You didn’t go to law school to answer phones all day. While you will find yourself in many situations where you need to talk to clients on the phone, many calls come into your firm that may not require your direct attention. A receptionist or administrative assistant could be a good buffer to protect your time and make sure your clients are still effectively served.
Of course, that requires having money to pay someone for that role, which many startups and smaller law firms may not be capable of. After all, the average admin assistant or legal receptionist makes about $45,000 to $50,000 per year. And for that, all you get is a single employee.
On the other hand, outsourcing can give you access to a team of dedicated agents that can handle all the incoming calls for your firm at a fraction of the cost. Here are five reasons an answering service should be on your list of must-haves for your law firm.
Answering services don’t earn hourly rates or have benefits to consider. They aren’t going to ask for raises or require overhead from your firm, such as desk space, equipment, and training. The thousands of dollars that you’ll spend to onboard a single employee will not be an issue.
When you choose an answering service, you can pick from an array of services to create a customized package. Then, you will be able to price out the services and see what they cost. Even if you choose a high-end answering service with premium features, you’ll probably find that it’s still a more affordable option than hiring someone to manage the phones.
As mentioned, instead of paying one employee, you can outsource to an answering service and gain access to a team of dedicated virtual receptionists to field all your incoming calls and messages. They will be able to handle call routing, basic queries, and other demands so that you can focus on the cases that you’re handling at the moment.
When you choose a dynamic solution like the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai, you can get all your solutions in a single place, including:
Getting all of this from employees or setting it up within your business would cost a lot more than it does to outsource to those who already have the means in place.
24/7 answering services make sure that your firm is never “off the clock.” Even when you’re home in bed, agents will be available to take calls from inquiring leads and even existing clients, redirecting any that need to speak to you until the next business day. In the meantime, they can handle routine questions and needs so that you never miss anything.
The main reason that people get frustrated with lawyers and law firms is because they’re hard to get in touch with. If you’re working in a private practice, this could be even truer. It’s not your fault. You have cases to take care of. However, you need to make sure that you’ve got someone there when you aren’t.
Legal matters transcend cultures and language barriers. Law firms aren’t always prepared to handle clients who have language needs. And in the U.S., which is home to 42 million native Spanish speakers and about 15 million who speak Spanish as a second language, it’s highly likely that you’ll find this service valuable.
An answering service is an affordable way for your firm to offer that support to those who may not speak English as their first language. This kind of inclusivity can boost your clients’ trust and help expand your firm's reach. Learning a new language yourself or hiring someone who speaks both English and Spanish could be expensive and time-consuming. It may also not be feasible for your business needs, which is where outsourcing makes the better option.
One of the best reasons to invest in an answering service for your law firm is that it gives you a resource that can grow with you over time. As your firm takes on more clients and has a bigger need for communication support, you can step up your partnership and create new solutions. You can add more agents and services, change or add support services, and more.
Hiring a team in-house isn’t a bad idea if the need and funds are there. However, as you grow, you may have to continue to hire more people. That can get expensive, especially when you compare it to the low cost of outsourcing.
As you can see, there are several reasons to consider investing in an answering service for your law firm. In addition to those above, you can also enjoy perks like:
There is no reason that you should be trying to handle everything in your law firm on your own. With dedicated answering services like Smith.ai, it’s affordable and accessible to outsource instead.
At Smith.ai, our virtual receptionists are ready to get started whenever you need us. We can provide support for lead intake, appointment scheduling, and even outreach campaign assistance. Plus, our team of agents can act as your 24/7 answering service so that you never miss another client call or lead. We can also change the way people communicate with you by adding live chat and chatbots to your website.
Our AI voice assistant can give people the chance to find what they need with ease, and we can combine that with the rest of our services to deliver a customized answering service solution that fits your needs.