5 Criteria to Find the Right Answering Service for Your Law Firm


If you are in charge of a law firm, you likely have a lot on your plate with client cases and all that those entail. You’re spending hours on research, interviews, preparations, and other activities to get clients and the case you’re representing ready for court. In the legal field, services are in high demand and attorneys like you need to be able to dedicate time to clients. That may mean outsourcing things like an answering service to ensure that you never miss a lead, but don’t have to be tied up on the phone all the time. 

An answering service is sometimes a much better option than trying to hire a single receptionist or administrative assistant. For a lower cost, you can get a total strategy that includes several services, all in a streamlined format that can help you improve communications, admin operations, and more. Of course, as with anything, you’ll want to be sure that you’re choosing the best answering service for your needs. 

Here are five criteria to help make that easier. 

1. Live answering with warm transfers

One of the best things the modern business can do for its customers is to have an actual person pick up the phone. Interactive voice response (IVR) systems were great, at first, and they do still have a place. However, that place isn’t in a law firm where the people calling are already likely under some kind of stress and just need to talk to a person. With the right answering service, you can get real operators answering every call and warm transfers to the right departments as you request. This frees up your time but also ensures that you get the calls you should. 

2. 24/7 availability 

In the legal world, things are happening 24 hours a day. People don’t just get arrested between the hours of 8 AM and 5 PM. In fact, most people end up needing to call a law firm at hours outside of “normal” business hours. That’s where having a 24/7 answering service can come in handy. Even if you’re not available, someone will be, and they can take calls, transfer calls, and even take messages so that you can call people back once you’re contacted. 

Having 24-hour availability for legal clients is a great way to boost the visibility and reputation of your law firm. When you choose to do it with an outsourced answering service, it’s also more affordable and gives you the chance to scale at a pace that works for your law firm, even if you think you don’t have the means. 

3. Information security and data encryption

In the legal world, security and privacy are big concerns. These are legal matters, and a lot of the details involve personal information, criminal records, case-related information, and other data. This is valuable information that can be used by a law firm in several ways. However, if it’s not transmitted and stored securely, it can be at risk of getting hacked or otherwise becoming damaged or compromised. Data encryption and information security features that come from professional answering services are unmatched. They have the latest tools and software solutions to ensure that all of your information is properly protected at all times. 

Your clients will thank you for considering this. You’ll also enjoy more peace of mind and get more sleep at night knowing that your client contacts and other details are secure, even if they’re not within your own system. Experienced virtual receptionists and answering services use the latest in encryption and security tools to protect your clients and your law firm.

4. Variety of features and services

In the decades before wireless technology, the Internet, and other call center solutions, most answering services were just that: an answering service. They took calls, took messages, and perhaps occasionally made live, warm transfers to companies after realizing their input was needed. Today, there are endless features that you can find with a modern answering service or virtual receptionist, including everything from call forwarding and warm transfers to custom scripting, overflow call answering, and so much more. 

Make sure that you take advantage of the trial period to evaluate the features. You can do this by making some test calls. This will allow you to see that calls are being routed properly and handled by the representatives in a way that you can feel good about. 

5. Custom call handling and scripting 

In the legal field, having a customized and scripted answering service solution can help with lead intake and determining how calls should be routed. Agents who understand the delicate nature of legal matters should be able to create a strategy to field calls as an extension of your law firm with professionalism and tact. 

The last thing people want when they’re calling a law firm is to feel like they’re being fed a script or faced with an endless IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system that is doing nothing but sending them in circles trying to reach a real person. For less than you think, you can invest in a live answering service that will field each call individually and take it in stride. 

All that and more can be yours when you partner with Smith.ai

The virtual receptionists at Smith.ai are available to provide a 24/7 answering service for your law firm. Of course, that’s not all that we can do. We’ll also work with you to create a plan to manage things like lead intake, appointment scheduling, and even your live website chat and other needs. Plus, with your custom strategy, we’ll manage the entire process and make sure that you’re always kept in the loop. 

We offer transparent pricing and customized solutions for all types of professional businesses, including law firms. We work harder to help you manage your lead intake and admin tasks so that you can focus on your clients and caseload. 

To learn more, schedule a consultation or reach out to hello@smith.ai and find out how our virtual receptionists can help your law firm. 

Business Education
Law Firm
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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