As a defense attorney, it can be challenging and overwhelming to maintain a life balance and healthy work. Running a successful legal practice requires more than legal expertise and delivering services to all your clients. Your firm cannot grow and remain competitive without achieving maximum client satisfaction.

When incoming calls from your clients are numerous, and your office staff cannot receive them, you risk jeopardizing your reputation and losing your potential and existing clients to your competitors. Luckily, it is possible to avoid these problems by partnering with a call center or answering service to offer prompt services or help to your clients and keep your business flourishing.

The answering service you choose can tailor its services to complement your legal practice, boosting your existing and potential clients' confidence in your services. Read on to know what to look for when finding a dependable answering service for your criminal defense law firm.

Factors to Consider When Finding a Reliable Answering Service for a Defense Law Firm

A reliable answering service could make all the difference in your law firm's customer service experience. An answering service or call center is critical to running and managing a criminal defense law firm. Once you partner with an answering service, you can rest assured that no client calls, emails, or messages will go unanswered daily, regardless of the time.

A reliable law firm answering service provider will have live and skilled call operators or answering agents who work actively on alternating shifts to ensure all your clients receive the help they need 24/7/365. That ensures your legal practice and services are not limited to daytime work hours, and you do not lose any potential leads.

Unfortunately, not all answering service providers offer the same services. To find a reliable answering service that will offer you the seamless services that your criminal defense law firm needs, you should consider whether your prospective service provider:

Has a Confidentiality Plan

Before making any binding deals with your prospective answering service provider, you should inquire to know how they handle secure and confidential information. Confidentiality is an issue of great importance when handling legal matters.

For instance, when a prospective client runs afoul of the law for an alleged rape crime or any other sex crime, he/she expects the sensitive information he/she will discuss with you will not reach the hands of a third party, including:

  • Details of the alleged crime
  • His/her name
  • His/her phone and residence address

Therefore, a reliable answering service must understand the importance of confidentiality and privacy when handling legal matters.

Before you make any deals with your potential service provider, you should inquire whether their answering agents have adequate training on privacy and confidentiality matters. Also, ensure you tell them what to do and which issues not to discuss with prospective or existing clients on a call or in any messaging platform to maintain vital client-attorney confidentiality.

Offers Specialized Legal Answering Services

Another vital consideration is whether your prospective call center offers specialized legal answering services. Legal matters are typically complex, and you do not want to hire a call center with only experience in tech support and retail assistance.

Ensure the service provider you choose has significant experience in legal matters and working with clients like yours. For instance, if your legal specialty handles domestic violence-related cases, you should ensure the answering service provider you choose understands this area of law to offer the best legal assistance to your customers.

A service provider that offers specialized legal answering services will be more helpful to your legal practice and boost client satisfaction.

Can Organize Your Legal Cases or Calls In Order of Urgency

Your law firm's organization is essential to delivering the best legal services to your clients and starts with how you handle clients' calls. An organized law firm will work more effectively and efficiently than a disorganized firm.

When it comes to legal matters, as an attorney, you understand not all clients' calls are the same in terms of seriousness and urgency. For instance, a call from a client with a pending charge requires more urgent intervention than a call from a client who wants to ask routine inquiries about your legal practice.

To ease your work in organizing your clients' calls and messages in order of urgency, you should hire  a reliable call center that understands the importance of organization in your law firm.

Aside from improving efficiency in your legal services, proper organization of client messages and calls in order of priority or urgency reduces unnecessary interruptions for optimal productivity in your criminal defense law firm. Managing and organizing your clients' calls, messages, and emails in order of priority allows you to give each client the maximum attention he/she deserves in his/her case or legal issue.

Can Offer Multilingual Services

Whether you are a start-up or an experienced law firm, a reliable answering service that offers multilingual services could be of paramount help in your practice. That is true, especially if your in-house office staff and receptionist can only speak English. As you could beware, an arrest could happen to anyone regardless of ethnic background or country of origin.

Therefore, you should be ready to handle messages or calls from clients who are non-English speakers. Fortunately, this is possible once you partner with an answering service that offers multilingual services. A reliable call center will have in place answering agents or call operators who are trained and well-versed in different languages, including Spanish, which is also a common language here.

If you are unsure about your prospective service provider's potential, you should ask them directly to ensure your clients will also receive specialized services from Spanish-speaking agents. A communication barrier between you and your potential clients can make you lose several potential deals, lowering your revenue and overall customer satisfaction. 

Enhance Your Law Firm's Professionalism and Productivity

An experienced answering service can make your law firm seem professional, even if it is your first few months since you started offering legal services, boosting your business growth rate. Once you retain the services of a reliable call center, you can rest assured that your clients will receive the professional and polite services they require during their time of need.

