A criminal defense law firm is a busy set up because many people are arrested every day for violating the law and need representation. As a result, managing incoming calls can be cumbersome, even for an established defense law firm. When calls are too many and you cannot handle them, you could jeopardize the service you offer clients. Damaging your reputation and losing existing and potential customers could lower your income.
You want to regain control of your law firm before you lose all clients. Partnering with a call answering service ensures clients’ needs are catered and your law firm is growing. The service provider you choose can customize your needs to suit your law practice, boosting your clients' confidence. In this article, we discuss the various reasons why using an answering service for your criminal defense law firm is critical.
Benefits of Using an Answering Service for Your Criminal Defense Law Firm
In every type of business, the first impression is critical. With an answering service, your current and potential clients find it easy to reach you. This can be the distinction between gaining new clients or losing some to the competition. Importantly, an answering service permits you to focus on other business aspects while ensuring all your current and potential customers don't feel neglected.
Some of the reasons why you should use an answering service for your criminal defense law firm are:
Avoid missing client calls
Law firms are in the business of selling services. If you miss a call from your client or potential client, it can be disastrous for your firm. The lifeline of your firm's business is sales calls. You can spend a lot of money to market your services and make yourself known, but it beats the purpose if you are inaccessible. With your type of business, plenty of your customers prefer using the phone to make inquiries and book appointments.
Most potential clients also prefer to shop for criminal defense law firms before they settle on one. When a person is arrested for any criminal violation, they ask for references of law firms that can help them or go online to find those near them. Most law firms display their contacts, and the potential clients will call explaining what they are looking for. How the call is received, and their questions answered to determine if they will book an appointment with your firm or not. If the call goes unanswered, they will move to the next available law firm, and you lose a potential client as a result.
Reduces your overheads while increasing your profits
Employing a receptionist is costly, especially if your defense law firm is small and there are not many incoming calls that justify hiring one. Similarly, having one of your other staff members answer incoming calls will distract them from their core tasks and eventually cost you income.
Partnering with an answering service allows you to save a lot of money compared to having a person answering the phone in-house. As a law firm, you will not be required to pay a person's salary for the service, and you will also cut on the costs of having them in your employ.
Answering calls, taking messages, and scheduling appointments, even when you are closed
This is one of the most critical benefits of having an answering service. If you employ a receptionist, they only work during business hours and business days only. However, an answering service will be available to answer your calls, take messages, and schedule appointments with current and potential clients at any time and day of the week.
When a person has been arrested and accused or charged with an offense, they often panic and need help or someone to talk to about their situation. Law enforcement officers are at work all hours of the day and all days of the week, meaning people are charged or arrested for violating the law all the time, and they need help any time.
If they call your office for help and find that you are inaccessible, you soon build a reputation that you are unreliable, negatively affecting your business. Even when the office hours are up, an answering service is available to your clients any time and will take messages that it passes on to you promptly. Additionally, depending on your terms of service, the service can schedule appointments for clients and answer relevant questions raised by them. This helps build confidence in your law firm, increasing your client base.
Increases freedom allowing the team to create more revenue and increase your business
One of the critical goals of any business, including a defense law firm, is to maximize income generation and growth for their business. With an answering service, you create your staff's environment to generate income and grow the firm. Dealing with incoming calls can be distracting and time-consuming, especially answering every call with standard inquiries.
Besides, an answering service selects calls and forwards them to screen them during busy hours when your focus should be work and no distractions. This allows you to know if the phone call is important to be picked or people selling you office supplies. With an answering service, many day-to-day issues are handled when clients call, permitting your team and yourself to focus on growing the law firm.
Booking appointments and managing your calendar
Lawyers are busy. You will need efficient service in managing your calendar and booking your appointments between dealing with new cases, researching, dispositions, and court appearances. Depending on the answering service you partner with, many of them offer this service as well. Answering services also act as switchboards for your law firm transferring incoming phone calls to the person appropriate for it. Canceling appointments and rearranging them is also possible with an answering service.
Personalized service for your law firm
Some people believe that the answers you receive from an answering service are the same for all businesses. Fortunately, this is not true. Depending on your requirements, you can have the service customized to your law firm's needs. Your answering service provider will take your messages and do away with unwanted calls at the basic level.
