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Want to know an easy way to boost your case conversion? Get better than the competition at handling afterhours calls. Intake after hours is one of the most significant growth areas for improving your law firm’s bottom line—without spending more money.
While this sounds like a simple fix, there’s strategy involved in truly dialing in your attorney answering service. But this critical form of intake can also very quickly separate you from other law firms—if you do it well.
Change your expectations. Advances in technology and consumer expectations means people anticipate more from an attorney answering service. If potential clients’ needs aren’t met immediately in an intelligent and pleasant manner, there’s a strong chance they’ll just hang up. Think about your own frustrations with waiting on hold or not getting useful answers when calling about a product or service. Lawyers should expect that people increasingly expect more than an answering service can provide.
Pick the right answering service. Before hiring any answering service, ask a lot of questions. Visit the call center or office. Invest time in finding out how this service will report to you. Most importantly, talk to your legal advertising agency about best practices and how your marketing partner plans to incorporate call tracking and leverage analytics to better target your advertising efforts.
Record your calls. These days, this practice really goes without saying: You can’t act on data you don’t have. So be sure your firm’s calls are clearly recorded and tracked. You’ll be impressed by what you can learn about your prospective clients just from the messages they leave with your answering service.
Know your drop call rate. Not sure what this is? Get up to speed today. Dropped calls are calls that are put on hold that eventually lead to a prospect hanging up. Uncover your true drop call rate—hang-ups that are never accounted for. It’s possible that a simple change in initial messaging, hold music, or tone could help keep people (legal cases!) on the line longer.
“Secret shop” your service. Have you ever tested or secret shopped your current answering service? Calling your own firm’s answering service at least once a month can lead to rich insight about what’s working best. Better yet, have a friend outside the legal industry call your firm after hours. Prepare a questionnaire for your secret shopper regarding voice tone, ring length, messaging, hold times, and other key qualitative and quantitative feedback that could help your law firm improve performance.
Remember, what happens when your law office closes shouldn’t stay behind closed doors. Keeping the lines of communication open around your answering service practices is a helpful way to enhance your intake—and convert more callers to cases.
Need more insight on how to improve your afterhours intake procedures? Network Affiliates has been helping lawyers tap the smartest ROI-propelled advertising and marketing strategies since 1981. Call (888) 461-1016 today!