Potential clients may reach out to your firm at any time, day or night, weekday or weekend. When they do, it’s extremely important for your firm to be prepared and equipped to not only take their calls, but to also be ready to take their cases, too.
When it comes to afterhours calls, there are two ways to handle them:
- Assign dedicated people to answer the phone 24/7, including nights, weekends, and holidays, within three rings.
- If you don’t have dedicated employees to answer afterhours calls, we recommend hiring an afterhours call center/answering service to handle those calls for you.
If you decide to hire an answering service, keep in mind that they’re not all created equal. Some answering services are just that—they exist to pick up the phone and take messages for your firm, but they don’t take any action on your behalf. That can result in miscommunication and missed opportunities.
Thankfully, there are better options out there, but hiring the right one requires knowing what to look for and how to find it.
What to Look for in a Personal Injury Answering Service
When hiring an answering service, here are a few steps to take to ensure that you’ll get the most bang for your buck:
- Interview multiple answering services. Don’t hire the first one you come across.
- Look for answering services that specialize in or understand personal injury law firm leads.
- Ask for references from other firms that you know and trust. Find out which, if any, answering services they use and whether they’re happy with the service they get.
- If the answering service understands personal injury leads, allow it to sign up potential clients if they meet your firm’s criteria.
- Speaking of criteria, provide a list of 4-5 questions to the answering service to help them qualify potential clients.
- For even better ROI, provide a specific script for the call center to use when fielding calls for your firm. This will not only help limit phone time (which you’re charged for), but it will also help qualify each lead.
- Allow the answering service to get signed contracts via E-sign documents to ensure that new leads don’t contact other firms after reaching out to you first.
- Ask that they provide detailed reports of all phone calls with billing.
Questions? We’re Here to Help.
An answering service can provide an enormous ROI to your firm—or it can be a costly non-factor for your firm’s bottom line. The difference comes down to hiring the right answering service. Following the tips above can get you on the right track, but if you’d like more information or more hands-on guidance for choosing an answering service, we’re here to chat.
If you’re already a cj family member, reach out to your Brand Strategist to discuss further. If you’re just passing by the cj blog, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to hear from you, too. Either way, drop us a line to get the conversation started on answering services and how to choose one that’s right for your firm and practice areas.