Attention all attorneys! We need to talk about your call handling skills.
Look, we know you’re busy building a successful law practice, but you might be making some crucial mistakes when it comes to answering the phone. We see it time and time again… but most attorneys don’t realize how these mistakes are impacting their bottom line!
So, let’s take a look at the top mistakes attorneys make with call handling:
1. Robot Mode:
Do you sound like a robot when answering the phone? Callers can hear it in your voice when you’re just going through the motions. Do your best to sound friendly and engaging. It makes a world of difference.
2. Attorney Anonymous:
Even worse… Are you answering the phone with something along the lines of, “Hello, Law Office.” Or (yikes) “Hello?”? Your potential clients are calling through a list of attorneys. The last thing you want is for someone to hang up the phone thinking, “Which law firm was that again?”.
3. Long Hold Times & Missed Calls:
No one likes to be put on hold for long periods of time or land in a voicemail box. It’s frustrating and leads to missed opportunities. If you’re answering your own calls… it’s true that this is almost impossible to avoid. Luckily, virtual legal receptionists can save you.
4. Ignoring Emotions:
Your clients and potential clients are likely to be in stressful or emotional situations. Due to the nature of your job, you’ll be hearing the same type of information day in and day out. So, it’s important to check your tone of voice and make sure you aren’t speaking to them like it’s just another phone call for you. Acknowledge their feelings and show empathy. Failing to do so can lead to negative experiences and lost opportunities.
5. Not Listening:
We get it, you’re busy. But, failing to listen to a caller can lead to missed details, misunderstandings, and even malpractice. Give the caller your full attention, and ask clarifying questions when necessary.
6. Not Collecting Contact Information:
Look, it feels like this shouldn’t need to be on the list. But surprisingly, law firms fail to collect emails 86% of the time and phone numbers 45% of the time on the first call. If you don’t collect contact information, you’re left crossing your fingers hoping that the caller might contact you again.
7. Legal Jargon:
Legal terms and concepts are often confusing to those outside of the profession. Don’t use technical jargon unless it’s necessary. The last thing you want to do is make your caller feel dumb for not understanding what you’re telling them. Try to explain things in layman’s terms to make your callers feel more comfortable.
8. No Follow-Up:
You may assume that potential clients will reach back out to you if they’re interested, and if they don’t… they’ve found someone else. But the truth is, life gets in the way! Potential clients are likely to go with the first law firm they feel a connection with, so never skip out on follow-ups.
9. Impersonal Behavior:
It goes without saying, but being rude or impersonal on the phone can lead to negative reviews and a damaged reputation. It’s hard to keep a smile on your face when you’re busy and stressed, but always being professional and courteous – even when callers are difficult – goes a long way for your reputation.
In conclusion, call handling is an art form and it requires attention and care. By avoiding these mistakes, you can provide exceptional customer service and build a strong reputation for your law practice. So, pick up that phone and start mastering the art of call handling!
Did just reading this list give you a headache? Back Office Betties’ Virtual Legal Receptionists are ready to expertly handle your calls and give you your time back. Schedule a call with our Growth Solutions Strategist to learn more.