Because you are a criminal defense attorney, your services might be in high demand, and your staff is receiving plenty of phone calls than they can handle in one business day. Whereas these many phone calls are a good thing for your criminal defense law firm, if you’re incapable of answering all of them right away, you’re risking losing both old and potential clients to another lawyer.
Whereas you cannot possibly respond to all the phone calls that come in right away or personally, there’s a way that can achieve this for you— a legal answering service. Let us explore several reasons why you should use this service for your criminal defense law firm.
No More Hang-Ups or Recorded Messages
Automated answering services have worked great for many practices. Technology has enabled phone calls to be directed to the respective departments with only one press of a button or a voice command. But this automation could hurt law firms. Forcing that prospect or client to bear long option-lists when he/she really just wants to talk with a live person in your office only causes frustration.
This becomes even more frustrating when the client dutifully chooses his/her preferred option, only for him/her to be met with an answering machine. In case you have experienced many hang-ups by clients or prospects, they’re likely frustrated by being incapable of talking to you.
Another reason a client or prospect would be frustrated is if they call and instead of talking to someone, their phone goes to voicemail. If this happens, they won’t even leave the voice message. They will hang-up right away and call another firm that will attend to their needs.
A lawyer answering service does not use answering machines, automated systems, or let calls go to voicemail. Here, real, live agents respond to every phone call within just a couple of rings. This form of real, live-person answering service will make your practice stand out from the rest.
A Legal Answering Service Relieves Your Receptionist or Secretary of Stress
You can use a legal answering service in any given capacity. In case you had already employed a secretary or receptionist, then answering agents can be significantly helpful to them at the time when you’re receiving plenty of client phone calls. Rather than your receptionist having to find a way to respond to the high volume of phone calls, you can alleviate their strain by directing overflow phone calls to virtual receptionists when your in-hose receptionists aren’t available (during weekends, after hours, or breaks).
Arrests happen all the time. For instance, DUI mostly takes place at night and on weekends. Traffic violations may also take place after hours. One of the most significant benefits of a lawyer answering service is that a real person answers your phones any time your clients call, be it in the middle of the night, on weekends, or when you or your staff are on vacation. Being available always holds infinite value for clients who might need help urgently. Your answering agents can help establish what your clients want then provide them with the required info to start working with you.
Keep Your Legal Staff Working
At busy phone call time, most firms will order the non-receptionist team to process clients’ calls. But to do so, these paralegals/lawyers have to interrupt their focus and abandon their duties for a while. Once they go back to their critical casework, they might not regain their initial concentration for a considerable amount of time. With an attorney answering service, you never need to make your employees interrupt their duties for client phone calls. Instead, they can keep working on clients’ cases regardless of the number of calls you receive.
All Phone Calls Are Processed & Categorized for You
You should also use a lawyer answering service because it will give you an easy time as far as call processing and categorizing are concerned. Apart from taking phone calls from clients and prospects 24/7/365, they will also organize every call. For instance, since it’s a criminal defense law firm, people are bound to call with different criminal cases. All these calls will be organized according to the type of case (DUI, sex crimes, embezzlement, etc.), time & date of the call, priority, etc.
Imagine coming to your office in the morning to find a list of phone calls received the previous night that you do not need to do much about but return. With an answering service, you won’t have to organize a list of callers to contact back or sift through voicemails. What can you do for clients with all this extra time?
Make an Excellent First Impression
You only have one opportunity to make an excellent first impression. This means you cannot afford to mess it up. If a professional legal answering service is handling your phone calls, you can rest assured that it will create an excellent impression of your firm.
As a criminal defense attorney, creating an excellent first impression is critical. Research has shown that 50 percent of clients will not contact another law firm if they speak to a real, live person when searching for legal services and have a positive experience with that phone call.
Significant Cost Savings
Your in-house receptionists are what keeps you running your firm, but they don’t come cheap in rendering their services. They expect decent benefits, wages, and coverage whenever they are absent from work because of an illness. Additionally, you’ll either have to hire temporary assistance or burden other employees with their work whenever it is a holiday or vacation period. Even hiring temporary employees will mean significant time lost since you will have to train them on your office procedures.
Answering agents work for you, but they’re on a different payroll. They work for that company that offers answering services to you. Since you outsource them in this manner, they will save you a lot of money. When you have so little expenses, you can put the cash you save back into expanding your firm.