Your potential and existing clients will have a positive perception and impression of your legal practice when they experience top-notch professionalism anytime they call your business number. If your clients do not feel comfortable talking to your in-house receptionists, there is a high chance they will find another attorney who appreciates them.

With professional legal answering services, your clients will immediately connect with your law firm, making them more confident in your legal services. Missing your clients' calls or sending them to voicemail could make prospective clients perceive your law firm as unreliable, lowering your reputation.

However, you can avoid this by working with an experienced call center. Aside from enhancing your law firm's professionalism, a reliable answering service can also boost productivity in your daily legal activities. When your staff members are constantly handling incoming client calls and attending to walk-in clients, their workflow and attention are interrupted, reducing productivity in your firm.

Although answering the call does not necessarily waste time, finding their way back to what they were working on before picking up the call wastes time. Several clients’ calls that your in-house staff could deal with later can cause a significant drain on them. Instead of staying productive by working on urgent legal matters, they focus on incoming calls.

Fortunately, you can avoid this by partnering with an answering service to ensure all your staff remains productive and focused on legal clients' matters with minimal interruptions.

Provide Emergency Call Handling

Undoubtedly, nothing is more annoying to a client with a legal issue than calling a defense law firm and not finding someone to resolve his/her needs. When potential or existing clients send you a message or call your office number, regardless of the time or day, they expect to talk to someone who can help them promptly, even if they want to ask routine questions.

That is why you need a reliable answering service that provides emergency call-handling services to ensure no call goes unanswered. Whether a client calls or texts your office or business number after work hours, during the weekend, or on holiday, they will have someone to talk to regarding their concerns.

For instance, when the police arrest someone on the weekend, they could call your office for a consultation on what to expect on Monday in court. If your business number is off or unreachable over the weekend, you could lose a potential business lead to another law office that is available.

As a professional attorney, you are most likely busy investigating your clients' alleged crimes and attending your clients' court proceedings, making it challenging to answer or respond to all incoming calls. For these reasons, you need someone to relieve the burden of picking up your clients' calls off your shoulder.

Whether there is a weather catastrophe or a power outage, if you have an answering service in your law firm, you can rest assured that no client concerns on any communication platform, including emails, will go unanswered. Ensure the service provider you outsource is ready to offer you the 24/7 services you need to stand out and stay competitive in the legal industry.

Offers More than Call Answering Services

Undoubtedly, some answering service providers or call centers are typically bare-bones and will provide you with minimal services. Some call centers will only handle call forwarding, answer routine calls about your practice, and respond to your client’s messages.

However, you deserve a service provider that can outdo what an in-office receptionist would do for maximum productivity in your law firm. Before you make significant commitments with your prospective service provider, you would want to dedicate adequate time to discussing the type of service to expect from them.

A reliable call center will offer you the following services on top of call answering services:

  • Appointment scheduling and reminder services — As a professional lawyer, you need to stay updated on your appointment to give every client the attention he/she deserves and to avoid missing essential court proceedings
  • Advertisement services – With multilingual call operators, you will be sure your advertisement campaigns will reach a broader market to boost your business growth rate.
  • Give new clients directions to your law firm — A dependable answering service call operator(s) can also provide your new clients with directions to your law firm and even provide help if any client is stuck on the way.
  • Call filtering and transfer services — A dependable answering service can also filter your clients' calls to know which is more urgent than the other after talking to the callers. Additionally, you can instruct the answering agents to forward any urgent call to available office staff when necessary.
  • Collect your new clients' contact information and their legal concerns — A dependable answering service can also help you collect the contact information of your new client securely to reach them later when you are available.

Generally speaking, a seasoned answering service can significantly improve your law firm's customer service, reputation, and revenue. However, it is a brilliant idea to dedicate enough time to finding an answering service that will offer you the outstanding and best services you need to outwork your competitors.

Final Thought

In the modern, competitive legal industry, having an answering service in your law firm is advantageous in several ways. With a reliable answering service, all your clients will enjoy a personal touch when they call your business line at any time, giving them the impression that you are the best in the market.

With client satisfaction, your law firm will be reputable and well-established, even if you are new to the legal industry. If you are the owner or manager of a defense law firm and have problems managing your clients' calls, messages, and emails, consider hiring a seasoned answering service today.

Instead of hiring new receptionists, whom you will have to pay even on holidays, and buying more office furniture to accommodate them, hiring a seasoned answering service could solve this issue. Your answering service will reduce your business overhead and increase your revenue.