If you are a criminal defense lawyer, you know legal matters can arise at any time of the day. When your client faces criminal allegations at night or during weekends when your office is closed, the last thing they want to hear is automated voice messages, which does not solve their problem. Most clients who call your office phone past office hours are usually in need of your services, and they need it urgently.
For that reason, most law firms nowadays are outsourcing/partnering with answering services to manage their client's communication channels to ensure no client legal issues go unsolved. Regardless of the type of criminal law you practice, you must have a lot on your plate, and partnering with an answering service can go a long way in improving your customer services and staying competitive.
What is An Answering Service, and How Does it Work?
An answering service or a call center is not something new to many people with business firms that deal with an influx of customers daily. Just like it sounds, an answering service is typically a company that you can outsource in your criminal defense law firm to help you handle all your client queries on various communication channels, for example, emails, calls, or texts.
I know you wonder how these outsiders will know what to tell your clients on legal matters and at the same time maintain confidentiality, which is integral in criminal cases. However, you shouldn't worry about that because you can find an answering service specializing in your type of criminal law practice.
Additionally, experts in an answering service you choose to outsource can liaise with your defense law firm protocols to understand how your office operates and get a hint of your clients' frequent queries. An answering service expert/agent can professionally answer most of your clients' calls or messages on various communications channels without them noticing they are not talking to a member of your office.
How an answering service operates is pretty simple and mostly depends on the directions you give your answering service agents. Typically, when a potential client calls your office phone line, and your office team cannot answer the call immediately because they are on other calls or it's past work hours, that means you need an answering service.
When an answering service agent receives your client's call, he/she will answer it professionally, like a member of your office team. Then, he/she will determine if the call is urgent or not for quick forwarding of the call to the available member of your office team to help the client as soon as possible.
As much as an answering service's primary work is to manage your clients' inbound and outbound calls, they can help your defense law firm in many other ways that you will learn as you continue reading this blog.
An answering service is what you need in your criminal defense law firm if you want to stay competitive in this industry full of experts because you can grab all leads that pop up in your communication channels 24/7 all year long.
Why You Should Use an Answering Service for Your Criminal Defense Law Firm
In all types of businesses, you know customer satisfaction is vital for business growth, and outsourcing an answering service is sure a great way of improving your criminal defense law firm's customer service or experience. There are so many reasons why you should use an answering service in your criminal defense law firm if you want to stay unique and competitive in this industry.
Below we will list and explain some of the great reasons why you should partner with a reliable answering service provider regardless of the type of criminal defense law your firm handles:
Case to Case Prioritization
Another important reason you need answering service in your criminal defense law firm is filtering and prioritizing important client calls. If you are an attorney, you know that every client call is different in terms of urgency, and what may seem like an emergency to one client could be no big deal to your experienced office staff.
For that reason, having an answering service in your criminal defense law firm to filter these client calls in terms of priority and urgency can help you focus on priority cases first. When it comes to any legal issue, prioritizing your client calls can make a significant difference in winning or losing a case.
Because answering service agents will work with you hand in hand to create a customized script to respond to your clients' needs before they start working, you will inform them of the type of calls to prioritize and ones that can wait. An answering service in a criminal defense law firm can prioritize your client cases depending on the type, for example:
Otherwise, without an answering service, you will end up spending a lot of time and resources trying to arrange your client calls in order of priority, which you could apply on other critical legal matters.
Reduces Expenses in Your Criminal Defense Office
Working with an answering service in your criminal defense law firm will reduce a lot of unnecessary costs and expenses in your firm, for example:
The cost of buying new advanced communication equipment
The cost of employing new customer care agents
The cost of expanding your office to accommodate new customer care agents
A reliable answering service stays up to date with the latest technological advancement in their field to ensure better communications with your clients. Additionally, hiring an answering service is not expensive because most answering service providers will charge for the time they spend with your clients.
However, some answering service providers may charge you a flat monthly fee, meaning you will have to pay them even if there were few client calls that month. Generally, answering services for a criminal defense law firm offer differing pricing rates for different services.
