As a criminal defense attorney, you know how demanding and stressful your job can be. You deal with complex cases, tight deadlines, and high-stake situations. You also handle many phone calls from clients, prospects, and courts.
You cannot be available 24/7 to answer every call because you have many core tasks, such as preparing for trials, conducting research, and meeting with clients. You also need time to rest and recharge.
Because of these, hiring an answering service for your defense law firm is a smart move. A virtual answering service is a company that provides trained professionals to answer your calls when you are busy or unavailable. These virtual receptionists could handle inquiries, appointments, and messages.
Below are the benefits of hiring an answering service for your defense law firm:
Offer Assistance to Non‐English Defendants
Hiring an answering service for your criminal defense law firm could assist non-English defendants, especially Spanish-speaking ones. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 62.1 million Hispanics or Latinos in the United States in 2020, making up 18.7% of the total population. Many non-English defendants need legal help but face a language barrier when contacting lawyers.
An answering service with a bilingual option could help you bridge this gap by providing fluent and professional communication in both English and Spanish. Virtual receptionists could help you reach a growing market of potential clients who need your services. They can also help you ensure that your suspects receive help from someone who understands their language and culture.
The service can also help you clearly and effectively explain your legal options to non-English defendants. They also can translate complex legal terms and concepts into simple and understandable language for your clients.
Attorney Answering Services Enhances Professionalism
When you are a criminal defense attorney, your plaintiffs want to hire a professional lawyer to handle their legal issues with sensitivity and expertise. These suspects do not want to deal with automated responses that are unreliable and unresponsive. Prospects also judge your professionalism by how their calls are received and handled.
An answering service can help you make a good impression on your callers by giving them a real human voice that is friendly, courteous, and knowledgeable. An answering service can also help you manage your calls efficiently and effectively by routing them to the right person, taking messages, scheduling appointments, capturing leads, and following up with clients. With an answering service, you scale your law firm by allowing you to focus on your core tasks without being distracted by phone calls.
You Will Not Have Missed Phone Calls While In Court
You might spend much time in court representing your offenders as a criminal defense attorney. However, this does not mean that your phone calls stop coming in. Some clients could be arrested while you are in court and need your immediate assistance. If their calls are answered, they may gain their chance of securing bail or achieving a favorable outcome.
Your in-house receptionist may be incapable of handling all the calls while you are away. They may be on a break, busy with other tasks, or overwhelmed by the volume of calls. If your callers are slapped with a voicemail or busy signal, they could feel frustrated and ignored. The prospects could decide to call another law firm that is reachable and responsive.
An answering service can help you avoid missing any phone calls while you are in court. An answering service can ensure every call is answered promptly and professionally. An answering service can also screen your calls and prioritize the urgent ones that need your attention immediately. They can transfer the calls to your cell phone or another number, or take messages and relay them to you as soon as possible.
Handling Emergency Legal Calls
You receive several emergency legal calls when running a criminal defense law firm. These calls may involve urgent matters such as arrests, bail hearings, warrants, or subpoenas. These calls may also come in at any time of the day or night, even when your office is closed.
Your in-house receptionist may be unable to handle these emergency legal calls after work hours. They may have to head home and leave their phone lines unattended. In return, you miss emergency calls, which could affect your clients’ criminal cases.
An answering service can help you handle these emergency legal calls effectively and efficiently. An answering service can provide 24/7/365 coverage for your phone lines, ensuring that urgent calls are answered by a live person trained and experienced in legal matters. An answering service can also help you separate yourself from the competition by providing immediate assistance and support to your callers.
With an answering service, your prospects could speak with an attorney without waiting for you to reopen. The virtual receptionists can connect the clients with you or other lawyers on your team who can handle emergencies.
If unavailable, an answering service can take a detailed message and relay it after consulting you. Depending on your preference, they can forward the messages to your email, text, fax, or voicemail.
Lawyer Answering Services are Available 24/7
One main advantage of using virtual receptionists for your criminal defense law firm is that they are available 24/7 to handle your calls. This is especially important for your practice, as many arrests occur on weekend nights or during holidays. Many clients or prospects prefer calling you after work hours when they have more time and privacy.
Your in-house receptionist can only pick up these calls if they work during regular business hours. They also can take breaks, vacations, or sick days. This may cause you to lose potential clients who may hang up or call another law firm if they are still waiting for you to receive their calls.
A virtual receptionist can solve this problem by providing round-the-clock coverage for your phone lines. They can answer every call, regardless of the time or day. They can also greet your callers with a friendly, professional voice reflecting your brand and image.
You also have options when it comes to using a virtual receptionist. You can use them full-time, part-time, after-work hours, weekends, holidays, or whenever needed.
