Success in any profession, but certainly in the legal field, can be a double-edged sword. If you do your job well, your revenue and reputation will grow – but so will the list of clients seeking your attention. Your phone may be an indispensable tool, but it can quickly become your worst enemy.
That’s why partnering with a legal answering service makes sense to so many lawyers and attorneys. Below we will answer and discuss the following questions to provide you with a better idea of how legal answering services work, and how your practice could potentially benefit from one.
- What is the purpose of a legal answering service?
- Who uses a legal answering service?
- What services can a legal answering service provide?
- How do I choose a legal answering service?
What is the purpose of a legal answering service?
To say that a constantly ringing phone hinders productivity would be a tremendous understatement. Outsourcing this tedious yet crucial function to a team of friendly, trained live agents kills many birds with one stone. Not only are you spared from the distraction of handling one phone call after another, but also never will your clients have to face anyone distracted on the other end. Instead, a warm, professional representative will greet your callers, record their information, assist them with general questions and scheduling, and forward calls as necessary.
Who uses a legal answering service?
All types of lawyers, attorneys, and other legal professionals can benefit from working with a legal answering service. Solo practitioners and small law firms alike appreciate the cost-savings that come from paying a 24/7 answering service over a traditional in-house employee. Large practices also see the value in them, as they can accommodate a higher volume of business.
Some of the types of law practices we have worked with over the years here at Answering Service Care include, but are not limited to:
- Personal injury
- Real Estate
- Social Security
What services can a legal answering service provide?
Hiring a legal answering service can translate into cost savings for you and a huge upgrade in the service your clients receive. Here are some of the most valuable services that a legal answering service offers:
- After-hours answering services. If your law firm receives a lot of calls on nights or weekends, a 24/7 answering service will impress your clients in a culture that increasingly values constant availability. If you prefer, you and your staff can field phone calls during business hours but leave the rest to your answering service. This allows your firm to still be available for your clients, but also be able to “turn off” and recharge at the end of the day.
- Bilingual virtual receptionists who are fluent in English and Spanish, to provide great service to your callers regardless of their preferred language.
- HIPAA-compliant answering services. Legal firms that handle sensitive private health information are required by law to be (and work with vendors that are) HIPAA-compliant. With that said, the best legal answering services are HIPAA compliant, ensuring that all guidelines are adhered to.
How do I choose a legal answering service?
When selecting an answering service, you naturally want to look for one with extensive experience in the legal industry. Beyond that, you should check that it is compatible with whatever elements of your practice you deem crucial for the role. The following are some valuable features you may want to verify are offered:
- Can the answering service integrate with your legal technology and software?
- Does it offer live website chat services?
- Does it offer SMS text messaging services?
- Are all the calls received by live representatives?
- Does it offer call forwarding?
- Does it log chat transcripts?
- Can it offer 24/7 coverage if your practice receives after hours calls?
- Can it handle client intake effectively?
- Is it HIPAA compliant (if your law firm handles protected health information)?