Therefore, if you find your prospective answering service, it's upon you to choose the type of services you want them to provide in your criminal defense law firm. For instance, if you have a customer care agent who answers your clients' calls during the day, you should opt for an answering service to manage your client's communication channels after work hours.
There are also answering service providers that offer you their services 24/7 all year long, and they have different pricing for their services. Ensure you inquire from your prospective answering service provider the type of service they offer and pricing for their services before making any significant commitment.
Improves Productivity in Your Firm’s Office
When you notice that your staff spends a lot of time managing your communication channels instead of focusing on other important aspects of your criminal defense law firm, it means you need an answering service. Criminal legal duties involve a lot of paperwork and research, which require time dedication.
For adequate utilization of your regular 9 am to 5 pm working hours, it is wise to consider outsourcing an answering service in your firm to improve your staff productivity and make your business grow. With an answering service in your law firm, your employees will not spend much time on the phone, meaning they can devote their energy and time to other important aspects of running your area of practice.
If you were looking forward to preventing client call overflow while focusing on other important aspects of your law practice, outsourcing an answering service is one great way of handling that kind of problem in your office.
Whether you own a criminal defense law firm or any other type of business, you should know that customer/client phone calls are the lifeblood of your company and will significantly improve productivity in your business.
Whenever a client calls your office line, and there is no one to respond to him/her, you lose your firm's income because every client call on your line is a potential business opportunity. Managing clients' call overflow, especially when there is a limited team in your office, can be overwhelming and might eat up your staff’s productive time.
Can Help You Make a Great First Impression on Your Potential Clients
An answering service can help you make a great impression with every client that calls your office phone any time of the day because their work essentially revolves around talking to clients on various communication channels. Answering service agents know the best way to approach a client on the phone or social media platforms to convince him/her to settle for your firm's services.
Whether you own a small or large criminal defense law firm, chances are you don't have sufficient time to manage all your client calls 24/7. Most of the time, your employees and staff will be busy researching legal matters in the office and serving walk-in customers.
Apart from that, depending on the type of law your criminal defense law firm practice, it can become overwhelming to handle all your client calls promptly, especially at night and on holidays when there aren't staff in the office.
Failure to answer your client calls on time when they need you the most can affect your law firm’s reputation negatively. The ability to respond to all your clients' needs anytime they call your firm's office line and answer all their queries satisfyingly leaves a better impression than an automated voice or voicemail box does.
With an answering service, you can create a better impression on your existing clients and new clients whenever they try to reach your criminal defense law firm on various communication channels online and offline. Impressive customer service makes your criminal defense law firm reputable and results in more recommendations, meaning more income to your law firm.
Handles Administrative Tasks and Reduces Interruptions
Some administrative tasks in a criminal defense law firm are unavoidable, but outsourcing an answering service can free your staff's time to focus on other crucial aspects of your firm's practice.
That 15% of the time your office receptionists spend every day listening to missed call voicemails from your potential clients can be put into other use in your law firm if you have an answering service handling all your client calls 24/7.
Having a reliable answering service handling all your clients' legal queries on your firm's communication channels will save your receptionist much time. Receptionists usually waste a lot of time filtering through your clients' missed call voicemails to determine which call was urgent than the other.
If you have a special client call you need to return, an answering service can help you prepare the applicable information upfront so that you can solve your client query quickly and get down to your business as soon as possible.
Every client call on your office phone line during the day is an interruption that can affect your staff’s productivity and efficiency when they leave their tasks at hand to respond to clients’ queries over the phone.
Some legal issues require attention to detail, especially when preparing legal defenses for a particular client's charge. By reducing the number of interruptions, your staff experience daily on answering your clients' phone calls and messages on various chatting platforms like emails can help you increase your overall efficiency and productivity of your firm.
Having an answering service responding to all of your clients’ calls whenever your stuff is busy or after work hours can reduce the ultimate amount of time your staff/receptionist would spend talking to your potential clients.
In conclusion, it is possible to grow your criminal defense law firm and improve your client's reputation by working with an legal answering service for many reasons explained above. Ensure you take ample time when finding a reliable answering service to work with for better customer service in your law firm because some experts have more experience in this field than others.