Is an Answering Service for Lawyers Right for My Practice?
No matter what type of law you practice, we know that you’ve got a lot of tasks on your plate and that all of them are pretty hands-on. You’re the one who needs to meet with your clients and discuss contracts, strategies, and next steps; you often need to handle the majority of cases yourself, even if you have a team supporting you.
What if we told you that there was one huge task that we could take off your plate? That you didn’t have to deal with answering too many calls on a regular basis?
Lawyers are often nervous about the idea of answering services, especially with concerns of confidentiality and the urgency that many of their cases require, but they also have a change of heart once they hear about what benefits the services can offer. In this post, we’ll take a look at whether legal answering services are right for your practice, and what you should look for if you decide to hire one.
What Are Answering Services Exactly?
Answering services are pretty much what they sound like: when someone calls your office number, if for any reason you don’t want to be (or can’t be) the first person they get ahold of, we’ll be the ones to answer it.
Are you on the phone with another client? In an important meeting or in court? Set up an overflow scenario with your phone carrier to ensure that the answering service gets the call. Just want a few minutes to grab lunch in peace, or enjoy a night off?
Forward your calls to your answering service when you leave the office and relax knowing that our agents are able to handle client intake calls, resolve basic questions and that we’ll get in touch with you if it’s something urgent.
All of this can happen seamlessly, improving your clients’ experience (and yours!) without any sacrifice.
Why You Need Them
In addition to the basic advantages discussed above, there are three reasons why law firms, in particular, can benefit from a specialized answering service that’s ready to support them. Let’s take a look at each one.
They’ll Alert You to Emergencies
Some clients — or potential clients — will call lawyers in the middle of the night with an urgent emergency. This is particularly common in certain fast-acting specialties, can often affect those including car accident attorneys, criminal defense attorneys, and even family attorneys.
Other clients will call in the middle of the night, on the other hand, with non-emergencies.
Guarantee that you’re getting as much sleep as possible and enough time at home with your family and friends to recharge by using an answering service. We’ll handle calls after hours, and if there is a true emergency, we’ll call to wake you up. If not, we’ll pass along the message in the morning if we’re unable to resolve it ourselves.
They’ll Schedule Appointments
Most attorneys have insanely busy calendars but know that actually setting up the appointments can take almost as much time as the appointments themselves. You have to qualify the leads, deal with the interruption, and then try to get back into a productive mindset.
Answering services will help with this, preventing distractions while helping you capture initial lead information and set up appointments. We’ll be able to gather all the information necessary to ensure the potential client is likely to be a good fit for you so the initial meeting will go well.
They Handle All Call Overflow
You never want to worry about missing a single important call from a client or about a case, even on holidays or at late hours, but sometimes calls are coming in while you’re with another client or even on the phone with someone else.
Overflow service allows calls that would typically get a busy signal or your voicemail will instead be routed to one of our expert agents, preventing you from needing to hire and train a receptionist. We can handle call overflow 24/7, 365 days a year so that nothing is ever overlooked.
What About Confidentiality?
Confidentiality is one of the biggest concerns that most lawyers have when it comes to trusting outsiders with anything related to their practice, and for good reason: you’re dealing with sensitive information that your clients are trusting you with.
We understand this and respect it. The right answering services, like PATLive, will listen to what you do and don’t want us to be able to discuss with your clients; if you want us to only take messages or to handle call routing, we can do that.
How to Choose the Right Legal Answering Service
If you decide to invest in a legal answering service, you should watch out for the following features that will come in handy for lawyers and attorneys:
The ability to book appointments or resolve initial client questions
Services like ours will only answer questions that you’ve given us the okay, and we can follow a script explaining that callers need to talk to the lawyer directly for legal advice. This will free up any of your legal aids.
Fast answer times
Legal matters can be urgent, and we get that. We answer 90% of calls in 20 seconds or less, so your clients never have to wait (and if it’s important, neither do you).
Experienced, U.S. agents
You never want to outsource an answering service to someone outside the country. We only hire states-based agents who are native speakers.
If you have any Spanish-speaking clients opt for an answering service that offers bilingual capabilities. We can accommodate your Spanish speaking clients as well as those calling to speak to someone in English.
It’s essential to choose an answering service that values confidentiality around sensitive information. As we discussed above, that’s a priority for us for all clients and is included in our legal answer services.
If you’re on the fence, consider that we offer specialized legal answering services, with experience in the following fields:
- Individual attorneys and lawyers, as well as practices
- Bankruptcy law
- Criminal lawyers
- Business lawyers
- Employment lawyers
- Estate planning
- Immigration law
- Family law
- Legal assistance services
- Personal injury law
- Real estate law
- Tax lawyers
- Traffic lawyers
- Wills and probate services