A potential lead’s initial contact with your intake team is the first glimpse they have into your law firm. A bad experience could mean a quick end to that prospect’s journey with your practice.

Deciding whether or not to outsource this process –  which should take a load off your staff and help create a positive first impression with potential clients every time – takes careful consideration.

Here are some “pros” and “cons” of outsourcing your client intake process to a law firm answering service or legal call center.

What Are Some “Pros” of Legal Intake Outsourcing?

Outsourcing legal intake services lowers lead loss rates by providing live-response coverage for overflow, or after-hours, weekends and holidays. Intake specialists at a legal call center have the ability to answer calls in 3 rings or less, and follow up with web leads within 2-5 minutes to avoid lead abandonment. They also offer multilingual support to reach a wider market.

Legal intake specialists at outsourced intake centers are able to connect with, qualify and even convert leads on your behalf. This leaves your attorney staff free to concentrate their valuable time on billable tasks.

Outsourcing also saves law firms money by eliminating the need to pay for additional salaries and other costs, such as healthcare, vacation time, sick time and specialized training.

What Are Some (Potential) “Cons” of Legal Intake Outsourcing?

For the most part, arguments against outsourcing legal intake to a call center relate to quality of service. Here are some issues firms worry about, and how to avoid them:

  • Not all legal call centers customize their services, call scripts and intake forms. Such call centers offer a single, standardized service to all of their clients. You can avoid this by selecting a legal intake partner that offers total customization to fit your firm’s specific, individualized needs. After all, legal intake is not one-size-fits-all.
  • Not all legal call centers properly train their intake specialists. In order to respond to legal leads, intake specialists must be well-versed in legal terminology, know how to control calls and express empathy toward potential clients. They must also be trained on how to correctly evaluate whether a lead is a fit for your firm or the campaign at hand. Seek out a legal intake partner that implements continuous training in all of these areas to ensure their intake specialists are qualified to vet leads and handle any situation, professionally and with the correct tone.
  • Not all legal call centers implement vigorous digital security programs. Security is another critical element you need to look for when outsourcing legal intake. Ineffective digital security runs the risk of exposing sensitive firm and client information to cybercriminals. You can neutralize this cybersecurity issue by selecting an intake partner that upholds the following five standards of privacy:
    • Endpoint security to secure vulnerable access points, such as those created by mobile devices.
    • Anti-phishing protocols to prevent malicious emails from gaining illegal access to sensitive information.
    • Machine learning to help security systems recognize new attacks, even ones that no one has ever seen before.
    • U.S.-based service to eliminate potential problems due to less strict privacy standards in other countries.
    • Proactive penetration tests that launch frequent simulated attacks to determine where a network’s vulnerabilities lie and patch them before an actual attack occurs.

Other Points to Keep in Mind

Not all legal call centers are the same; therefore, the “pros” and “cons” for each potential legal intake partner will vary. A quality legal call center designs its procedures to avoid all of the “cons” described above and provide all the services needed to lower lead loss rates without interrupting how law firms do their daily business. Avoid one-size-fits-all legal call centers that refuse to adjust their service to best fit your firm’s needs.

Worried about making the right choice? As long as you ask the right questions, the benefits of partnering with a leading legal call center far outweigh any downsides.