Every so often within a hectic schedule filled with client meetings, court dates, and prep time, attorneys must step back and evaluate how their practice is handling incoming calls. After all, your clients – existing and prospective – are your lifeline.

The timeliness and quality of your call support can help determine whether or not a potential client chooses and refers you for their legal needs.

Examine the following checklist as a measurement of current call handling protocols. Perform a review several times a year as your firm changes and grows to set benchmarks for your goals.

  • How many new client calls are received each day?
  • How many of the new clients calls schedule appointments and how many do not?
  • How many hang ups do you think you receive?
  • How many times have you returned a call from voicemail only to find the caller has already hired an attorney?
  • How many show and no show?
  • How are the new clients being prepared for a productive consult?
  • Are clients prepared when they show?
  • What type of intake questions are you asking? Do they lead to a consult?

If you are an attorney, you are aware of the day-to-day challenges of routine administrative duties. In a profession where mobility is 90% of the job, it is nearly impossible to field incoming calls in the office or even via cell phone. Hiring an in-house receptionist is one solution, although this still bodes issues. Hiring in-house can be extremely costly, requiring legal training and management of additional staff. Also, legal receptionists can only work 40 hours a week, which still leaves a large stretch of time without call coverage.

Virtual receptionist services can solve these problems for an affordable price. Highly trained agents are live on the line, prepared to answer calls 24/7. Expect lead conversions to increase now that callers reach a live agent rather than voicemail. Prepare clients for meetings by sending documents via email. Create customized scripts that ask pertinent questions leading to a consult. Grow your client base with bilingual call support. The benefits of virtual receptionist services are endless – how does your current call handling procedure stack up?

Frances Starr, Director of Sales & Marketing for Alert Communications. Alert Communications provides 24/7 call answering support.