As a workers’ compensation law firm, you have an ethical and legal obligation to communicate with your clients constantly. This allows you to keep them well-informed about their cases’ progress and share legal advice whenever necessary. In the same respect, your clients should reach you whenever they have concerns that need addressing. While lawyers understand the need to keep communication lines open, they are often quite busy juggling a number of cases at any given time. This is the main reason why you should use an answering service for your workers’ compensation law firm.
Each attorney in your firm will have varying needs, depending on the progress of a case. Sometimes, cases pick up the pace, and constant communication between clients is crucial. Other times, there isn’t much activity to report, and all attorneys and clients can do is wait. Reliable answering service companies can offer tailor-made plans to ensure you only spend on the level of assistance you need.
Can An Answering Service Enhance The Growth Of Your Workers’ Compensation Law Firm?
Whether you are a solo practitioner or run a small law firm, your company’s growth hinges on your ability to keep your clients happy. Existing clients want to feel appreciated, and new clients want assurance that they are in safe hands. A surefire way to keep your client base content is to invest in an answering service. The idea is to keep your communication lines open and by extension, ascertain that clients can speak to a real person and benefit from personalized customer service whenever they want to book appointments, ask questions and even raise concerns.
Let’s look at how an answering service can boost your workers’ compensation law firm’s growth.
Obtain New Clients
In any business, including law firms, the growth pattern is determined by the number of new clients obtained yearly. Unlike other kinds of businesses, people will often contact law firms when they need help. Those seeking workers compensation in specific may be desperate to speak to a skilled attorney because an incident may have impacted their health or even their ability to earn a living. Nothing sends a potential client to your competition faster than a voicemail greeting.
It is not every day that someone files for a workers’ compensation lawsuit. Most people calling your company have no idea where to begin filing a claim. In short, they would not leave a message in your even if they wanted to. At that point when a client is confused and possibly desperate, he/she needs to speak to a live, courteous, and skilled individual who can put them at ease and at the very least, help them book an appointment with an attorney.
Increase Your Customer Retention Rate
Plenty of communication is still necessary even after a client commits to your services. Workers compensation lawsuits are delicate, and it is typical for clients to have numerous questions about their cases. More often than not, they simply need reassurance about the progress of their case. Answering service experts can help you provide personalized support and bolster your customer retention efforts.
Hasten Answering Times
Hiring an in-house receptionist to handle your incoming calls is good. However, answering calls is not a one-person job, especially during peak seasons. Some clients may feel locked out if your lines are always busy and it takes a while to reach your front office.
Answering service companies have trained agents who can answer all your company calls efficiently and promptly. This saves your callers from having to put up with the annoyance of endless ringing phones or even calls that are directed straight to voicemail. Their ability to reach a live person within the first three rings will give them the impression that they are working with a well-established and reliable workers’ compensation law firm. This will again boost your growth by enhancing your reputation and boosting your client retention efforts.
Managing After-Hours Calls
It would be nice if all legal issues popped up during “normal” business hours. Unfortunately, a good number of issues arise during odd hours and even during holidays and the weekends when your workers’ compensation law firm is closed.
With an answering service, you will still function like a business that is open 24/7/365. After all, prospective clients can reach live operators and make inquiries, seek basic legal advice, or book appointments at any time of day or night. One of the easiest ways to attract new clients and earn their loyalty is to give them peace of mind in knowing that you are available to help them whenever they need you.
Even large workers compensation law firms cannot grow and expand their operations if they don’t control their overhead costs. Smaller firms with limited resources must keep their expenses reasonable even when pushing customer care or marketing campaigns.
Outsourcing telephone answering services is cheaper than hiring an in-house receptionist to answer the phone. This option will still assure you of providing top-notch customer care without hurting your bottom line. The money you save can be used in the future to push your firm expansion efforts.
Enhanced Call Screening & Transfer Efficiency
An easy yet effective way to increase your workers’ profitability compensation law firm is to boost the productivity of your lawyers, advocates, and other legal staff. Instead of paying them top dollar to pick calls all day, let answering service experts screen your incoming calls and only direct specific calls to your legal team.
Answering agents go through intensive training that equips them with the knowledge to rank client calls in order of their priority. Additionally, they can weed out nuisance callers, including telemarketers. You can boost your legal team’s productivity and expand your profit margins by ensuring that only legitimate calls destruct them from the projects at hand.
Project a Professional Image
Answering services can make even a small law firm look bigger. This leaves an image of competence and professionalism in the eyes of your current and prospective clients. It also gives an illusion of financial stability. This strength convinces injured victims that you will not accept just any amount in compensation with the hopes of quickly ending a case and obtaining your cut.
