But growth also comes with new challenges and new obstacles, and as a law firm grows, it’s going to need more personnel. A small firm might be able to get by with a receptionist manning a desk or switchboard, but as the firm’s needs grow more sophisticated, that may not be enough to handle a large volume of calls. What happens at night or on the weekend? Do you have those after-hours calls forwarded to your phone, or let them go to voicemail and get to it later?
Those solutions are only good up to a point — and they can lead to frustrated clients, missed opportunities, and time taken away from your family when you take a business call during your hours.
But there are solutions to this problem already in place. Many law firms employ an answering service to make sure they never miss an important call, and others employ a call center. But what’s the difference, and which one is the right fit for your firm? Let’s dig into the details.
Answering Services vs. Call Centers
So what’s the difference between an answering service and a call center? The first difference is in personnel. An answering service typically has one agent who takes care of customers, while a call center has multiple agents handling several customers at the same time. As you might expect, this means call centers have a higher overall operating cost, and are generally more than a small or medium law firm needs to deal with its customer support needs.
Call center personnel also tend to be more well-trained than answering services. A typical answering service might only set out to make sure calls are answered and to take messages for later. A call center may have several support agents well-versed in the company’s policies and procedures, leading to a higher overall quality of customer service.
Is Your Law Firm Ready?
Here are some signs your law firm might benefit from, or even outright need, a call center.
If you’re getting a lot of voicemails outside of normal operating hours, or your existing answering service is having a problem keeping up with call volume, that’s a major sign you may need to upgrade your services. Every lost call is potentially a lost client, and that’s no good for the growth of your firm.
Further, if your front desk is having a hard time keeping up with calls during the day, or clients (and potential clients) are hanging up because they’re spending too much time on hold, that’s another sign a call center could drastically improve your customer satisfaction.
Finally, if it seems like dealing with customer queries, support requests, and other menial customer service tasks, you might consider integrating call center services. Among the many benefits of having a call center — which we’ll get to in a moment — is the ability of call center solutions to take a lot of heavy lifting off your hands. When you outsource things like ticket routing and customer support needs, you can focus on what matters.
Benefits of a Call Center for Law Firms
Let’s say you’ve done the math, weighed your options, and are ready to integrate a call center into your law firm. What are some of the main benefits you’ll enjoy? Here’s a short list of some of the main perks:
● 24-hour availability: the main advantage of an answering service or a call center.
● A call center can be integrated with your existing phone system, so there are no special after-hours numbers to call.
● A call center will result in fewer unanswered calls and fewer lost clients.
● Improved efficiency. With a call center, agents can collect information and transfer that information to the appropriate department or legal team.
● Scalability. As your law firm grows, the right call center software should be able to support that growth, to handle your needs as they change.
● Detailed reporting. Any business owner will tell you metrics are the key to capitalizing on your successes and failures, and call center metrics offer a wealth of information. You can find out how fast calls are being answered, how fast queries are getting resolved, conversion rate, and more — so you can determine which areas need improvement.
● Omnichannel support, allowing clients to reach out via multiple channels — whether it’s email, phone, website contact forms, etc.
● Automation. The agents at a call center can automatically convert calls and queries into a support ticket, routed to the appropriate person — much more useful than voicemail.
● Call center agents can help streamline appointment scheduling and even engage in active lead generation and outbound marketing, leading to more conversions and more clients.
Source By https://www.lawyer-monthly.com/2022/11/how-your-legal-firm-can-benefit-from-a-call-centre/