Why Your Business Law Firm Needs an Answering Service


Business law covers a great deal of ground. It touches on everything from mergers and acquisitions to business formation, copyright law, resolving business disputes, and contracts. However, no matter what area of business law your practice might focus on, you must walk a tightrope between serving clients and handling communications to bring in a steady flow of new clients. 

It’s challenging for larger legal practices, and smaller firms may find it next to impossible. A legal answering service can provide the solutions you need.

The demands facing business law firm teams

To understand how a legal answering service can benefit your business law firm, we first need to explore the many challenges your team faces daily.

Dealing with contracts

Even with automation, creating contracts is a delicate process that requires a lot of attention and expertise. If you don’t have legal automation in the mix, it’s an even more prolonged process. It can take hours to customize and proofread even a basic contract. It might take even longer for something more substantial, like a mortgage. 

Supporting mergers and acquisitions

Even the most basic mergers and acquisitions require ironclad agreements that spell out the roles, responsibilities, benefits, and contingencies to protect all parties involved. Your team members must pay a great deal of attention when creating these agreements and negotiating between the various parties. 

Business plan creation

A thriving business requires a robust, accurate business plan. Creating such a plan is only possible with time, focus, attention, and the ability to delve into important areas like competition, financial projections, feasibility, and more.  

Settling contract disputes

When two or more companies sign a contract, there’s always a chance that a dispute will arise down the road. Settling contract disputes requires more than just a thorough understanding of the intent behind each portion of the contract. It requires solid communication and negotiation skills and the ability to connect with people in a range of positions in each organization involved in the dispute to find an equitable solution.

The true underlying issue facing your business law firm

By this point, you probably have a good idea of the real issue your business law firm faces: distractions. Whether you’re creating a new contract or helping a soon-to-be business get off the ground, the task at hand requires a great degree of focus and attention. Every single phone call and email you must field detracts from that. 

Answer these questions:

  • How much time does your team spend each day fielding phone calls?
  • How many of those phone calls translate into new clients?
  • How much time, on average, does it take to reply to an email?
  • How much time does each team member invest in the client onboarding process?
  • How much does onboarding eat into time team members should be focused on other responsibilities?

Distractions like phone calls and emails take a major toll on your firm’s productivity and efficiency. It takes up to 25 minutes to recover from a single disruption. Now multiply that by the number of times your team members are interrupted each day. It adds up to a massive amount of time that could be better spent working with clients or handling critical tasks.

So, how does a legal answering service help? It’s all about freeing your team members from the shackles of communication so they can focus on more important tasks while virtual receptionists communicate with leads and clients.

Faster response times: Your team is busy trying to balance their responsibilities between client-facing duties and communications. That often leads to breakdowns that can cost you time, money, and efficiency. For instance, did you know that 42% of law firms take roughly three days to respond to a message from a lead? That’s a lot of time for the lead to start considering competing law firms. 

A legal answering service ensures a call is answered when it comes in, which negates the need to leave a message in the first place (80% of callers won’t leave a voicemail to begin with, which is a major issue in its own right). Because the call is answered the first time, the lead is automatically more satisfied and more likely to convert. However, this is just the beginning.

Lead vetting: Many potential leads aren’t well-suited for your business law firm. Perhaps they need help with a merger, but your firm focuses on copyright law, for example. Whatever the case, those calls should never make it to a team member, but they’re important to answer. 

A legal answering service helps vet incoming leads to ensure that they’re a good fit for what you offer, saving your team valuable time and sanity. From that point, the call can be forwarded to a team member, an appointment could be set, or another appropriate action taken.

Information gathering: No matter whether the caller is a potential lead or a long-time client, a legal answering service can help gather important information. Did you know that law firms fail to collect email addresses and phone numbers 45% of the time? That doesn’t even cover other things, like names, physical addresses, and important case-related information.

A legal answering service does more than simply answer calls and forward them to the appropriate party or take messages. They can collect critical caller information and then populate it within your CRM. That gives you a better picture of each lead and current client, reduces the need to ask for the same information time after time, and ensures a better overall client experience.

The freedom your business law firm needs

Ultimately, business law firms must be free to focus on what they do best, not tied to the phone or email system. At Smith.ai, our virtual receptionists deliver critical solutions that ensure your team has the freedom and flexibility they need and deserve. From 24/7 live answering to appointment setting, lead vetting, payment collection, and spam blocking, we can help your team do more and serve your clients better.

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

Law Firm
Virtual Receptionists
Written by Mike Graner

Mike Graner is the Marketing Manager at Smith.ai. He focuses on engaging content, company updates, and in-person events.

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