Once upon a time, voicemail was a useful tool for law firms. For over a decade, however, voicemail has been through a steady decline. Fewer people leave voicemail messages than ever, often preferring instead to hang up and try calling somewhere else.
But how do you handle your phone when you’re out of the office, or your receptionist is out for the day? Nowadays, there’s a better solution than voicemail: legal virtual receptionists. Speaking to a live person makes callers feel they’ve reached your firm, making them much less likely to move on to another firm than if they left a voicemail.
Are you still hanging onto your voicemail, despite its decades-long decline? Here are three reasons to ditch your voicemail and hire a legal virtual receptionist.
Your Clients Hate Voicemail
In the age of same-day delivery and on-demand entertainment, people just don’t leave voicemails anymore. Consumers want everything as soon as possible, and that means that legal consumers want their legal issues resolved the same way. A caller who gets the opportunity to leave a voicemail might feel like your office isn’t as responsive as it could be and forgo the voicemail altogether to find someone else.
Think of it this way: what prospective clients want most is to describe their legal issue to you, the attorney, right away, and get your help as soon as possible. They understand having to speak to a receptionist first; attorneys are busy people, after all. But a voicemail isn’t even a decent substitute or a distant third; callers are likely to just hang up rather than leave a message. Your leads want to feel like they’ve reached your firm, not a recording.
As an extension of your firm, a legal virtual receptionist will make callers feel they’ve taken the first step in a journey that ends with you resolving their legal issue. You can design the greeting the virtual receptionists use, so you can make sure callers always feel they’ve reached your office. With a virtual receptionist, you’ll never miss a call, and prospective clients will think you’re much more responsive than they would if you’d let their calls go to voicemail.
You Could Be Converting More Leads
Ask yourself: how long does it take you to respond to a voicemail? Is it minutes, hours, or days? And how many times do you return a call to someone who left a voicemail only to find that the lead has already hired someone else?
With a legal virtual receptionist handling your calls, you’ll be able to follow up immediately. When a new lead calls, your virtual receptionist will be able to reach out to you and check to see if you’re available. If you are, they’ll patch the call to you, so you can give that prospective client the personal touch. After all, that’s the best way to ensure new leads stick with your firm.
If you’re busy at the courthouse or otherwise can’t be interrupted, a legal virtual receptionist can also perform a legal intake, taking a message and sending it to you via text or email. Then they’ll let callers know when to expect you to reach out to them, so you can follow up when you next get an opportunity. In this way, legal intakes capture more leads than voicemail; by the end of the process, the caller will feel like they’ve already started hiring your firm.
Making your new leads feel heard is essential to securing their business. This is something only a real person can provide; after speaking to a virtual receptionist, your new leads will feel a lot more comfortable than if they’d left a message via voicemail. They’ll be able to go into all the detail they want, unconstrained by the timer on a voicemail. The receptionist can also personally assure the caller that you, the attorney, will get all that information and get back to them as soon as possible.
Your Firm Could Quickly Become A Dinosaur
In today’s rapidly changing legal world, it’s important that your firm is always adapting to the times. If you’re relying on out-of-date tech, your clients and new leads will begin to feel that your firm itself is out of date, and may move on to other, more modern firms.
For example: According to Clio’s 2021 Legal Trends Report, remote meetings are a key factor in choosing legal representation for 79 percent of clients. That’s an incredible jump from just three years earlier, in 2018, when Clio conducted a similar survey and found only 23 percent cared about remote capability. In addition, 67 percent of clients stated that both in-person and remote options for consultations, meetings about their case, and other communications.
This example serves to show that the legal landscape changes quickly. If you’re not keeping up and offering remote meetings with clients, your firm isn’t performing to its full potential. Voicemail is no different; the longer you rely on voicemail, the more clients will move on to other firms when you miss their call.
You may think that though consumers are used to instant gratification in other parts of their lives, they may be willing to wait for the right legal representation. While that may have been true years ago, today, clients are spoiled for choice, and another legal option is just a Google search away. If you aren’t constantly adapting to their needs, you will find yourself losing clients to competitors who are. By hiring a legal virtual receptionist, you can ensure that your firm is up-to-date on attorney-client communication preferences.
Make Sure Clients Never Reach Your Voicemail Again
A legal virtual receptionist is the next step in communicating with clients. It’s more immediate and personal than voicemail, and will capture more leads. That’s why you should hire Answering Legal and let our virtual receptionists handle your calls. Unlike other answering services, our virtual receptionists specialize in answering for lawyers. Thanks to months of training before they ever pick up the phone, they’re experts at legal intake, and know exactly what law firms need from their phone answering staff.
Remember that message-taking feature we mentioned? What about the live call patching and legal intake? Answering Legal offers those features and more. Do you already have a receptionist, and just need someone to handle your phones while they’re not working? With our overflow call handling, you can have our virtual receptionists pick up after the third or fourth ring. And since our service is bilingual, you’ll never miss a call, whether it’s in Spanish or your receptionist is on a break.
Ready to ditch your voicemail and start capturing more leads with Answering Legal? Click here or call 631-400-1111 to sign up for our free trial. For a limited time, we’re also offering firms that sign up with our service their first 400 minutes free.