Small law firms need every advantage they can get to compete with the big guys. Those giant law firms employ hundreds of people and can quickly respond to spikes in business. Unlike you, they also have someone manning the phone no matter what time it is, day or night. When your clients are expecting the same level of service from you as they’d get from a mega law firm, you have two options: you can disappoint them and risk losing business, or you can hire a legal answering service.
Why Hire a Legal Answering Service?
Although you probably have a legal secretary who sometimes answers the phone, you really need them to spend their time preparing legal documents and keeping your office organized. Instead of wasting that skilled labor on phone duty, you can delegate the task to a legal answering service.
This type of answering service can be configured to act much like a receptionist, with a twist. Instead of paying for a full time employee, you’ll only pay for the time you use. That way, on the days that you don’t get any calls you don’t have to pay someone to sit around waiting for things to happen. It can be a huge money saver for small law firms that are running on a very thin margin.
In addition to catching the calls that happen during business hours, you can have your legal answering service take calls 24 hours a day, increasing your accessibility. Now, if a customer calls with a question or needs legal counsel at 3 am, they get a friendly human voice. You can choose to have those calls forwarded or have your answering service take a message for you to return later, but regardless of which you opt for, your client will be happier having reached a human.
Other Services a Virtual Receptionist Can Provide
Even if you’ve already got a ringer of a receptionist, your growing business may find that some calls still go unanswered. That’s no problem if you have an answering service handle your overflow. When the phone lines are busy, those calls are simply rerouted to your legal answering service and are serviced in the exact same manner as you’d handle them yourself.
An answering service is about much more than just answering the phone, though. Legal answering services can act as appointment setters, offer answers for your clients during a disaster or even connect you with employees far away by providing a virtual office environment. Imagine being able to get your briefs prepared for less by a legal assistant based in the Midwest or eliminating the overhead of a large office by sending your current employees home to work.
Single lawyers and small law firms sometimes have to think creatively to keep their law practices afloat. Although you can’t outsource all your work, there are plenty of jobs that you can send to a virtual receptionist so that you can focus on your clients’ legal needs.