Sometimes it’s difficult to make the decision to choose a specialized service over a general service, especially when your first thought is whether or not it’s cost effective.

If you’re an attorney, you may wonder about the differences between a general answering service and one that specializes in offering lawyer answering services. Consider this.

If you’re a bankruptcy attorney, hiring a company that specializes in lawyer answering services can eliminate you handling client creditor calls. By providing a client list to the company, a receptionist can verify representation and notify you of the call details via e-mail. With a general answering service you might just get a message with a call-back number. More importantly you’ll want a service that will identify your new client opportunity, schedule the consult and help to ensure a high rate of shows.

A personal injury practice also can benefit in both time and money with specialized lawyer answering services. The receptionist can take potential-client calls, complete an intake form and deliver it to you in csv format to import to your case management software. Some lawyer answering services can immediately connect the caller to you as well. This can reduce the time your practice spends on the phone with an unqualified caller.

If you choose the right lawyer answering service as a criminal defense attorney, you could retain a client on the first call. For instance, a receptionist can immediately connect potential traffic-violation clients to you and remain on the line to transcribe the conversation. You receive an e-mail from the receptionist that documents fees, credit card information and pertinent case facts. You’ve retained the client on the first call and have a detailed transcript of your conversation.

Immigration attorneys can benefit from a specialized lawyer answering service where potential clients are taken care of on the first call, giving them no reason to continue to shop for legal services. In this type of practice you want to be sure the lawyer answering service offers multi-lingual support as well as intake processing and appointment scheduling.

When you shop around for lawyer answering services here are a few questions you should ask:

  • Do they provide 24/7 service?
  • Do they offer bilingual or multilingual services?
  • Can they provide customer referrals?
  • Do they have specialized training?

A specialized lawyer answering service will cost a bit more, but it’s a smart investment in your practice. The applications mentioned above are designed to either reduce your work load or help you capture potential new clients. Paying a bit more so your client calls are handled professionally and successfully the first time the phone rings is definitely worth a lot more.