal features that can give small firms a competitive edge.
Feature #1: 24/7 Live Answering
Competitive Edge: The ability to capture new leads during times in which your competitors are out of office.
If you firm has a difficult time outperforming larger competitors during normal working hours, weekends and after hours are a great time to play catch up. Let us explain.
You see, without an around the clock answering service, you’re forced to rely on an automated machine to field your office’s calls when you’re away from your desk. What many attorneys fail to realize is that the majority of consumers they are trying to do business with have no patience for voicemail, and take being sent to voicemail as a sign that your firm doesn’t care about their needs. An automated machine simply won’t help you capture new leads, and when using one, you’re essentially allowing clients to walk right out the door before they even talk to you.
With Answering Legal’s virtual legal assistant team working on behalf of your practice 24/7/365, you’ll have chances to capture new leads 168 hours a week, instead of just 40. At all hours of the day and night, your firm will have a live voice answering customer calls, and greeting potential clients in a professional manner. This will make a much better impression than an automated message. Our virtual assistants will go the extra mile for your firm too – performing full legal intakes on all of your first-time callers, ensuring that your firm always comes off as impressive during that critical first interaction with a potential client. We’re guessing most of your competitors won’t have anyone available to perform new client intakes during after hours and weekends, giving you a clear competitive edge when it comes to lead capturing.
Feature #2: Advanced Message Taking
Competitive Edge: The ability to work on the go and maximize all new lead opportunities.
Sadly, you can’t be in two places at once. And when you need to spend days or weeks at a time at the courthouse, keeping track of your practice’s incoming calls can feel like an impossible task. It can feel particularly challenging if you have limited or no in-office receptionist staff to help manage your phone lines. What if a game-changing client calls into your firm while you’re away, and they end up going with a competing firm, because you didn’t return their call soon enough? It’s hard to stay focused on your courthouse responsibilities when you’re worried about these types of things.
Answering Legal completely takes the stress out of managing calls on the go for lawyers. Not only will our virtual legal assistants field all the calls you miss while your away, they’ll be able to take in-depth messages. Best of all, the lawyers that use our service receive text and/or email messages at the conclusion of every call to their firm, with full details about the call that was just taken, including any client intake or message information. This way, lawyers never have to be left wondering who might be reaching out to their firm, and can jump into action when time sensitive situations arise.
Feature #3: Bilingual Phone Answering
Competitive Edge: The chance to reach new markets that many of your competitors can’t engage with.
When a law office doesn’t have any Spanish speaking employees, they miss out on doing business with one of the fastest growing markets in the United States. For many firms, the numbers of Spanish speaking consumers in their area can be quite high, and being able to tap into that market is a must for growing firms.
Our legal virtual assistant team features many bilingual receptionists. So when you’re using our service, and a Spanish speaking individual calls your firm, you’ll always have a bilingual receptionist ready to engage with them. This will give you a tremendous competitive advantage over other firms in your community that aren’t bothering to offer lines of communication for Spanish speakers. Just imagine how many new client opportunities will come to your door once you’re able to advertise that your firm has bilingual receptionists.
How Can Growing Firms Afford A Service Like This?
One of the best things about Answering Legal, is that we offer pricing plans for firms of all different sizes and budgets. For example our solo plan provides 50 minutes a month, at just $3.00 a minute. Also available is our Medium plan, which gives firms 100 minutes a month, at just $2.50 a minute. And of course we offer custom plans for firms that require more or less minutes, or any minute total in between. So sure, you could hire additional in-office staff to give you a competitive edge, but why do that when you can get the same quality service from the Answering Legal virtual legal assistant team at a fraction of the cost?
Don’t let competition keep your firm from succeeding. Begin your 10-day free trial with us today, and see for yourself how we’re able to elevate your practice.