Criminal Attorneys are Busy
The criminal law practice is a busy one. You have to deal with the possibility of arrests every minute, requiring immediate attention and action. You also handle court cases involving different charges, evidence, witnesses, and procedures. You also meet with your clients regularly to discuss their cases and prepare their defenses.
With so many commitments and responsibilities, you may need more time to handle phone calls. However, phone calls are essential to your practice, as they can lead to new clients or cases. A missed call could translate to a lost opportunity or a dissatisfied client.
A call answering service can receive your calls promptly, within three rings or less. They can answer your calls with a customized greeting that reflects your law firm’s name and style. They can also handle your calls according to your instructions and preferences.
It Boosts Staff Productivity
Using an answering service for your criminal defense law firm can boost your staff's productivity. An answering service can reduce the office disruption that may occur when your staff has to pick up calls unrelated to their work. They can also avoid the stress and frustration of dealing with rude or demanding callers.
Your staff can attend to legal issues in the firm, such as preparing documents, researching cases, filing motions, or meeting with clients. They can also focus on their core competencies and skills rather than spending time on phone support.
An Answering Service Maximizes Return on Your Investment
A law firm is like any other business. As an owner, you want to make profits and grow your practice. However, you may face many challenges and expenses that can affect your bottom line.
An answering service can help you maximize your return on investment by helping you generate more revenue and reduce your costs. You could generate more revenue by capturing more leads and converting them into clients. They can also help you retain your existing clients by providing them with excellent customer service and support.
An answering service can also help you reduce your costs by eliminating the need for hiring, training, and managing in-house receptionists. You can also save money on phone equipment, maintenance, and utilities. You only pay for the service you use based on the number of calls or minutes you need.
An Answering Service Will Help You In Lead Capturing
Another main goal of any law firm is to generate and capture leads that can turn into clients. However, this is not easy, especially when you have limited time and resources. That is why an answering service is a valuable partner for your law firm. An answering service can help you capture leads by:
Recognizing a Good Lead
A good lead refers to someone who has a legal problem that matches your area of practice, has the ability and willingness to pay for your services, is ready to take action and hire a lawyer, is located in your geographic area or jurisdiction, and has realistic expectations and trusts your expertise.
Then again, a bad lead does not meet these criteria and may be looking for free advice, shopping around for the lowest price, or having a case outside your practice area. An answering service can use a customized script to ask qualifying questions and identify the leads that match your criteria and expertise.
Virtual receptionists can, for example, inquire about the nature and specifics of the client’s legal issues, their budget and payment preferences, the urgency and timeline of their legal issue, their location and contact information, and their expectations and goals.
By asking these questions, an answering service can filter out the bad leads and only transfer the good ones to you. This way, you can focus on the leads with the most potential and avoid wasting time on those unsuitable for your firm.
Lead Generation Scripting
A persuasive script highlighting your defense law firm's strengths and advantages is a good lead-generation strategy. A persuasive script is a set of words and phrases designed to influence and motivate your leads to take the next step in the client journey. An answering service can also use a persuasive script to capture the interest and attention of your leads.
For example, they can highlight your value proposition and the unique benefit or solution you offer your clients. The answering service can also highlight the benefits or specific outcomes your clients expect by working with you. They can also highlight the testimonials, positive feedback, or reviews from your previous or current clients.
By highlighting these elements, an answering service can convince your leads to take action and book a consultation with you or leave their contact information for follow-up. This way, you can increase your conversion rate and grow your client base.
It Increases Consistency and Reliability
Your clients need someone they can trust to handle their issues whenever they need help. They also expect a consistent level of service from you. An answering service makes your services reliable because you never miss a call from your clients and address their concerns promptly. But reliability is not the only thing that matters.
You also need to consistently provide quality services that will improve the outcomes of your clients’ cases. For example, if a client schedules a meeting with you, you should either show up or let them know ahead of time if something changes. To maintain consistency and reliability, you should have standard procedures that all your clients follow whenever they seek your assistance at a criminal defense law firm.
An Answering Service Helps You Stay Organized at all Times
As a criminal defense law firm, you must handle many messages and calls from clients, potential clients, courts, witnesses, and other parties. Managing these can be overwhelming and time-consuming.
That’s why an answering service can help you stay organized. An answering service can handle your calls around the clock, so you never miss an important call from a client arrested or facing a trial. In addition, an answering service can filter out unwanted calls, such as telemarketers or solicitors, and only transfer the relevant ones to you. For example, if you specialize in DUI cases, an answering service can screen out callers who need help with other types of crimes.
Moreover, an answering service can provide customized services according to your needs, such as scheduling appointments, taking messages, sending reminders, collecting payments, and providing legal information.
Find a Reliable Answering Service Near Me
An answering service is a valuable asset for any defense law firm that wants to improve its communication efficiency and effectiveness. With an answering service, you can enjoy more leads, time, satisfaction, and reputation for your law firm.