Who is Answering Your Firm’s Phone?
It takes a lot of phone calls to find a new client. If only a certain percentage of callers turn into clients, that should tell you something about the importance of that ringing phone. So tell us this: Who’s answering your phone? All your marketing efforts are leading up to this moment. You cannot afford to deliver a lackluster experience. When any caller could be a client, every caller matters.
To make the most of this opportunity, keep the following concepts in-mind when answering the phone:
Always identify your law firm and your name immediately. This is simply good manners, but it’s also smart business. Use polite, open-ended questions to make the conversation flow easily. Many callers will have never dealt with a legal issue before. By using leading questions, you’ll help them tell a clear story. This gives them a framework for discussing their needs, and allows you to vet potential clients early in the process. Offer to follow up the initial call with an email summary and your personal contact information.
To convert leads into clients, you have to start a dialogue, so be tenacious about your calls. Once a contact has had an actual conversation with an attorney, they’re far less likely to continue shopping around. Engage your potential customers effectively, even if that takes a bit of digging. An unforthcoming caller can be a challenge, but your business requires meaningful conversations to function. Lastly, the telephone is no place for a shrinking violet so be clear about your expectations when hiring or training new employees.
72 percent of legal consumers only consider one attorney during their search process. This means that the initial phone call is probably your only opportunity to retain a potential client. If you aren’t caring for your callers properly, they’ll move on without you.
In addition, most legal consumers are motivated by emotion, not logic. So be responsive to their needs. Let them know that your firm is ready and willing to give them the attention and care they’re looking for. That means don’t stick them on hold, don’t blind transfer callers and never ever ask them to call you back.
Remember, managing the customer experience is an essential tactic in brand management. It can feel like micro-managing when you talk about it, but the phone experience is far more likely to affect your client roster than your logo or letterhead. Spend the time working with your staff to get this right.
Good phone manners and other aspects of the client intake process are discussed further in the free playbook, Legal Marketing 101: A Guide for Small Law Firms. Download your copy today.