Law firms live and die by the phones. Unfortunately many of them haven’t quite figured them out.
We called more than 100 firms (one could have been yours!) and only 14.75% of law firms passed our phone process audit. Less than 15% of law firms!
Roughly half of them didn’t answer the phone at all.
Many of the law firms that did answer did so with a generic (forgettable) greeting of “Law Office.”
And more than a handful answered with, “Hello?”
Can you imagine? We thought getting one Hello was bad, but multiple?!
With that said, there are quite a few things not to do when you answer the phone.
Is your law firm committing these phone sins, or would you pass our phone process audit? Let’s find out!
Evaluating Your Law Firm’s Phone Performance
Before you can improve upon your law firm’s phone processes, you first need to know what needs improvement.
Is your phone being answered every single time it rings?
If your phone isn’t being answered every single time, you’ve already failed the call audit. Missing potential new client calls is essentially writing your own ticket to the land of lost opportunity because the odds of them leaving a message are slim. Less-than-20% slim. You know those firms we said we called that didn’t answer? Yeah, we didn’t leave a message.
Who is answering the phone?
Is it you? If so, we urge you to change that asap.
First, because you’re busy and we know that translates into missing some calls. (No shame! You cannot possibly do it all.)
Second, because answering the phone doesn’t make you money. It’s not billable and it doesn’t require an attorney to get it done. Your time is worth so much more!
Third, because getting stuck on an impromptu consultation leaves you with no time to prepare! You’re actually helping your potential clients more by putting someone between you to schedule a consultation that you can prepare for.
What is the greeting used to answer the phone?
As mentioned before, a lot of firms flounder their first impression with a poor greeting. “Hello?” is unprofessional and leaves the caller wondering if they called the right number. “Law Office” is used so often that, while it makes it clear the caller reached a law firm, the caller may be confused as to which firm it was that they just called. Additionally, both of those options are less than friendly and can start the call off on a rocky foot.
Our favorite greetings always state the name of the firm, are spoken in a friendly tone, and start the call off with a positive impression.
Looking for something new to try out? Try a greeting like “Thanks for calling My Law Firm, Lisa speaking. How may I assist you?”
What information is being captured on every call?
Without a standard process of collecting the same information every time, you’ll probably notice a lot of leads falling through the cracks. It can be easy to forget to ask for their contact information in the moment, but if the same questions are asked on every call, it becomes easier to gather that information for every caller.
At the minimum, we recommend collecting: Name, Phone Number, Case Type/Matter, and Email. This information is important for following up with leads (who probably won’t call you back) and for tracking data in your CRM.
Would Your Firm’s Phones Pass The Audit?
If you aren’t sure, register for our upcoming webinar: 30 Minutes To Mastering Your Law Firm’s Phones: Sell More Consults, Impress Your Callers, & Capture Every Lead.
Elena, our Growth Solutions Strategist, will be going deeper on what to do after you’ve evaluated your phones and how to master them – once and for all!