Whether you’re an up-and-coming law firm or just looking for a solution to your growing call volume, an answering service may be your best solution. However, it’s unwise to go with your first choice. To make the best decision for your business, try asking these six questions before hiring a legal answering service.
What is a Legal Answering Service?
A legal answering handles the incoming call volume of a law firm. A primary receptionist can only handle so many calls within a day. As firms grow, they often need greater assistance handling an ever-growing call volume.
A quality answering service provides so much more than basic phone answering to a firm, however.
What Does a Legal Answering Service Do?
Aside from answering basic inquiries and even appointment setting, a good answering service tailors its offerings to specific business needs. These services include:
- Virtual Receptionist
- Legal Intake
- Automated Call Routing
- New Client Intake
- Overflow/After-hours Support
- Web Form Submission Responses
- CRM Import/Support
- Email and Snail Mail Delivery
Additionally, law firm answering services help in short-term campaigns as well. For example, if a firm takes on a class action suit, they can gain the assistance of a contact center for outbound calling in areas such as:
- B2C Lead Generation
- Finding Settlement Recipients
- Follow-Up Calls for Interviews
- Follow-Up with Paperwork
- Calling Out and Responding to Plaintiff Calls and Emails
Six Questions You Should Ask
Before you make a final decision on any law firm answering service, be sure they have good answers to the following questions:
1. How Much Experience Do You Have?
Ensure that any answering service you choose actually has experience in a relevant area. Explore their website and find any case studies, sell sheets, or other information they have regarding their work and experience in the legal industry.
With experience comes reviews. Research beyond their website to see what other clients have to say about them. Consider how many reviews the company has along with how frequently reviews are posted and responded to.
2. What is Your Call Center’s Availability?
The contact center’s availability is an extremely important consideration. For example, the agents answering calls may be in a different time zone. Business owners need to ensure that, regardless of time zone, the agents they pay for are able to handle their call volume whenever assistance is needed.
Ideally, most business owners seek out contact centers with 24/7 availability. Agents handle call volumes at all hours, even with the business itself is closed. Covering calls at all hours is crucial for any business – especially a law firm.
3. Do You Cover Legal Intake?
One of the most vital services a legal answering service provides is one that ensures new clients are heard and their cases are taken on. As most firm owners and partners know, legal intake is the lifeblood of the firm.
A good legal or attorney answering service offers trained agents who specialize in legal intake. They screen calls for firms large and small with the capability of receiving hundreds of calls, chats, and website form submissions daily.
4. Do You Have Bilingual Agents?
Not having bilingual or multilingual agents means a firm alienates a large portion of potential clients. Hiring them on your own can cost you around $30,000 per year. A legal answering service should offer several language options, if not as many as possible.
Along with having bilingual and multilingual agents, the contact center should also have trained agents who specialize in communicated in American Sign Language or other communication methods for disabled individuals.
5. Are You Able to Customize Your Services?
No law firm is the same. As such, they require something more than a one-size-fits-all solution. Contact centers with a wealth of experience in the legal industry understand the needs of the niche. They also know how those needs change depending on if the firm is either small or a large enterprise.
Contact center scalability is also a key factor. As a firm’s needs change, the contact center of choice should be able to scale up or down. If the firm suddenly takes on a class action, the contact center should quickly adapt, prepare, and get on the phones as soon as possible.
6. Are Your Agents and Staff Trained Specifically in Law Firm Answering?
It quickly becomes apparent to any caller if the agent knows what they’re talking about. A professional, courteous, and knowledgeable agent is the difference between securing a client or losing a great opportunity.
It is an absolute necessity that a contact center’s agents are trained specifically on law firm and legal answering. They must be familiar with the client firm as well as industry terminology and general procedures. A professional agent immediately establishes trust in the caller that their case is in good hands.
Learn More About Our Law Firm Answering Service
AnswerNet is proud to be a veteran in the legal answering space. Our services range from virtual reception to legal intake and class action suits.
We train agents to act as an extension of the client firm’s team. We work with firm owners to develop scripts to that all calls are handled to individual specifications.
Agents have unlimited availability, answering calls 24/7/365. We’re devoted to being on the phones when a firm’s in-house team can’t be, and we ensure that the firm’s clients get the care and attention they deserve.
If you’re ready to learn more about what AnswerNet can do for your firm, contact us today.