Selecting an Answering Service For Your Criminal Defense Law Firm

Because you are a criminal defense attorney, your services might be in high demand. You or your staff might be receiving a higher number 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.

A Legal Answering Service Relieves Your Receptionist or Secretary of Stress

You can use a legal answering service in any capacity you require. In case you already have 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 or secretary having to find a way to respond to the high volume of phone calls you can alleviate their stress by directing overflow phone calls to virtual receptionists when your in-hose secretary or receptionist isn’t available (during weekends, after hours, or breaks).

Keep Your Legal Staff Working

At busy phone call time, most firms will order their non-receptionist team to process clients’ calls. But to do so, these paralegals and lawyers have to interrupt their concentration 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 have to make your employees interrupt their duties for client phone calls. Rather, they can go on working on working on clients’ cases regardless of the number of calls you receive.

24/7/365 Availability

Arrests happen all the time. For instance, DUI mostly takes place at night and on weekends. Traffic violations may also happen 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 it is your clients want then provide them with the required info to start working with you.

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 have an adverse effect on 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 service. In case you have experienced many hang-ups by clients or prospects, it is likely that they’re frustrated by being incapable to talk to you.

Another reason a client would 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.

An attorney 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.

All Phone Calls Are Processed & Categorized for You

Another reason you should use a lawyer answering service is that it will give you an easy time as far as call processing and categorizing is 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, its priority, etc.

Imagine coming to your office in the morning to find a list of phone calls received overnight that you do not have to do anything else 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?

Significant Cost Savings

Your in-house receptionists are what enables you to continue 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, whenever it is a holiday or are on vacation, you’ll either have to hire temporary assistance or burden other employees with their work. Even hiring temporary employees will mean time lost since you will have to train them on your office procedures.

Answering agents work for you, but they’re on different payroll. They work for the company that offers answering services to you. Since you outsource them in this manner, they can literally save you much money. When you have so little expenses, you can put the cash you save back into expanding your firm.

Appointment Scheduling

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 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 the Spanish-speaking prospects and clients. When you have this option, you can benefit significantly 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 dealing with 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?

Seamless Integration

Automated message recording and phone answering systems are complicated and costly to install. For you to have these services in your office, you must first contract a company to come to your firm and install the systems for you, which could interrupt your capability of doing 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 completely remove the requirement for costly installations & training since the service provider has already taken care of all these. All you’ll need to do is partner with the provider and give the virtual receptionists necessary info. Once you do this, your firm will have the professional representation it deserves almost instantaneously.

Make an Excellent First Impression

You only have one opportunity to make a good 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 a good 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 in search of legal services and have a positive experience with that phone call.

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 services, 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.

An Answering Service Will Help You In Lead Capturing

Apart from all the benefits we have mentioned above, a legal answering service can also help you capture legitimate leads, which in turn, helps you grow & as a legal firm. The following are ways through which virtual receptionists can help you in lead capturing:

Extended Coverage

One of the best assets an attorney answering service comes with that you might not have is its extended coverage. It could be that you are missing out on legal leads because you do not have the needed coverage for all potential callers to reach you, meaning you are losing out on leads. At times, local business telephones do not have the ability to receive or make long distance phone calls, but an attorney answering service can answer every call. Having a real, live agent taking any phone calls from anywhere within your area of practice ensures you never miss a single lead.

Lead Generation Scripting

Another significant benefit of partnering with an attorney answering service is they usually use scripting. Scripting helps answering agents identify the emotions and moods that could convert a prospective client into a lead. Usually, an in-house receptionist does not steer phone conversations to maximize the potential of lead capturing. But answering agents have access to lead generation scripts, which provide a structure to work via a phone conversation to raise the possibility of a lead.

Recognizing a Good Lead

An attorney answering service has the capability of training 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 recognize the callers who are indeed interested in your services and the ones 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 truly connect with them. Studies have shown that individuals are more receptive to human voice and are highly likely to respond to this method of communication 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.

Boost Your Firm’s Intake Process With An Answering Service

As a criminal defense attorney, you literally have to be everywhere— advising clients, meditation, 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 successfully, then know that some duties are better handled by others. To maximize the value of your time, 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. 

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