Are you still answering your law firm’s phone with, “Law Office”? If so, we are begging you to stop! Seriously, we’re on our hands and knees over here.
Aside from not answering at all, answering your law firm’s phone with “Law Office” is one of the most common mistakes we see in law firm call handling.
Why? You’re allowing yourself to be forgotten.
Don’t feel too bad—you aren’t alone. As your potential clients are calling through a list of firms, at least 25% of them will answer their law firm’s phones the exact same way.
Unfortunately, this can lead to confusion and your potential client forgetting who they just spoke with. You don’t want to be forgotten about in a sea of law firms, right?
Now that we’re clear about what not to do, let’s talk about why it matters, and how to answer your law firm’s phone in a better way.
Establish a relationship right away
Trust and mutual respect is an important part of the attorney/client relationship.
Whether you realize it or not, that relationship starts as soon as you pick up your law firm’s phone. First impressions matter—and that first phone call is your chance to give a killer first impression. Don’t blow it with poor customer service, answering your law firm’s phone with a generic greeting, or missing the call altogether.
Start your attorney/client relationship off on the right foot by answering your law firm’s phone with a friendly greeting and announcing the name of your firm. Your potential client immediately knows they reached who they intended to and the call starts off positively. It also helps to mention your own name so your potential clients know who they spoke with, should they need to reference it later.
Small talk is okay, but try to get straight to the point of what your caller’s needs are. Be friendly and upbeat while keeping them focused on their needs so you can understand exactly what they need help with. This avoids wasting your time and gets the potential client the help they need sooner rather than later.
Collect your law firm’s callers’ contact information
Nearly nine times out of ten, law firms fail to collect full contact information from their callers. This is alarming; those callers are your leads! Leads turn into clients—don’t let them walk away.
Every time you hang up your law firm’s phone without collecting contact information, you’re throwing money out the window. You are now at the will of your callers and can’t follow up with them to sell your legal services.
Not to mention, if they do call back, you have no record of what happened during that initial call. Did they explain their case? Ask a question about pricing? Neglecting to record that information can result in your law firm looking unprofessional and disorganized—it can even frustrate your caller because they are now repeating themselves. Making this mistake has great power to turn potential clients off of your firm.
Instead of leaving your business to chance, set up an intake process that you go through for every caller. The information you collect will differ depending on the type of call, but it’s important to set up a process for every call your law firm receives.
Documenting this process ensures that anyone who answers your law firm’s phone will understand their responsibility.
Ensure your law firm’s phone is always answered
74% of potential clients contact law firms by phone, but more than one-third of those calls go unanswered. Partner that with the statistic that 80% of callers who reach voicemail will not leave a message, as well as the fact that potential clients wait 3 business days on average for a response, and you’ve got lost business adding up!
The best way to capture all the business that comes your way is to always answer your law firm’s phone. We understand that this isn’t possible for a busy solo attorney managing their own phones (court, client appointments, and consultations add up!). However, those reasons exemplify the necessity of dedicating someone else to your answer your law firm’s phone.
Interruptions and cost/benefit aside, outsourcing your law firm’s phone management is pertinent to capturing every call and converting more of those callers into clients when you’re too busy to answer.
Hiring an in-house receptionist is expensive, and bouncing calls between attorneys eats up valuable time that could be spent on cases. Instead, consider hiring an answering service to provide your callers with a better experience and gather all of the information you need from each potential client.
BONUS: A few of our favorite law firm phone greetings
If you need some inspiration on ways to cheerfully introduce your law firm on the phone, we’ve got you covered! Check out some of the below examples of great greetings when answering the phone.
- “Good (Morning/Afternoon), thank you for calling (Law Firm Name). How may I direct your call?”
- “Hello, you’ve reached (Law Firm Name). How can we help you today?”
- “Thank you for calling (Law Firm Name). My name is _____, how may I help you?”
- “Happy (Day of the Week)! You’ve reached (Law Firm Name). Who do I have the pleasure of speaking with?”
- “Thank you for calling (Law Firm Name). Are you calling with a new legal matter we can help you with?”