What Quality Of Service Should You Expect?
It is perfectly normal to have pre-defined expectations when hiring a call answering service. After all, your investment should play a leading role in sprucing up your reputation and helping you grow your client base.
Here are important expectations to include in your selection criteria for the best answering service for your workers’ compensation law firm:
Courteous & Engaging Staff
People in general, including those seeking legal services, want to speak to engaging and friendly agents. A prospective client is less likely to schedule an appointment or even visit your office if their call is answered by an agent who feels cold, impersonal, and distant. Answering agents are trained to handle class correctly to ensure clients are left with a good impression of your brand and law firm.
As part of basic courtesy and telephone etiquette, answering agents greet all clients with a smile. You will be surprised to learn that this makes a huge difference, even when over-the-phone communication. They will also use polite words like “thank you” and “please” to set the right tone, even when dealing with aggravated clients.
During face-to-face conversations, half the communication is nonverbal. Trained answering agents know how to replace these nonverbal cues over the phone using words that invite the caller into a comfortable conversation. This promotes a better FCR (First Call Resolution), significantly reducing the number of clients your attorneys need to call back to make further inquiries or provide additional information.
Comprehensive Industry Knowledge
You can also expect skilled answering service agents to have more than just a basic understanding of your industry. The best answering companies understand the importance of specialization and will therefore have a team of agents who specialize in legal answering services and workers compensation cases in specific. In return, agents who focus on select areas are able to excel in handling calls better than generalists or jacks of all trades.
The specialization will not turn call answering agents into subject matter experts. It is not realistic for you to expect them to have all the answers and handle all client issues. However, their knowledge of your industry will allow them to answer a good number of concerns as efficiently as skilled legal representatives.
Ability to Adhere To Industry Regulations
Again, answering agents may not understand all your industry regulations. However, they will have much more than just a shallow understanding of the dos and don’ts of your industry. For instance, they will not offer any success guarantees, irrespective of how simple a legal matter may seem. You can also expect the experts to understand and adhere to client confidentiality regulations.
Unlike most businesses that only operate during traditional working hours, answering service companies typically keep their doors open round the clock, 365 days a year. They offer flexible availability, making it practical for you to expect call answering assistance 24/7/365. This includes during the weekends and holidays too.
Features of an Ideal Answering Service for Workers Compensation Law Firms
Answering service companies are not created equal. While some are ideal for handling medical calls or sales calls, others have what it takes to provide excellent legal answering services.
So, what features should you look for when searching for an answering service for a workers’ compensation law firm? Read on to find out.
The ability of an answering service company to provide customized assistance is perhaps the most essential feature to consider. You need experts who can tailor-make call scripts to ensure proper representation of your brand and firm. They should also have competent agents who can address client concerns intelligently to boost your overall customer satisfaction rate.
Think of a good answering service as a partner or rather a representative of your workers’ compensation law firm. The experts will be so in sync with what you do that clients will assume they are on call with an in-house receptionist within your law firm. In the end, outsourcing your communications to an answering service should increase your firm’s professionalism by streamlining caller communication with your legal team.
It also makes sense to take note of the software integration of an answering service. The right company will offer tech-forward solutions that simplify a range of processes, including appointment scheduling and lawsuit follow-ups.
Ask about the tools and software used and make sure they are compatible with the systems and equipment you already have in your law firm. You want an easy setup that will virtually make the process of seeking phone answering assistance as painless as possible.
Answering services can help with much more than just phone answering assistance. They can also lend a hand with lead capture, live chats, call transfers, and more. The broader the array of services to choose from: the better.
An answering service is only as good as its ability to ensure you:
Don’t miss important calls from potential clients
Increase the customer experience and satisfaction rate of your firm
Make excellent first impressions to all callers
Enhance your firm’s reputation
Increase positive feedback from your clients
Continually pump up brand loyalty and expand your client base
Reduce the call abandonment rate
Enhance your firm’s focus on customer needs
All these are perks that can only be enjoyed if reasonable answering time policies are in place. If an answering service is not highly responsive, you may as well direct your firm’s callers to your voicemail.
Working With an Attorney Answering Service
We hope that this post gives you an all-rounded perspective of why you should use an answering service for your workers’ compensation law firm. Generally speaking, attorneys and their clients need to be in constant communication right from the consultation meeting until a case is determined and compensation is offered. Even when a case is in a holding pattern, you have a legal and ethical obligation to report this to your client. Proper communication ensures that cases don’t fall through the cracks, leaving clients frustrated and law firms at a loss of their good reputation. It’s no surprise that firms that have invested in answering services experience significant growth yearly thanks to their excellent customer service, commendable reputation, and admirable client retention rate.