Some firms may want more from an answering service. In this case, you can present a script and a brief of what you want to be communicated to your callers. You can also describe your services, for instance, a few violations that you represent your clients and even FAQs from clients.
As a result, when a client calls you, they will meet an informed, friendly and polite service that feels like your real business. A good service provider can build the answering service around your business needs, allowing the receptionists receiving your calls to answer basic inquiries that do not require your staff to be disrupted.
You eliminate the trouble with handling, hiring, training, dealing with absenteeism, and monitoring performance
When you hire staff, you must consider more than the salary you will pay for them. The process of finding employees requires time, money, and effort besides monitoring their performance. The resources to spend hiring staff can be channeled to more productive and income-generating activities. With a phone answering service, you eliminate the stresses and responsibilities of finding a competent receptionist.
Answering services create an image of size
Some clients have the illusion that a big firm is what will offer them the best services. While this is not the case, you would not like to lose clients because they assume you cannot help them if you are a small firm. When an answering service greets potential clients, they often assume the firm is big in size. This gives a good reception for your firm, boosting your client's confidence.
You can receive messages from any place
Answering services ensure that your messages are securely stored, meaning you cannot accidentally delete or lose important messages. Importantly, answering services allow you to access a catalog containing your messages from any location. This is important when you need to attend to important messages or return calls of your clients or potential ones. Answering services also ensure there is no slip-up in communication, keeping everyone in the know.
You can have your incoming calls recorded for future reference
Record keeping for referencing is a critical aspect of a law firm. Your law firm can have recordings for the calls made to you that will allow you to have details that may have been forgotten while passing the information along. If you desire your incoming calls to be recorded, doing it in-house can be more expensive than outsourcing the service through an answering service.
Increases your staff's productivity
According to research, calls in the workplace cause the biggest distraction among the staff. When your staff is constantly dealing with incoming calls, their workflow is interrupted, breaking the momentum. Answering the call is not necessarily what wastes time, but finding their way would back to what they were doing before the call wastes time.
A lot of calls that can be dealt with later cause a significant drain on every staff member. Instead of being productive, they focus on the calls they get. With a telephone answering service, your staff is left to work on client's matters and conclude them faster because they are more focused.
Offering your clients a personal touch
When a client is distressed because of their arrest or case calls, the last thing they want is to find an answering machine. If you have an answering machine in your law firm, it gives a feel of detachment from your clients and reflects poorly on your image.
However, when a client calls your law firm and is met with a friendly human voice that interacts with them, they feel important, valued, and most can calm down. Having a personal touch with your clients shows that you care about their situations and are committed to helping them overcome their predicaments.
You save money on equipment
If your law firm uses a legal answering service, you will not need more equipment necessary with receptions, but your current phone lines are sufficient to serve you. This means you save money on buying this equipment and make changes without costing the firm any money.
Having discussed the various reasons why you should use an answering service for your criminal defense law firm, the next question for you would be who is the best service provider.
Unfortunately, this is a matter of personal preference. But, your preferred service provider must be willing to custom make your service to meet your special needs.
If you are not convinced that an answering service is what you need or want to be sure of its effectiveness to your firm, you can ask for a free trial to help you make a decision. As a law firm, you want to offer your clients the best services possible and manage them most effectively.
Additionally, every business needs to save money and maximize productivity. The small costs that may seem negligent when accumulated or added up amount to much that could be saved. Answering services are some of the ways your law firm can effectively manage the many calls received and save you money.
An answering service that agrees to offer you a free trial is confident of its services. As a law firm, you want to exude professionalism, and customized answering service will do just that. As you enjoy the trial period, make some calls to see if the service provides the clients with satisfactory reception and answers.
If your criminal defense law firm is a small one, having an answering service is useful because you can have a 0800 number that clients can use to access free assistance and support.
The reasons for having an answering service for your law firm outweigh any disadvantages, if any. Answering services make you look professional, give an illusion of a big firm, and give your clients confidence when dealing with you. Additionally, every client feels important because their calls are answered, meaning they don't feel some clients are more valued than others. If you have a criminal law firm and wish to have more clients hire your services or believe in your law firm, partnering with an answering service could help you achieve your goals.