Many lawyers stay in their offices after business hours and take calls from clients, especially when they are just starting out. However, this is not a sustainable strategy in the long term.
Attorneys will eventually need to hire a legal receptionist to assist them with call handling, doing client intake, and responding to client questions. While hiring a receptionist might solve problems during most business hours, an in-house receptionist will not be able to take calls 24 hours a day 7 days a week. What a lawyer truly needs is a phone answering service, so that they any potential incoming client reaches someone to speak with.
Here are a few reasons why after hours phone answering service is a necessity for lawyers.
1) People often call after hours
According to Forbes, 72% of callers simply hang up if they are directed to voicemail. Another 67% of callers hang up if they cannot speak to a live receptionist. A staggering 75% of callers feel they wait too long to speak to customer service agents - especially when stuck in phone trees. These numbers tell us that customers are not happy when businesses don’t answer their calls quickly. Your chance at making a great first impression is lost if the call is not answered.
The solution to all these problems is to subscribe to a live answering service. Your legal clients can call you whenever they choose to, and they will receive excellent client service regardless of the time they call. Live answering services help create the appearance your legal practice is available during after hours, weekends, public holidays, and even when you are busy presenting a case in the courtroom.
2) Build your reputation
American businesses lose $62 billion on average, just because they can't provide great customer service. This shows how important it is to provide excellent customer service both during and after business hours. Being available 24 hours a day, and 7 days a week is the hallmark of every successful enterprise. If you want to build your reputation and look like a pro, one of the first steps is to begin using a professional phone answering service.
Legal answering services handle calls, answer client queries, perform intake, provide information about the firm. They also take notes, enter client details into web forms which connect to CRM tools (customer relationship management tools), and ensure that calls are made to clients when it is necessary. In short, your legal practice will look like a full-fledged enterprise that can give even the most successful law firms a run for their money.
3) Saves Time and Money
Lawyers didn't go to school for customer service -- they studied legal matters. Their time is best spent on casework and their calls are best handled by customer care experts. Answering your firm's phone calls can take a lot of your time and interrupt important work. Instead, subscribing to a phone answering service helps you to save time and focus on actual legal work. In addition, you will avoid paying extra salaries and benefits to in-house staff -- a live answering service costs just a fraction of what you would pay an in-house receptionist.
If we go by the statistics provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, receptionists make an average of $26,760 per year, or at least $2,230 a month. A quality answering service costs as little as $279 a month and helps you save funds that could be used for building your infrastructure, enhancing marketing, and other related business costs.
4) Gives You a competitive edge
75% of online customers expect assistance within five minutes of contact, while most callers hang up if their calls are not answered within 5-6 rings. Live receptionist services can answer calls in 2-3 rings, making you look professional and competitive. Many lawyers are not aware of live receptionist services, and customer care isn't top on their list of priorities. By choosing a phone answering service, you will gain an advantage on your competition. A significant amount of lawyers also think that having 1 in-house receptionist is enough coverage for their firm, and do not realize they are missing calls when the receptionist is out, assisting with other tasks, on break, or after hours.
On average, companies with above average customer experience perform financially better than businesses that have sub-par customer experience. More than 72% of businesses see enhancing customer service as their top priority.
Phone Answering Services Come To Lawyers' Rescue
Being available all the time helps you to portray a professional image as an attorney, and your clients will begin to believe in your reputation. Subscribing to a phone answering service helps you to take calls even late into the night when you are away from the office.
Additionally, not having to take calls personally helps you to focus on building your arguments and making your clients' cases stronger. Most importantly, you will not need to hire in-house receptionists, helping you save money. Lawyers who subscribe to a live answering service gain a competitive edge over their peers.
Hire a phone answering service like Abby Connect who can answer your phones at Monday-Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM in your local U.S. time zone. Abby also offers extended hours as a free add-on which increases coverage through 9 pm PST on weekdays, and 6 am – 6 pm PST on weekends, as well as 24-hour coverage for a small fee. Abby Connect doesn't replace your in-house staff, but works them to assist in providing the best overall phone coverage for your firm.
Abby Connect is known for their exceptional customer service and premium services and features. Their live receptionists answer all calls within 2-3 rings and help give their customers a competitive edge over their competition. You can sign up for a complimentary 14-day trial of all services and features by filling out the form below.