3 Ways Attorney Answering Services Help Convert More Inbound Leads


Law firms are busier than ever. Between the industry’s ongoing talent shortage to growing billable hour requirements, attorneys and their staff members are required to do more today, often with less time. That usually means little time to answer calls, which is a major issue because it means you’re probably missing inbound leads.

The good news is that attorney answering services can help free up your time and your team’s while also converting more inbound leads. Not sure how that works? Here are three ways.

1. Responsiveness to a potential client’s first call

Did you know that two out of three potential clients say that their decision to hire an attorney is most influenced by the attorney’s responsiveness to their first call? If you’re so busy that calls are going to voicemail and aren’t being returned promptly, two-thirds of your leads are likely going elsewhere

You cannot count on a potential lead to call your office a second time, either. They have plenty of options in terms of other attorneys and law firms, and they’ll assume that if they cannot connect with you during the initial call, you’re either too busy or too unprofessional to help with their situation and will contact your competitors. 

An attorney answering service helps you capture the two-thirds of leads who would otherwise go elsewhere. Not only that, but the service does this without costing you time. Attorneys and their staff are interrupted multiple times per day, and it usually takes about 23 minutes to recover from an interruption. On average, that means you’re probably losing around two hours every single day just due to interruptions. 

Answering phone calls, fielding questions from potential new clients, trying to schedule initial appointments or call-backs –– all of those steps are essential, but they take you and your team away from other pressing matters. An attorney answering service ensures that you have an experienced specialist providing lead intake, warmly answering questions, and providing a much-needed human touch while also avoiding the problems that stem from calls going to voicemail.

2. Qualifying leads to ensure a better initial experience

How many times has this happened to you? You contact a lead who left a message, only to find that you have virtually no information about their situation, needs, or goals. You spend the first five to 10 minutes of the call “catching up.” 

Not only does that slow you down and take away time from other projects, but it doesn’t serve the potential client very well, either. Potential clients are under pressure to find answers to their challenges, and the more time spent collecting basic information, the less time you can dedicate to answering their questions and explaining how you can solve their problems. 

With an attorney answering service, that’s no longer an issue. Virtual receptionists can qualify leads, capture both basic and intermediate data, populate that information in your CRM, and deliver a better initial experience for your soon-to-be clients.

3. Juggling the intake & scheduling process

The intake and scheduling process for new leads can be complex. Once qualified, leads enter the basic intake stage, which may be instant or delayed. 

  • If the lead is ready, they may need to be transferred, called back, or have an appointment set. 
  • If the lead isn’t quite ready, that usually entails a follow-up call and entering their information in the CMS to begin your email drip sequence. 

In both situations, the lead must still go through the full intake process before becoming a new client.

Attorney answering services help to streamline this complicated, convoluted process. With the right answering service, you have access to an experienced partner (a human rather than a robot) who can intelligently route leads through the various stages and steps based on many factors, including:

  • The urgency of their need/situation
  • The client’s questions
  • The client’s availability/preference for future communication

For instance, one client might be happy to be contacted in a day or two, while another might need to speak with an in-house assistant or paralegal immediately. Every situation is unique, and attempting to use a one-size-fits-all solution usually backfires, costing you leads and reducing client satisfaction.

Choosing the right attorney answering service

The attorney answering service you choose represents your firm to potential new clients. In most cases, the service will create a soon-to-be client’s first impression of your firm, so it pays to make an informed choice here. You never get a second chance to create a positive impression, after all.

So, what goes into this decision? First, you must look beyond the price tag. Yes, affordability is an important factor, but others matter just as much (or more).

First, consider the service’s level of experience and expertise. How many other law firms does the company service? How many years has the company been doing so? What sort of results does the service regularly deliver to law firms?

Second, does the service provide live answering services? Yes, automation can help streamline processes and reduce costs, but it’s impersonal and doesn’t send the right message to potential new clients.

Third, does the service integrate with your technology stack? Make sure the service can connect leads to your CMS for integrated messaging, follow-up, and marketing.

Smith.ai helps you capture and convert more leads

Smith.ai offers a team of virtual receptionists with deep experience serving clients throughout the legal industry. We can provide outstanding support for lead intake, as well as appointment scheduling. Plus, our team can go beyond providing a 24/7 answering service. From live chat to AI voice assistants, we deliver customized solutions that ensure you’re able to capture and nurture leads while still focusing on what you and your team do best. 

To learn more, schedule a consultation or reach out to hello@smith.ai

Law Firm
Business Education
Written by Samir Sampat

Samir Sampat is a Marketing Manager with Smith.ai. He has experience working with businesses of all sizes focusing on marketing, communications, and business development.

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