Answering agents not only respond to & prioritize prospects & client phone calls, give them info about your business, and take messages. They also come with another advantage— setting up appointments. All that will be required of you is to give them your calendar and parameters of which appointments ought to be scheduled, and they’ll do the rest, even when it’s after hours. Apart from appointment scheduling, virtual receptionists also provide appointment reminder services. They will alert the clients who had scheduled appointments that their meeting is approaching. With these kinds of services, you won’t ever have to be worried about failing to meet with your clients on time.
Connect With the Spanish-Speaking Prospects and Clients
A lawyer answering service also has bilingual virtual receptionists who can answer phone calls from Spanish-speaking prospects and clients. When you have this option, you can significantly benefit since it eliminates the language barrier, enabling you to completely understand a caller’s needs. This is something the clients will truly appreciate, especially when they have stressful legal issues. Imagine how many more criminal cases you may take on just out of the bilingual answering agents understanding Spanish-speaking clients or prospect’s needs?
An Answering Service Will Help You In Lead Capturing
Apart from all the benefits mentioned above, a legal answering service will also help you land legitimate leads, enabling you to grow as a legal firm. The following are ways through which virtual receptionists can help you in lead capturing:
One best asset an attorney answering service comes with that you might not have is its extended coverage. It could be that you do not land legal leads since you do not have the needed coverage for all potential callers to connect with you, meaning you are missing out on leads. At times, local business telephones cannot receive or make long-distance phone calls, but attorney answering services do. Having a real, live agent taking any phone calls from any place within your area of practice ensures you don’t miss a single lead.
Lead Generation Scripting
Another significant benefit of partnering with an attorney answering service is they usually use scripting. Scripting helps the answering agents identify the emotions and moods that could convert a prospective client into a lead. Usually, in-house receptionists do not steer telephone conversations to capitalize on the likelihood of lead capturing. But answering agents have access to lead generation scripts, which provide a structure to work via a telephone conversation to raise the possibility of a lead.
Recognizing a Good Lead
An attorney answering service can train their answering agents to know when a given call is a great lead. Unlike answering agents, an in-house receptionist might not have the required training to handle lead generation or lead recognizing and nurturing when a client intends to hire your services. Luckily, answering agents have undergone training to identify the callers who are indeed interested in your services and those that aren’t.
Give Your Law Firm a Voice
A law firm that only uses social media or email to communicate with clients is missing out on a chance to connect with them truly. Studies have shown that individuals are more receptive to a human voice and are highly likely to respond to this communication method instead of printed text. If you use social media, email, or any other written form of communication, you could hurt your practice and brand image. Using an attorney answering service provides friendly services to your firm that let you stand out above your competitors.
Automated message recording and phone answering systems are complicated and costly to install. To have these services in your office, you must first hire a company to come to your firm and install the systems for you, interrupting your capability to do business efficiently. Not only this but, after they’re installed, your employees will have to undergo training on how they’ll be operating them, which could cost you even much more money and time.
Answering agents remove the requirement for costly installations & training entirely since the service provider has already taken care of them. All you’ll need to do is to partner with the provider and give the virtual receptionists the necessary info. Once you do this, your firm will have the professional representation it deserves almost instantaneously.
Boost the Reputation of Both You and Your Firm
Research has shown that over 50 percent of unhappy clients raise complaints if they receive poor service, thus damaging your reputation throughout the legal practice. Poor customer service can also cost you a lot of money. Most of the complaints raised about law firms stem from phone-based service problems, with the most common being put on hold for too long and rude staff.
A professional legal answering service removes all these issues. It also increases market presence for your firm and client accessibility. This, in turn, boosts your reputation, giving you a competitive edge over other law firms that are not as responsive.
Customization Is Possible
No two defense attorneys are the same, and an answering service understands that you’ll likely want things around your office done in a particular manner. To offer the most personalized services, answering agents will forward phone calls to you precisely as you want them. They also can email info from the messages the clients left to prevent any untimely interruptions. This gives you complete control over your interactions with clients.
Boost Your Firm’s Intake Process With An Answering Service
As a criminal defense attorney, you have to be everywhere— advising clients, mediation, litigation, conducting research, strategizing about different cases, writing briefs, negotiating agreements, and ensuring you stay up-to-date with new regulatory changes and statutes. But you don’t have to do everything yourself. If you want to be productive and successful, you have to let other people handle some duties. To maximize the value of your time, you want to partner with a legal answering service. By placing trained, professional answering agents on the frontline of communication, you’ll eliminate much of the frustration and friction you experience when navigating client relationships alone.