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Losing business? Call handling hacks for law firms

Erin & Bridgette, Moneypenny US Receptionists

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 firm can afford to pass up.

It isn’t only lost income that firms are potentially missing though. In any area of law, the quality and delivery of legal services have never been more scrutinized. 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 call answering. Keen to gain a competitive edge in a tough climate, they have recognized that it’s not just about answering phone 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 Moneypenny data, we found that our legal clients are missing the most calls in the first half of the week. In particular, we discovered our 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 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 staff are often required to fulfill all kinds of roles. But not having the support and flexibility in place to address this means attorneys risk the loss of new business, as well as frustrating existing clients and potentially damaging their reputation.  Analyzing 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. And what we mean by this is delivering the kind of service that makes every person feel like your biggest and most important customer. It’s this experience that creates loyalty, ‘wows’ customers, and ultimately wins business.

Phone answering plays a vital role in this. Typically speaking, a phone call is the first touchpoint a client, or prospective client may have with an organization – so it’s crucial to be creating a great impression of your firm, and its people, to encourage the caller to continue their client journey with you.

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 today’s ‘always-on’ world where instantaneity is a given, clients expect a fast and efficient response at all times.

It’s these high expectations that can easily undo even the best of firms’ reputation. A call left unanswered, for example, will leave clients feeling frustrated and overlooked. Likewise, if they’re made to wait, they’ll often feel dissatisfied and go elsewhere in search of a quicker response. Our research shows almost half of callers (42%) who hang up after nine rings won’t call again. While 69% of callers who reach a voicemail, won’t leave a message – leaving you without the opportunity to follow up.

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 businesses 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.

Your dedicated Moneypenny Legal Receptionist

At Moneypenny, our dedicated Legal team are on-hand 24/7 to field calls on your behalf. Answering calls in your firm’s name, they’ll ensure no call goes unanswered and every caller receives a professional, welcome response – every time. Overflow calls to your Moneypenny Receptionist when you’re busy, or out of the office – or rely on them to answer calls on a full-time basis, forwarding urgent calls to you immediately and notifying you of any messages for you to follow up on when you’re available again.

Try our service for free

From independent attorneys to international legal firms, we support hundreds of leading businesses like yours – every day – in delivering an exceptional client experience. Why not try our legal answering service for yourself with a FREE one week trial?
Call us today on 866.202.0005 to get started! 

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