Each phone interaction leaves potential clients and clients with an impression of your law firm, positive or negative. Proper legal phone etiquette will ensure your callers are left with a positive impression every time.
Importance of Legal Phone Etiquette
There are many reasons why providing outstanding phone etiquette is important.
To start, first impressions can determine whether or not a potential client chooses to use your law firm. If they are turned off by that first call, chances are they won’t use your services and go somewhere else.
It’s also vital when working with current clients. It might be even more important than gaining new clients. These are the people who have already chosen to give you their business, who you want to keep coming back, as well as refer you to friends and family to bring in even more business.
Finally, good legal phone etiquette gives your firm an overall professional air and provides your clients with the feeling they are in good hands. This means it is likely your firm will receive good reviews online, and again, it will keep those word-of-mouth referrals coming your way.
Is your intake system following good legal phone etiquette guidelines?
Here are some easy steps to follow.
Step 1: Respond
Simply put, if you want more leads to come in, you have to answer the phone.
It seems like a no-brainer, we know! But you’d be surprised the amount of opportunities lawyers miss out on because they are too busy to answer the phone.
For the modern attorney, there are a million and one things to do in a day. You might be running from court case to court case, attending meetings with clients, preparing cases— you know, doing things lawyers do. The list goes on.
When it comes down to it, there’s often not enough time for basic administrative tasks like picking up the phone. But wait, there’s more…
Ask yourself: during after hours, weekends, holidays, and when you’re on vacation, are you there to respond?
Not being responsive, no matter the time of day, week or year, can hurt your firm’s profits more than you realize.
It’s imperative to have an effective intake system in place to capture leads around the clock. Otherwise, all of your marketing efforts and hopes to grow your client base will go down the drain.
Do what you have to do, but just make sure that you, someone in your firm, a receptionist maybe, or even a virtual legal receptionist, responds.
Responding is the first step in providing superb legal phone etiquette for your clients who expect nothing less.
Step 2: Be Receptive
You’ve made the first step to pick up the phone. Now it’s time to be receptive.
First, make sure to answer by the third ring. This shows the caller that you are attentive and ready to help. Don’t overestimate the patience of someone who is in search of reassurance and support in a time of turmoil. Answering after the third ring can lead the caller to think you aren’t there and they will move on quickly to the next available lawyer.
Equally as important, always show empathy to the caller. When it comes to people dealing with injuries affecting themselves or family members, connecting with them personally and emotionally is crucial. Showing you actually care about the client’s situation and what they went through builds serious trust—the kind of trust that cultivates long-lasting relationships.
Listen to the person as they tell their story and empathize with them. It will go a long way.
Finally, remember to smile through the phone. Doing so adds a friendly warmth to your voice, and your callers will pick up on that.
Whether you have someone in-house answering your calls, a virtual legal receptionist, or you are answering the calls yourself, always make sure to be receptive.
Being receptive and displaying excellent legal phone etiquette will set you apart and put your law firm’s reputation above the rest.
Optional Step 3: Bring in the Legal Phone Etiquette Professionals
Need an attorney answering service for back-up because you just can’t get to those calls? Or do you already have one, but they don’t have good enough phone etiquette guidelines in place to give your clients the service they need?
Consider hiring Alert Communications to handle your calls 24/7/365. We never close, so you’ll never worry about missing a call again. Not to mention, outstanding legal phone etiquette happens to be our forte. Our legal receptionists go through a robust and unique training process focused on empathy, psychology, and legal terminology, with ongoing recording and monitoring of calls.
With Alert, your potential clients and clients will be in good hands. For more information, visit https://www.alertcommunications.com or call 844-694-6825.