Through our previous articles you’ve wisely invested some of your precious time to learn insider secrets to winning at the marketing game.
From capturing the hottest leads to tracking and quantifying where they came from, you’re ready to put your firm on the fast track to higher profitability and lower overhead.
Now you face a critical choice. Are you ready to get off the hamster wheel, and start seeing true progress for your firm? Are you ready to launch the most productive and successful twelve months in your firm’s history?
You can implement the items in our previous articles at a cost that may be much lower than you expect. You can dedicate internal resources – a legal intake staff member inside your firm, for instance – to learning the techniques and train the rest of the staff. Or you can outsource your legal intake to a professional answering service for attorneys. Some firms do a little of each, utilizing internal staff during the day and outsourcing over-flow and after-hour intakes to an experienced lawyer answering service.
It’s critical, if you choose to outsource legal intake, that you find a professional answering service that understands how to capture every lead from your marketing campaigns, qualify and prioritize those leads, and schedule appointments for hot prospects. An effective outsourcing choice can save you time and money. A poor choice can be painful and expensive. Quality matters.
Here’s what you need to know to select the right legal intake telephone answering service for your firm.
- What is your overall goal in hiring an answering service for your firm?
Are you focused on reducing overhead, ensuring you never lose a lead, or buying cheaper ads during late night hours? Knowing your focus will help you ask the right questions.
- What services do you want the call center to perform?
Telephone answering services break down into two broad categories: Capturing new cases only; or taking other kinds of calls as well, including existing client inquiries. A good attorney call center can design customized processes to filter out the types of calls you don’t want them to handle, so you don’t pay for services you don’t need.
- When do you need the support of a live answering service?
Do you need help after-hours when it may not be cost effective for you to staff but you still have marketing campaigns running? Are you having difficulty with peak times of day or seasonally heavy traffic that is creating long hold times and lost leads? Would you prefer to outsource all of your intakes so your staff can focus on following up with qualified leads?
- How will the answering service provide reporting?
Do you want an audit trail of how and when each intake was delivered? How about tracking marketing data? Would you like time and date stamps so you know which TV or radio spot your hottest prospects are responding to? If there are multiple attorneys in your firm, how about tracking which leads went to which attorney?
- What other factors do you need to keep in mind?
Legal intake is complex. How many types of cases do you handle, and what are the unique requirements of each type of case? Which types are high priorities, and what kinds of cases do you prefer not to handle? If you participate in mass torts, how are you filtering those leads? The more complexity you require, the more important it becomes to hire a professional answering service that understands the special needs of personal injury firms. Giant call centers are often structured to handle only simple, high volume traffic. For customized call screening and legal intake, you may be better served by a midsized boutique service tailored to the specific requirements of attorneys in general and your firm in particular.
- What are the “red flags” that indicate a specific call center may be a bad fit for your firm?
The big three red flags are: Lack of responsiveness, lack of experience, or absence of documented appropriate processes. From the very beginning, you should expect a live answering service to follow up with you in a timely manner, have relevant experience in the needs of personal injury firms, and demonstrate a documented process for determining your needs and maintaining your account. If they don’t ask good questions before you even start, and assign a single point-of-contact to you to handle your account set-up and management… you are likely to have serious problems.
Suite 1000 is a U.S.-based call center with expertise in legal intake. We’ve been studying the secrets to reduced overhead and increased profitability for more than 30 years. Our intake specialists capture leads from marketing campaigns, qualify and prioritize leads, and deliver customized reports detailing all of the tracking data our clients need to win in the marketing game like they win in court.
Want to know more about winning the marketing game? Be sure to bookmark this series for reference, and stay tuned for more valuable tips.
Are you ready to give your firm an unfair advantage? Suite 1000’s 24-hour legal intake service is available to discuss how our intake specialists can reduce your overhead while capturing every lead and every piece of data from every call you receive. Call now: 877-925-2324.
This blog was written by Laurie Leonard, the President of SUITE 1000, a U.S. based national telephone answering service, inbound call center and outsourced call center service. Her company has specialized in handling legal intake, sales leads, email lead response, appointment scheduling, customer service and help desk calls for over 20 years.