An article in Forbes described how attorney Fabian Lima left the law firm life to work independently on the legal cases that mattered most to him—immigration and criminal law. Lima is not alone in his desire to work on his own. The article cites Intuit’s Future of Small Business report, which reveals that the number of small businesses in the U.S.—most of them one-person operations—will rise from about 30 million in 2014 to about 42 million in 2026.
Lima credits his six-figure success in large part to taking the time to get to know his clients. However, building loyal client relationships can be a challenge for solo or small-firm practices considering how time-consuming calls and in-person meetings can be.
For this reason, many solo or small firm practices allow their calls to default to voicemail, but numerous studies show this isn’t a wise business practice. Studies have reported that as many as 80% of callers will hang up if they’re sent to voicemail. And if the caller does leave a message, he or she is still left with the uncertainty of when the message will be heard and responded to. This uncertainty may be just the incentive they need to call another firm that might serve them more quickly.
On the other hand, if the solo or small practice attorney does their best to answer each and every call, they often lose valuable time on matters that aren’t always pertinent to their practice.
While it seems like these attorneys are stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to client communications, there’s another option beyond personally answering every call or resorting to voicemail.
Many solo or small practice attorneys are discovering that live voice answering services are the ideal solution to promptly handling their calls. Their clients’ calls are answered by professional, friendly receptionists who act as an extension of the practice, while the attorney is free to stay focused on their business at hand.
Clients’ questions are answered according to scripts provided by the attorney, and the clients aren’t even usually aware that they’re speaking with someone who isn’t in office. Based on the attorney’s preferences, the answering service determines which calls are a high priority and require action, and which can be returned in a timely manner when it’s convenient for the attorney. No more unnecessary interruptions and no more missed business opportunities.
The benefits far outweigh the costs, which are much less than the cost of hiring an in-house receptionist, and improve both productivity and client satisfaction. Plus, attorney’s can opt to have their calls answered around the clock, 7 days a week, and only be notified about urgent calls after hours. In fact, the attorneys who use live answering services 24/7 report not only improved productivity during business hours but better quality of life after hours as well without the unnecessary interruptions in evening family time or nightly sleep.
If you’re managing your own practice, Voice Link of Columbus, Inc. can save you valuable time and money by managing your calls whenever you need—whether during peak hours, after office hours, or around the clock. We can also help with tasks such as appointment scheduling. Our monthly plans contain no hidden fees and are tailored to suit your unique needs.
How your calls are handled reflects on the reputation of your practice, and using the right live answering service can make the difference between losing and keeping a client. With an 82% referral rate, Voice Link provides live answering services that will exceed your expectations. Request information online or call us at (800) 262-2799 for a free consultation.