A virtual receptionist service can help a small law firm run more efficiently and take over a significant share of the work. What’s more, it can improve your brand image and grow your business exponentially.
Many large firms have high-quality virtual receptionists to more efficiently use their resources and outperform their competitors. For many small firm lawyers as well, the benefits of a call center greatly outweigh the initial investment that’s necessary to set it up.
However, not any virtual receptionist company is the same as the others. In fact, you need to be careful when you’re choosing your call center agent. If you pick a company that does not have experience in providing in the legal niche, you may end up paying them and getting next to nothing in return.
What’s more, a bad virtual receptionist can even damage your law firm if they are inattentive and not empathetic to potential clients.
More often than not, the receptionist is the first person that your prospective clients talk to. If they leave a bad impression, the client will simply call another law firm and schedule a meeting with them. A neutral impression is better, but your firm should be aiming for better than neutral. You don’t want to lose any potential clients, and you should always leave a positive impression of your firm.
A great receptionist does that for you. They should be able to carefully listen to your client and assure them that their case will be dealt with. When the call ends, the client should feel relieved. They should be confident that your firm will solve his or her issue and feel no need to contact anyone else. Especially other attorneys.
Continue reading to find out what makes a good call center or virtual receptionist. Hopefully, our article will help you find the best service for you.
This almost goes without saying.
Your firm needs to be available to potential clients 24/7. No one knows when they will suddenly find themselves in need of a lawyer. It might be 2 PM, but it may as well be 4 AM. In any case, you should have someone ready on the phone, when your potential client calls.
Of course, your law firm doesn’t have to be open non-stop, but if you want to maximize your potential client base, you should have a call center that works round the clock.
While an all-night service might be a bit more expensive, the initial investment often pays for itself within the first few months, depending on your firm. That is because a late-night call is usually made in panic, right after an accident or arrest happens.
If the potential client is calling at this hour, they probably are looking for a real person to talk to. Maybe they have already called other law firms and no one answered. If your firmresponds to the call, your receptionist can give the caller peace by scheduling a meeting as soon as possible. This way, you will gain a valuable new client, thanks to the non-stop availability of your receptionist.
A good call center offers support in at least two languages. Although English is the official language, not everyone speaks it well enough to describe their predicament. In such cases, it is vital that your receptionist can provide support in another language (usually Spanish is the most helpful).
Of course, it’s impossible for your firm to provide support in all the languages in your country. Still, you should at least try to offer your services in the second most spoken language in your area. Naturally, the language needs vary depending on the specific location of your firm.
Multilingual support is particularly important for law firms in border states and counties.
Earlier, we mentioned an example in which your receptionist deals with a panic call made at 4 AM. Although that rarely happens in reality, that’s almost the perfect storm to test your receptionist. If the caller happens to speak little English as well, your receptionist will need to have exceptional mental toughness to deal with the issue.
A high-quality call center agent will remain calm and patient under the most intense pressure. They need to control their emotions and respect the customer, regardless of any personal issues they may be facing.
Communicative and approachable
In the introduction, we talked about the importance of your receptionist. They are the front line of your law firm and the first person people will associate with you as an attorney. In fact, for most clients, the receptionist will represent the only contact that your client will have with your firm before they meet you.
This means that the receptionist needs to be friendly and compassionate. They need to keep a smile on their face and approach each customer with the same enthusiasm.
Call center agents also need to be flexible. They should be able to deal with all types of clients, however challenging their personalities might be, and consistently provide support to them. They should be able to deal with angry clients just as well as with chatty, upbeat people who just can’t stop talking. This requires an incredible dose of flexibility.
Furthermore, your call center agents may have to work difficult hours as well. You should be able to rely on them on holidays, weekends and whenever your clients may call.
Impeccable organizational skills
Impeccable organizational skills are another requirement for high-quality call center service.
Your call center representatives need to be able to handle multiple tasks, while they talk with your prospective clients. In addition to that, they need to meet deadlines, submit client requests and utilize the call center software to optimize your business.
All of that requires them to be incredibly organized.
A great call center service is characterized by speed and efficiency. However, it should be quick without sacrificing the quality of the work.
An agent should be able to quickly accept calls, process the client requests and forward them to you. Speed in handling issues is important as it allows your agent to efficiently finish the call and turn his attention to the next client. You never want your prospective clients to wait on the line longer than is absolutely necessary.
75% of people think it takes businesses too long to answer their calls.
No call center agent will be able to provide good support to your clients unless they’re very knowledgeable about your firm. That is why they need to memorize large amounts of information and reproduce them without any errors, whenever the client asks about your law firm. Moreover, they need to understand your brand and act in accordance with it to promote your business at every opportunity.
In case they can’t solve a client’s issue, which will undoubtedly happen from time to time, they should always know where to send them for additional help. If they don’t refer the client to the right person, chances are you will lose that lead.
Luckily, this is something that can be learned. However, it should be learned quickly. If your agent isn’t able to quickly memorize all the necessary information, your firm may suffer.
Of course, no call center service is great unless it comes at a fair price. Thankfully, most call centers now offer different pricing packages. You should be able to find a plan that suits your business needs relatively easily.
Before you decide which call center/virtual receptionist service you will purchase for your business, you can always contact the companies in question and schedule a free trial or ask to talk to their receptionists over the phone. Reach out to multiple call centers to compare prices.
This way, you will gain a first-hand impression of the service that they provide and see for yourself what exactly they can offer you. But bear in mind that some companies may refuse to let you do this.
There you go! Now you know what makes a good call center or virtual receptionist and you can find the best service for you company.
Are there any other aspects of call centers/virtual receptionists that you look for? What does your call center do best? Which call centers do you use? Please leave feedback in the comments.