Lawyers are involved in a lot of things in their daily practice. They work between litigation, advising clients, strategizing about cases, negotiating agreements, updating themselves about new laws, and other duties. Despite having all these duties, they must ensure that everything is done to completion.
That being said, they don't have to do everything. Successful attorneys know that some tasks are better left to be done by others to maximize the value of the time that they have. One of the ways that attorneys maximize their time is by using an answering service. An answering service would allow an attorney to outsource the distracting work of answering phone calls and focus on other tasks.
An answering service utilizes professionally trained receptionists on the frontline of communication and eliminates the friction and frustration that criminal defense attorneys usually experience when trying to maintain a good relationship. This article seeks to bring light on different reasons why hiring an answering service for your criminal practice is crucial.
Eliminates the Challenge of Maintaining a Sound Client Relationship
When criminal defense lawyers' time is squeezed, they cannot afford to answer every inquiry into their firm personally. Sometimes these types of calls come at an inappropriate moment, probably during a meeting or when you're handling a demanding project. Other times, handling these calls can turn out to be a wastage of billable hours.
This sort of situation can get in the way of the client's interest and their attorney's line of business. Therefore, an attorney must find the perfect balance of communicating with his or her clients who expect personalized and responsive service. Simultaneously, they must manage the existing clients and build their practice by finding new ones.
All these expectations can greatly affect a client's expectations of attorney availability. Most clients assume that their legal representatives will take their calls and emails anytime. A delayed reply or a call sent to a voicemail would cause the client to lose his or her trust in the attorney. A no response would worsen since a client would be irritated and probably switch to another one.
In that case, a legal answering service would come in handy for a law firm that expects to maintain quality client relationships. Technology has pushed the already-heightened pressure of common legal issues into its extremes. Therefore, clients expect their phone calls to be answered immediately, with clear answers that exist. An answering service will ensure that all client calls are answered immediately and responsibly.
Your Law Firm Will Be Available 24/7
The availability of a law firm to its clients is its lifeblood. There's no point in spending money on improving your business, setting up a fancy law firm, and then remain inaccessible to your clients. You must be able to accommodate clients who prefer to use their phones despite online communication means. Therefore, with the intervention of an answering service, you'll be able to handle large call volumes any time of the day or night. This gives you the freedom to continue serving your clients and providing them with the vital customer services they expect.
Calls will be Processed and Categorized for You
Another reason you should hire an answering service is to organize every call received in your firm according to their priority. It would be disorganized to come into your office only to find a list of calls received overnight, which must be returned. However, with the help of a professional answering service, there'll be no more shifting of voicemails or organizing a list of people that you should call back. Your call answering service operators will return some of these calls and organize the rest accordingly. This will help you save time responding to your clients and free up enough time to handle other tasks.
You Don't have to Deal with Recorded Messages or Hang-Ups Again
Automated phone answering services have proven to be suitable for most businesses. This technology allows calls to be directed to the right departments with a single press button or voice commands. This kind of service might seem suitable for most businesses but can have the opposite effect on a legal law firm. Forcing your clients to wait for a long list of options when they want to speak with someone in your firm would be a source of frustration.
Most clients require prompt response once they contact a criminal law firm. Apart from that, when a real person picks up the phone, this brings some shreds of hope that the firm will handle their legal issues as per their expectations.
The best way to maintain this is by using a legal answering service. They don't rely on answering services or machines. Real people usually answer every call within a few rings. In a business world that's plagued with the use of automated phone answering services, human response to your calls will make your firm stand out from the rest.
Allows an Opportunity to Schedule Appointments
Answering services can also schedule your appointments. All you need to do is provide the operators with your calendar and the parameters they should set and leave them to do the rest. With this kind of service in place, your clients don't have to worry about the possibility of not being able to meet with you promptly.
Saves on Your Expenses
Your employees are the one who allows you to keep doing what you do, but this doesn't come cheap. You must return their hard work with a decent wage, medical coverage, and benefits. You should also cater for the cost of hiring temporary staff members when your permanent ones go on vacation. Hiring temporary staff can lose a lot of time and money when training them to handle your office's procedure.
Fortunately, an answering service offers professional answering services any time of the day on the payroll of the answering service company that you've outsourced. This will save you thousands of dollars and use it to grow your law firm.
Guarantees Seamless Integration
It isn't very easy to install automated phone and message recording systems. To have this kind of service in your law firm, you must hire a company which should install this system in your office. This might interrupt your ability to do your business. Your staff will also need expensive training and additional time to learn how to use these sophisticated systems.
