Worker's compensation law firms are often busy with workers having injuries round the clock and requiring help with their case. Because of this, your services are highly sought, that you receive many calls than you can handle in a day. While many calls are good for your practice, you risk losing them as they seek help from another law firm unless you can answer all of them as they come.
While you want to offer client satisfaction by answering their calls as they are made, this may be impossible. Fortunately, there are excellent solutions to your challenge, enabling you to serve your clients better; this is an answering service for your law firm. This article will explore what an answering service entails and how your firm can benefit from this service.
How an Answering Service Works
One of the most important things before hiring an answering service is to know how it works. An answering service has live receptionists professionally trained in answering incoming calls from clients. These persons specialize in fast, knowledgeable, and friendly service. When your clients or potential clients make calls to your law firm, the calls will not go unanswered because you are busy. Instead, the caller will be promptly answered by a real person that acts as part of your law firm.
This person provides the caller with details of your practice, collects any crucial information from the caller, and passes it on to you. With this information, you can decide to take the case, to schedule a meeting, or to return their call. Additionally, the answering service will take your messages and filter calls to transfer to you. If you want the answering service to schedule your appointments, this is also possible. All these things an answering service does result in many benefits to your firm and greater customer satisfaction.
A common question with law firms is whether you need a receptionist if you subscribe to an answering service. This is a personal choice, and it depends on the duties your receptionist has to perform. Besides answering phones, a receptionist's work is to guide clients or direct them to the person to see. If you already have a receptionist, you do not have to fire them, especially with your busy office. However, you can help them perform their duties better by hiring an answering service that assists incoming calls.
A receptionist is the face of your firm. When clients come in, they want to be received and made comfortable. Further, you can assign your receptionist other duties increasing your output because they will not be interrupted by the many incoming calls.
However, if your receptionist's work is only to answer calls, take messages, and schedule appointments, you can cut the high cost of having one by engaging an answering service. A law firm is a business that aims at making profits and cutting costs. The process of hiring a receptionist, their salary, and monitoring their performance, among other things, is costly. You can reduce this cost from eating into your profits by hiring an answering service for your worker's compensation law firm.
Benefits or Reasons you should Hire an Answering Service for your Worker's Compensation Law Firm.
Before discussing the benefits of an answering service to your firm, it is crucial to know what it really is. From the discussion above, an answering service is not an answering machine. These two cannot be confused as each works differently. An answering service is a business professionally designed to receive an answer to the client's calls round the clock and days. This means, even when a client calls at midnight when you are asleep, and on a Sunday, there is someone to represent you or attend to that call.
Basically, an answering service is a virtual receptionist that acts as a bridge between you and the caller. With this service, it is often impossible for a client to know if the receptionist is an in-house staff or is outsourced.
An answering service has many benefits to your worker's compensation law firm, with some of them being:
Accessibility or Availability
This is a big advantage of having an answering service for your law firm. When a worker is injured in the line of duty, they need to engage an attorney who will immediately follow up with their compensation case. Injuries can occur at any time of the day as long as one is at work.
When an injured worker is hurt, they want to speak with a lawyer even at night or book an appointment. Your office being accessible at any hour of the day and any day of the week will be valuable to your current or potential clients. Having a live voice on the other end when a client calls boosts their confidence that their needs will be met as they make an appointment to see you.
Another advantage of being available is you avoid the risk of losing a potential client to your competition. If a worker is hurt and needs help from a lawyer, they will be in the market looking for an available attorney to represent them. When they call your office, even during a holiday, and an appointment is scheduled, they feel more relaxed and believe they are in safe hands. On the flip side, if they call and no one answers their call, they will move on to the next firm until they find help. Lack of availability or accessibility will cost you clients, and your law practice will grow at a slow rate.
You will have your Calls Filtered and Organized.
Besides an answering service taking calls for you throughout the day, they will also filter your calls in order of importance or priority. This makes it easier for you to know what calls to return and when to return them instead of you having to filter them yourself. Imagine a scenario where you have an answering machine receiving your calls at night. When you arrive at your office in the morning, you spend most of your morning sifting through voice messages instead of being more productive.
An answering service simplifies this for you, and all you are required to do is return calls and use the extra time to generate income and attend to your clients.
No more Hang-ups or Recorded Messages
When you have an answering machine recording your calls, it means you must sift through them when you come to the office, as earlier discussed. However, with an answering service, this headache is eliminated, and you only receive sorted messages.
