Most attorneys and lawyers rely on receptionists to handle their inbound communications, but a legal answering service can do what a receptionist does much more efficiently, and around the clock. A receptionist may be highly talented and focused on their job, but they can only handle so much call volume, and can only be there for so many hours of the day. A call center isn’t limited in this way, and will be there for a firm every moment of every day.
But what can a legal answering service actually do for an attorney?
In short, anything that an experienced receptionist can do, and more. Attorneys have to field many calls every day, most of them concerning potential clients who wish to consult with the attorney regarding a case. Of course, an attorney can’t take all these calls personally, so they rely on in-house personnel, like a receptionist, to screen potential clients and schedule appointments. This is a critical part of the firm and must be handled efficiently.
Although, a firm can easily be overwhelmed with a spike in call volume, and many potential clients are missed because they attempt to contact the firm outside of business hours. The fact is, no one wants to describe sensitive case details to a voicemail, and people don’t like being told they will get a call back. Many of these people will just move on to another, more responsive firm.
A legal answering service corrects these problems for a firm, as it is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Regardless of when someone attempts to contact the firm, there will be a human representative there to take the call. This is particularly important for firms that handle misdemeanor criminal law, such as people charged with a DUI or public intoxication, as they may attempt to contact the firm late at night.
Not every potential client that calls in, though, can be helped by the firm’s attorneys. A legal answering service can help sort through callers and determine who is eligible for the firm’s assistance, using the firm’s standards. This can help a firm screen through hundreds of people to find the cases that are most relevant to the firm.
Beyond these standard tasks, a communications partner can set client appointments, ensuring the proper attorney or paralegal is assigned to the appointment. A communications partner can also set up backend systems for the firm to better organize their cases, even if it is something as simple as modern appointment scheduling technology. But such a system can also be extremely helpful in tracking case progress, recording client information, and keeping track of important deadlines.
A firm should consider their communications partner to be their organizational expert, providing a professional and responsive initial point of contact for potential clients and ensuring that all essential information is passed on and recorded appropriately.