An answering service eliminates these hustles since it is already taken care of by the service provider. All you have to do is request the service for your legal firm, provide the necessary information for the operators, and have professional representation for your office immediately.
Provides Backup for Clients Information
Criminal law firms' operations rely heavily on the information provided by clients. Utilizing an answering service guarantees a backup for your clients' information since most of their communications are recorded. This would be a suitable way to deal with missed calls since you can listen to your clients' inquiries and make necessary plans in time. You can also retrieve information provided by the clients and use it when building a defense strategy. If your call answering service is located remotely, they can send all information to your criminal law firm through text or email. This means that you can listen to the recordings from wherever you are without necessarily being in your office.
Most Answering Services Have Flexible Packages
Every criminal defense law firm has different needs. Fortunately, answering services offer different types of services suited to their client's specific needs. They can offer call overflows, manage calls on weekends, handle incoming calls, all depending on your needs. Accessing these packages means that you can get the services that are best suited to your law firm's needs at sensible pricing.
There are Different Call Answering Features to Choose From
You should know that not all answering services are equal. That's why most of these companies provide different features that you can choose from. Some of the features that you can choose from including the following:
- Integrated law practice management software and legal technology
- Live chats and phone services
- Call forwarding option
- Conference calls
- Optimized for clients' intake
- Call filtering and prioritization
There's No Need to Add a Phone Hardware to Your Communication System
The phone lines that your law firm is enough, even when relying on an answering service. You can also keep your phone number or switch to a local number, depending on your preference. This strategy is enough to save you money and spend it on other aspects.
You Can Connect with Clients of Different Language Background
Apart from the many benefits that have been covered, an attorney call answering service can also provide bilingual operators. This option can significantly benefit and eliminate any language barriers, allowing you to completely understand your client's needs. This is something that your clients will truly appreciate, especially when they're dealing with stressful legal issues.
Guarantees Business Continuity
Whether you have a busy day in court, on holiday, or in an office meeting, it's crucial to continue with your legal operations. An answering service can be the perfect solution to this. Apart from that, they offer peace of mind for unexpected things like a problem with connectivity or being called away at short notice.
In a busy law firm, receptionists must route the right calls and correct messages to the relevant individuals. A call answering service will help you manage and update your information in real-time as the situation changes.
Suitable for Client Retention
Every day, criminal defense law firms are losing business when there is a communication gap. People become frustrated if they can't speak with a human and have to leave a voicemail. Fortunately, using a call answering service for a law firm eliminates this worry since potential clients can reach an operator right away. Therefore, you'll not have to worry about the possibility of moving to the next law firm once they aren't attending as per their expectations.
Common Problems that an Answering Service Can Solve in a Criminal Defense Law Firm
Criminal law firms have a lot of tasks to handle, making their work too challenging. Depending on the size of your defense law firm, these challenges may differ, but there are multiple ways that an answering service can solve them. Here are common problems that an answering service solves in your firm.
Inefficient Time Management
One of the major challenges that criminal law firms face is poor time management. This comes with managing your law firm's time better to serve your clients and maintain a good relationship. A call answering service would at least avoid the distractions that come with receiving calls from different clients. Therefore, you will spend less time receiving calls and checking your phone for missed calls but will focus on more gainful work.
Minimum Client Satisfaction
A criminal law firm can only maintain its success if it maintains a steady stream of clients. Furthermore, a client can only depend on a law firm that provides great communication and customer service. That's why an answering service would be the best thing for your law firm in ensuring that all your customers' needs are catered for. You will also have a high client retention rate through this initiative.
Finding and Managing Quality Staff
Small law firms usually struggle when finding qualified staff or managing their employees. Those who are lucky enough to employ staff can find it challenging to find reliable and helpful staff. A small law firm spends less time hiring and training, making it challenging to find trustworthy people.
As mentioned above, an answering service eliminates the hustle of employing new staff and the risk of finding unreliable ones. These companies hire and train staff members who are best suited for the services that they offer. Therefore, you will have well-trained staff members at your disposal once you need them.
Hire the Best Answering Services Near Me
When a client chooses your law firm, it means that they have trust in your services. Don't let this crucial relationship fail due to the lack of communication between your firm and its clients. An answering service would be the best solution towards achieving this goal. Their operators are always ready to answer all sorts of questions, capture crucial information, and ensure a seamless operation of your criminal defense law firm.