Research also indicates that most clients or potential clients hang up their calls if an answering machine picks them. This is not good for your business because you are likely to miss important opportunities. If a client calls or a potential one does, and the call is answered by a live professional, you will likely convert the caller into a client, increasing your client base and income.
Scheduling of Appointments
Besides answering incoming calls, prioritizing the calls, and taking messages, answering services can also manage your calendar. A worker's compensation law firm is a busy one with numerous meetings and sometimes court cases for your clients. This requires a professional and efficient organization to avoid chaos and disappointing your clients.
Organizing your calendar or scheduling your appointments can be made easier by an answering service. Should you choose to have this service incorporated into your package, all you need to do is provide your calendar and the parameters for setting up your appointments. This kind of information is crucial because even when the clients call past office hours, they will be taken care of and appointments scheduled.
Cutting of Operational Costs
The time taken to hire a receptionist to manage your calls, salary, benefits, and training is costly. Additionally, you will also have to monitor their performance routinely, which is also costly. When the receptionist falls ill or is on vacation, you will have to hire a temporary replacement or assign their duty to other workers. Further, a receptionist has to work for a certain number of hours and will not be available to answer calls at any time of the day unless you hire several of them to work on shifts.
The cost of having an answering service is relatively lower compared to having a receptionist. Imagine having a receptionist available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week! The cost to your firm is great and can be avoided with an answering service. Further, it is no longer your headache to train, hire, pay salaries, or benefits to the virtual receptionist. The burden of monitoring their performance is also lifted from you.
Phone calls interrupt the smooth running of the business. Although calls are critical to growing your firm, they can distract and keep your staff from performing optimally. An answering service knows what calls to dispatch and how to respond to the ones less important to allow you time to work and increase productivity. When your staff spends a lot of time answering phone calls, they can fail to meet their targets or deliver as expected. An answering service allows you and your staff to focus on the most crucial business at hand rather than to answer calls.
Offering Bilingual Services
Besides the many benefits discussed above, an answering service allows you to access bilingual services at an affordable rate. Not every worker requiring your services is fluent in English. Some speak Spanish, and your receptionist may not understand the language. Additionally, hiring a bilingual receptionist is more expensive than hiring an ordinary one.
Fortunately, professional answering services hire receptionists that can speak multiple languages meaning your Spanish-speaking clients will not feel out of place.
Deciding if your Worker's Compensation Law Firm Requires an Attorney Answering Service
Outsourcing an answering service for your law firm is a critical and major business decision. Despite the benefits listed above, you need to evaluate your business and decide if this is the best solution to some of your challenges. You will also need to compare the costs and other benefits of hiring a receptionist or an answering service. Some questions that will help you decide include:
Do you miss calls? Phone calls are the lifeblood of your business. Before a client comes to see you with an issue, they will first make a call. These calls to your firm are critical to your business because they turn into sales or income. If you often miss calls because you are busy or your staff is unable to, you may need to consider an answering service. Clients want to engage with a live voice and not an answering machine when they call your office with a need. This allows them to have more confidence in you and schedule an appointment that turns into business.
Do you receive many calls past business hours? Most law firms don't open beyond traditional business hours. However, clients may still want to ask questions regarding an injury at work any time or schedule appointments to discuss their case past office hours. This can be difficult, and you lose clients because they cannot reach you. You will need to hire an answering service to ensure no calls go unanswered in such a case.
Are your clients failing to show up for appointments or canceling? Most law firms must deal with cancellations and clients not showing up for appointments. If you use software to manage your calls and appointments, your clients may feel the lack of a personal touch and prefer law firms with human interaction. Clients want to feel important and that their cases are valued. If many cancel their appointments or fail to come, it may mean they felt you are detached from them. In this case, answering services becomes a better option because they interact with the client and feel valued.
When clients choose your law firm to represent them, it means they trust you with their case and compensation. This is a great privilege that must be guarded at all times. How you relate to them on the phone and in-person is critical to retaining them as clients and expanding your practice. With many firms offering the same service as you do, you need to stand out in your customer interaction, and one of the ways is through receiving and answering calls. Clients want to deal with a professional firm, and it begins with the call they place. Maintaining this critical image is an excellent idea to hire an answering service to manage your calls and take your messages.