How many times are you unable to get back in touch with a lead that your answering service handled? For most law firms this happens weekly, if not daily. We are living in a time of impatience and the goal of having our needs met immediately. Claimants that contact a law firm about a new case want a decision as to whether their case has merit or not on the first call. They want a law firm that is ready to work with them today. The idea that a law firm has the luxury to call them back, investigate, review or consider it further (prior to retention) is an antiquated one and brings with it significant consequences (including the loss of a new client).
Everyone reading this should understand that we, at Intake Conversion Experts (ICE), believe that there is a strong need for law firms to utilize an answering service to ensure client satisfaction. That’s right… for client satisfaction. Client retention is a completely different animal. In this day and age, it is absolutely essential to utilize a strong intake process for client retention. The problem with doing this internally is that most law firms do not dedicate the appropriate resources to Intake and, as a result, leave a significant amount of money on the table.
Some law firms have been using answering services as their intake option because they didn’t know that there were other options to consider. The challenges you face when asking an answering service to handle the intake process stem from that fact that most answering services do not have the appropriate resources in-house to qualify, follow-up and retain at a high rate. Does that mean that you shouldn’t use an answering service? Not at all. Just know what you should use them for. The best asset that an answering service has is their ability to pick up calls, take messages and, sometimes, live-transfer back ot the law firm.
However, given how much time, effort, resources, training and management is required to convert qualified leads into clients (and we would know given our experience with Intake), we created an outsourced intake option that can help every law firm that markets for clients.
If you are embarking on a new marketing campaign and you expect a high volume of responses, it would be wise to compare the use of an answering service with the use of a retention service. Work backwards. Is your goal to take a message? Or is your goal to qualify, follow up and retain? If it’s the latter, ICE is ready to help. Why? Because Intake is all we do.