As a legal professional, you know firsthand how challenging it can be to create any kind of a work-life balance.
You want to be able to help your clients and answer questions the moment they call your office. But sometimes, there are not enough hours in the day — or enough attorneys in your office — to make it happen.
Plus, those constant calls can seriously interrupt your overall workflow, especially when clients call in to ask the same questions over and over again.
If this all sounds familiar, you’re already in the market for a legal answering service.
But what should you look for to make sure you’re getting the best service possible?
Read on to find out.
1. Ask About Employee Training
When it comes to your legal answering service, you need to look for a company that fully understands that the reputation of your firm is on the line with every call they take.
You need to know you can trust this service to nurture your leads, appease and reassure your clients, and protect client privacy.
Of course, you also need to be sure the service you’re considering is properly training their employees.
Additionally, you may also want to ask about the overall screening process.
You don’t want unsavory types having access to sensitive legal and personal information, after all.
In addition to ensuring the company conducts background checks on their receptionists, also ask what sorts of training modules they’ve completed. Have they earned any sort of certification? How do they maintain that certification and keep it active?
Finally, how will the legal answering service train their receptionists to fit the specific standards of your unique company?
2. Avoid A Long-Term Contract
When you’re considering working with a legal answering service, you want to feel protected as a consumer. You want to feel confident knowing that, if you’re unhappy with the service you’re getting, you won’t be stuck in a long-term contract you can’t get out of.
When you’re looking at potential answering services, find one that allows you to renew your contract on a month-to-month basis.
Additionally, make sure to be clear about the kind of deposit you’ll be expected to pay.
In most cases, it will be equal to the cost of the plan for one month. Be sure to inquire whether the deposit is refundable.
3. Ensure They Offer Services You Need
Depending on the size, specialization, and in some cases, the location of your legal firm, you’re likely going to need a wide variety of legal answering services.
When you speak to a potential company, make it clear what your expectations are, your average client volume, and even the most common reasons why your clients call your office.
Ask how the company can help you with new client intake, lead form responses online, appointment scheduling, and other virtual receptionist services.
Also speak with them about the possibility of CRM integration, email document delivery, and other forms of outbound calling, especially if you have clients that speak a second language. Be sure to inquire about whether or not the service can provide Spanish-speaking professionals.
Is the company willing to offer their answering services around the clock? As a legal professional, you know that most of the time, you don’t always follow a traditional nine-to-five schedule. Consider working with a company that will make it easy for clients to get in touch with your firm when they need to, as opposed to having to conform to standard hours.
4. Ask To Speak To References
Finally, make sure the legal answering service gives you the opportunity to speak with someone who has done business with their company in the past. You won’t know the real truth until you speak with a past or current client directly.
When you speak to these past customers, be sure to ask them how long the installation process took, as well as questions about any hidden fees or costs. Have they experienced any complaints from their clients about phone calls not being followed up with?
Above all, ask whether they would choose to hire this answering service again.
If the answering service seems unwilling to provide you with any references, it’s a sure sign that it’s time to move on.
Ready To Hire An Expert Legal Answering Service?
We hope this post helps you understand the most important things to look for when you’re in the market for a legal answering service.
Remember, ask about the services the company provides, the contract structure, and how they train their employees. Fact-check all the information you’ve been given and always take the time to speak to a past client.
Looking to hire legal answering services you can trust to get the job done right the first time?
If so, we invite you to spend some time on our website and blog to learn more about how our services can give you more time to work, meet with clients, and most importantly, relax.