Welcome to another edition of the Answering Legal Briefing, a monthly blog post in which we update you on the latest news surrounding our company, and give you insider tips on how to make the most out of a legal answering service.
On a recent episode of our “Everything Except The Law” podcast, CASEpeer CEO Gabriela Cubeiro shared a pair of important technological updates that all attorneys should be making. She expressed the need for lawyers to upgrade to Office 365 and adopt electronic signature technology. You can see Cubeiro talk more in-depth about the two updates in the clip below.
While these ideas shared by Cubeiro may seem rather simple, their impact on a lawyers’ day-to-day work life can be quite significant. This got us thinking about simple changes attorneys can make to the way they handle their phones that can significantly improve how their firms operate. In this month’s Answering Legal Briefing, we’ll be sharing the three essential phone answering updates we came up with. And spoiler alert, these updates are going to be a lot easier to pull off if you’re already using Answering Legal.
It’s Time To Phase Out Your Voicemail
As we’ve covered recently on this blog, one of the easiest ways to lose a client these days is by letting them reach your voicemail. When a consumer calls a law firm for the first time, they usually don’t have much time to waste. If they reach out to your office, and get directed straight to your voicemail, the odds of them actually leaving a message and patiently waiting to hear back from you are slim to none. All a consumer needs to do is Google search “lawyers in my area”, and they’ll be presented with countless other options to call for help.
If you want to ensure that your firm has the opportunity to capture 100% of its new leads, you need to be answering the phone live 100% of the time. This may not seem like a simple update to make, but when you’re using a 24/7 phone answering service like Answering Legal, it couldn’t be simpler.
Our virtual receptionist team is always active and ready to engage with new callers on your behalf. Whenever you and your staff can’t get to an incoming call (or simply don’t feel like it), one of our virtual receptionists will be there to make sure your callers are receiving a warm greeting from a live person. This will go a long way towards showing prospective clients that your firm cares about their issues, and is the right one for them to move forward with.
No More Paper Messages!
Upgrading to a paperless office will help you in a lot of areas, and message taking is certainly one of them. If your staff is still writing down messages received from new clients over the phone on paper notes, you’re just asking for trouble. Paper notes can easily get lost in the clutter of a busy lawyer’s desk, and important clients and new prospects may be forgotten about for several hours or days as a result. There’s also always the risk of paper messages being lost, information being written down incorrectly or the lawyer being unable to read the message taker’s handwriting.
Answering Legal can simplify things greatly by having all your firm’s new messages sent directly to you via text and email. Anytime our receptionists record a message on your firm’s behalf, you’ll receive that message in text and email form immediately after the call concludes, no matter what time the message comes in. Instead of having to search through paper messages on your desk, you can simply use your smartphone or computer to review the client messages we send you throughout the day. Our messages are always highly accurate and detailed.
Our message taking system also makes it easier for lawyers to keep track of new messages while they are outside the office. Whether you’re at the courthouse, in a meeting with a client, eating dinner with the family or even vacationing, you’ll be able to casually check in on new messages from existing clients and new leads right from your smartphone. You’ll always be in the know about pressing issues and new opportunities for your firm.
Busy Lawyers Shouldn’t Be Handling Client Intakes
If you’re handling a new prospective client correctly, their first phone call to your firm should take at least a few minutes. You’ll want to take them through a well-thought-out legal intake process, which includes pre-scripted questions about the caller’s background and potential case. For guidance on creating legal intake scripts for your firm, you should check out this post.
The legal intake process is a crucially important step in bringing on new clients to your firm, and should never be rushed through. This is why you generally don’t want lawyers, who probably are already overloaded with things to do, onboarding your new leads. They’ll usually feel compelled to rush through the process and may not leave the greatest first impression on someone who is still deciding if they want to hire your firm.
The best update you can make to help resolve this issue is hiring Answering Legal and letting our virtual receptionist team perform legal intakes on your behalf. All of our receptionists have been extensively trained on performing the process, and we can even incorporate customized questions of your choosing into our intake scripts. All of the intake information our receptionists record will be sent to you via text and email message, so you’ll always be able to act fast when potentially valuable clients express interest in wanting to work with your practice.
That’s it for this month’s briefing. For any lawyers who are currently not using Answering Legal, but are interested in giving the service a try for free for 7 days, fill out this form or give our team a call at 631-686-9700 to further discuss options.
Also be sure to check out our previous briefing: How To Vacation This Summer Without Shutting Down Your Practice