Ringer: Who Should Answer the Phone at Your Law Firm?

This is kind of a trick question.  It’s one that initiates the lawyer’s go-to response: It depends. But in reality, the choice of who answers your phone when clients and potential clients call has a lot of layers to it, not unlike an onion.  And this is reflective of the many choices now available to attorneys.

In a perfect world where you have ample time (riiiight), it’s probably best to have lawyers answering every call – and the more senior the lawyer, the better.  Why?  Because it surprises and delights clients.  (Wait, I’m actually talking to the lawyer?!)  Clients and potential clients expect you to have gatekeepers; if you don’t, they’re amazed and thrilled.  Some law firms actually employ this method.  Not surprisingly, clients are happy and revenue increases.

Of course, the vast majority of law firms can’t accommodate that arrangement.  And if that’s your law firm, the next best option is to have a staff person pick up the phone because they know the next most about your business.  And now that most law firms are increasingly comfortable with a virtual workforce environment and are more reliant on VoIP phone systems, it’s easier than ever before to have your attorneys or staff pick up calls wherever they are.

Now if attorneys and staff are not realistic phone answering solutions for your law firm, consider a virtual receptionist service so that calls aren’t left unanswered.  Just make sure you provide your vendor with a tight call script so your outsourced provider is asking all the right questions and vetting both leads and clients effectively.

The last thing you want is to let a call get to voicemail.  Just a hair over 35% of law firm voicemails are ever returned, and once a lead or client gets voicemail, it’s no guarantee that they will even leave a message – and, the next move is definitely to call your competition.

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To request a consult, visit the Wyoming State Bar’s law practice management page, and start running your law firm like a business.

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