Law offices that still rely on answering machines are unable to provide their clients with the service they deserve. Here’s why and how to fix it.
While the internet has opened up many different avenues of connection, the good old telephone is still commonly the primary and preferred method of communication within the legal industry. There was a time when answering the phone and being polite and kind during regular business hours was all it took to keep your clients happy as they had an expectation of reaching an answering machine after hours. Well, the being polite and kind part still goes a long way, but reaching an answering machine is now often unacceptable.
Your clients need to be able to reach your law office when it’s most convenient for them. People in search of your legal services must be able to get in contact with you on the spot in many situations. Letting callers go to voicemail is not a viable way to take care of your clients or build your firm by bringing in new ones.
The natural solution to this conundrum for legal professionals is an answering service for law firms. 24 hour availability ensures that your law office never misses a call.
Here are some figures to consider when deciding whether or not you should ditch the answering machine in favor of a live answering service for attorneys:
- 80% of business is still conducted over the phone.
- 80% of callers prefer to talk on the phone over email communication for their legal needs.
- 71% of clients will stop dealing with a legal service that has poor phone etiquette.
- 69% of customers will not do business with a law office that does not have good phone skills.
- 60% of clients expect more from customer service than they did just one year ago.
Not all law offices answer their phones around the clock. If yours is one of them, you could be making a grave mistake for your practice. In the past, attorneys could set up an answering machine to let callers know their office hours and then return messages the next morning. In most cases, this is no longer enough.
As an attorney, you know that clients often need services after hours. Whether you handle criminal matters, family issues, immigration law, corporate accounts, or are a general practice, there will nearly always be something that comes up that is considered “urgent.” You want to keep your existing clients happy, and they won’t appreciate listening to a canned recording when they reach your office after hours. Prospective clients will be even less forgiving. They all want to speak with a real representative that can assure them that they are a priority.
An attorney answering service lends your business a higher degree of legitimacy and creates an air of professionalism. High-quality answering services for legal offices are fully customizable to keep calls to your practice on brand and dialed in. In addition, a telephone answering service receptionist can field all of your calls and screen out the non-urgent ones and send you a message so you can follow up at your convenience. This allows you to focus on the important things and not break concentration while in the office while also providing some semblance of work/life balance after hours.
So what are you waiting for? It’s time you ditched the answering machine and partnered with a live answering service for your law office. Contact us today about trying our legal answering services absolutely free!