When your law firm decides to partner with a lawyer answering service or legal call center, it is important to look for a company that can customize the whole experience to meet your firm’s needs.
Every law firm is unique and provides a different set of services to its clients, so make sure the call center specialists have the ability to learn and follow your exact intake protocol so they can act as a true extension of your practice.
Some call centers do not offer full customization of their services, which can lead to two major problems for your firm:
1. Opportunity Costs from Employees
In many law firms, everyone does everything, from answering the phone and qualifying potential clients to drafting documents and filing motions. This is especially common at smaller firms due to limited resources – multitasking is the norm. However, if this sounds like your firm, it can negatively affect your bottom line.
A customized legal call center can solve this issue by providing legal intake specialists who focus on responding to calls and web leads, qualifying those leads, scheduling appointments on your behalf and even signing retainers. All this while your law firm’s attorneys and staff remain focused on billable tasks.
Be cautious of lower-priced legal call centers that do not customize their intake or offer fewer services. Even though there are savings in the short run, your firm’s team will still have to spend time on non-billable tasks and the cost-savings of a low-priced, uncustomizable legal call center will disappear.
2. Opportunity Costs from Leads
A lack of customization could cost firms thousands of dollars in lost leads. If half of the leads speak Spanish, you will lose those leads – and their revenue – if your legal call center does not offer bilingual services. Similarly, if all leads speak English, paying extra for bilingual support wastes money.
A legal call center that provides a wide array of customizable options rather than a “one size fits all” mentality solves these issues.
Now that you know the problems a lack of customization can cause, here are some essential customizations to look for during your search for a legal call center.
Firms looking for a legal call center should consider the following factors when coming up with a personal, customized plan.
Different sized firms have different needs, especially where outsourcing is concerned. For instance, a bare-bones law firm may use a legal call center for assistance with high call volume and timely follow-ups. A larger staff may emphasize that their legal call center focuses on evaluating leads and making appointments. Any size firm can benefit from a legal call center that offers extra coverage in the after-hours plus weekends and holidays.
Existing Employee Capabilities
A legal call center should supplement and complement what a firm already offers. Unless your firm decides to outsource all intake functions, the goal of a legal call center is to not replace or duplicate the skills of your employees. If a firm has an excellent receptionist or office manager who makes and keeps track of appointments well, a call center doesn’t need to supply this service and can focus on other useful roles, such as gathering details or getting contracts signed.
Leads will contact your law firm in different ways. Some choose the phone while others use email and online lead forms. If a legal call center is unable to reach these leads, then someone in your office will have to handle them. This largely defeats the purpose of outsourcing legal intake.
Instead, look for a legal call center that can answer queries online as well as on the phone. That way, legal intake specialists can accommodate potential clients regardless of their preferred mode of communication.
The answer will determine what types of services your ideal legal call center should offer.
CRM/CMS Software Integration
If a firm already has a functional CRM (Customer Relationship Management) or CMS (Case Management Software) program, a great legal call center should be able to send intake information directly into the firm’s database without interrupting the firm’s daily functions. The result is an easy and useful way to keep track of different prospects and the status of each lead. Otherwise, leads that might convert on the second call could slip through the cracks.
Intake is the first contact between a lead and your firm. The conversion must establish your firm as a leading professional in the legal field. At the same time, legal intake specialists must be able to ask customized qualifying questions to ensure billable hours are not wasted with bad leads.
Best-in-class legal call centers will integrate and simplify your existing intake forms to streamline the process. Once a lead is qualified, legal intake specialists alert your firm using text, phone, or email. Whether the lead is from an online lead form or offline media response, legal call centers can perform an intake successfully.
A customizable legal call center should also be able to coordinate with your firm’s marketing agency. Legal call centers that ignore your firm’s marketing campaign efforts and processes will not understand the context in which leads call. It can also lead to the legal call center and marketing agency contradicting each other on important talking points.
A legal call center should be ready to work with a firm’s agency to support the influx of calls that follow, whether it’s nurturing everyday leads or fielding calls for a specific campaign. How this all is structured varies from firm to firm and their relationship with their legal marketing agency.
All of these customizations are available at Alert Communications, a legal call center providing services since 1965. Customization goes beyond saying the firm’s name in a greeting. It involves tailoring legal call center services to each client’s specific needs. Law firms across the country have benefited from Alert’s trained intake team. For a free consultation to learn what services can best maximize your firm’s ROI, please email us at email@example.com or call 844-694-6825.