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Losing business? Call handling hacks for law firms

We know from our own data, for instance, that we answer around two million calls a year for legal firms.

That’s a staggering figure and business that no practice can afford to pass up.

It’s isn’t only lost income that firms are potentially missing though. In any area of law, the quality and delivery of legal services has never been more scrutinised. Clients have increasingly high expectations, and the pressure’s on to convert new business opportunities. At Moneypenny, we are seeing a growing number of law firms seeking to adopt best practices when it comes to the way they approach telephone answering. Keen to gain a competitive edge in a tough climate, they have recognised that it’s not just about answering calls; it’s about making sure those calls are answered in the best possible way, by the best possible people who can make the most of those opportunities.

So what can firms do to ensure they’re not losing business as a result of poor call handling? Here are three powerful yet simple steps to consider:

1. Have the correct resource in place

In a recent study of its data, Moneypenny found that its legal clients are missing the most calls in the first half of the week. In particular, it discovered its receptionists were busiest between 10am-11am on a Tuesday – followed by Wednesday and Monday mornings.

We also see spikes in the number of ‘overflow’ calls answered on behalf of our legal clients during lunchtimes and out of hours; suggesting Britain’s law firms are most under-resourced at these times.

Of course, no one can be at their desk 24/7. It’s impossible. Especially for smaller firms where fee earners are required to fulfill all kinds of roles. But not having the support and flexibility in place to address this means practices risk the loss of new business, as well as frustrating existing clients and potentially damaging their reputation. Analysing your call data and understanding what’s happening for your reception is key. The most dynamic firms are those who question how they could be working leaner and smarter.

2. Roll out the red carpet

We often talk about ‘rolling out the red carpet’ for our clients at Moneypenny. What we mean by this is always delivering the kind of service that makes every person feel like your biggest and most important client.

It’s this experience that creates loyalty, ‘wows’ customers and ultimately wins business. Telephone answering plays a vital role in this. Typically the first touchpoint a client, or prospective client, may have with an organisation, the way in which legal firms handle their calls instantly creates an impression.

So try ‘walking in your client’s shoes’ and see how your service looks and feels, from intake right through to invoice. Call your office at different times of the day and compare the experience you receive. The insights you’ll gain are invaluable and will help you achieve the exceptional service you’re striving for.

3. Accept and embrace modern expectations

In a growing age of ‘immediacy’, clients expect a speedy and efficient response.

It’s these expectations that can easily undo even the best of firms. A call left unanswered, for example, will leave clients feeling frustrated and overlooked. Likewise, if they’re made to wait, they may be dissatisfied or go elsewhere. Our research shows almost half of callers (42%) who hang up after nine rings won’t call again.

Similarly, this shift in societal expectations has also had a knock-on effect in terms of business opening hours – or perceived opening hours. Companies only being available from 9am-5pm are becoming a dim and distant memory, and this has undoubtedly impacted professional services too, with clients increasingly anticipating firms will be available on their terms.

Forward-thinking practices are responding proactively to these changes and seeking alternative methods of meeting demands, such as outsourcing. Embracing new forms of working in a client-driven market where the very best is demanded at all times.

We give you amazing people and technology:


Your own Moneypenny PA to answer calls exactly as if based in your office.

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All the functions and support of an office phone system, minus the hardware.

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