Most attorneys feel they need to speak with every potential client before an appointment is scheduled. This is not the case. What if the potential client never makes an appointment? What if the client is just shopping around or chooses to go in another direction? You can waste of lot of valuable time screening calls. Your time is better spent serving your existing clients. If you have trained support staff, you can delegate the screening process to your staff. If you don’t have support staff and you answer your own telephone, you need a capable answering service to screen your new client calls. There are several professional legal answering services that cater specifically to attorneys.
Here are four benefits to outsourcing your new client calls to an answering service:
You Get All The Necessary Information
New potential clients don’t always call during regular business hours. If they get your voicemail, they usually hang up instead of leaving a message. If they leave a message, they ordinarily leave only a name and phone number. You are then required to return the phone call without having any knowledge what the potential client was calling about. You may end up wasting 20 or 30 minutes of your time on someone who has no intention of hiring you. If you handle 3 of these calls in one day, you’ve wasted an hour of your (unpaid) time. Answering services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you provide a script, the answering service can effectively screen your new client calls and immediately contact you when you need to follow-up with a potentially valuable client.
You Are Free To Practice Law
Fielding calls from potential clients can be an enormous drain on your time. You have a tight schedule and any drain on your time can throw your entire day off. As you know, it’s normal for people to want to discuss their legal problems as soon as they get a lawyer on the telephone. You would much rather do this face-to-face with a potential client you know will probably end up hiring you. Although the telephone operators at an answering service can’t provide legal advice, they can do a good job of screening potential clients for you. This allows you to determine which clients you want to dedicate your time to.
You Never Miss A Call
Clients and potential clients alike call after hours. They call while you’re in court or out of the office on an appointment. If no one answers the telephone and the call goes to voice mail, potential clients will hang up and move to the next attorney listed in the yellow pages or on the internet. With an answering service, a potential client can speak with a live person. An answering service will help to capture those clients who don’t want to leave a voicemail message and would otherwise move on to another attorney.
You Are Able To Better Utilize Your Staff
If you run a small practice, you may have a legal assistant who also acts as a receptionist. Is she more valuable as a legal assistant or as a receptionist? The answer is: a legal assistant. Less time answering the phone means more time doing important client work and helping you out. Keeping your staff focused on what’s important is a valuable way to increase the revenue for your law practice.
As you can see, hiring an answering service to field your calls can do a lot to improve your law practice, but there is much more you can do to grow your practice. To learn more about marketing for your law practice, fill in the contact form on this page and I’ll immediately send you my FREE Law Firm Online Marketing Report.