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Answering the call!

What do you spend on advertising versus answering the phone at your law office? Step back for a moment and think about how much time and money you invest in making the most effective TV advertising commercial. The point is to drive traffic and make the phone ring, right?

But what happens when the phone does ring—and all your advertising efforts start to pay off. Do you have the right people in place to make sure that those phone calls convert to cases? There are so many nuances to answering the call, from your intake professionals’ tone of voice to the speed in which your office addresses inquires.

If you’re wondering why your advertising is making the phone ring but cases are not growing at the rate you projected, the missing link might be a greater investment in the speed, accuracy and creativity of your call center. Here are a few questions any firm should consider when making a strategic plan for over-the-phone intake:

  1. How knowledgeable are your call receptionists or call-center specialists about your law firm and its services?
  2. Do they need to read from a script or can they answer on the fly a variety of questions about your legal services?
  3. How fast do your intake professionals return a call? What happens after they’ve left one message for a caller?
  4. Are you accidentally turning away cases because you’re not probing further into a caller’s questions?
  5. How do you handle after-hours calls?

Often the firm that’s the quickest to return a call wins the case. Other cases are won by the intake representatives who are the most creative when examining a caller’s legal needs—ones that might not initially fit into a firm’s “box” of services. Sometimes it’s the offices that have a strict policy about multiple follow-up calls that ultimately win the business.

Remember, intake is not about you. It’s about the caller—a busy person who has a life. And work. And kids. And can’t always carve out the time to return your call within 24 hours. That doesn’t mean your firm should give up trying.

If you want to increase your case load and ensure your advertising efforts have legs, start thinking more strategically about answering the call. You might find that a little fine-tuning can go a long way.