As an immigration attorney, you may rarely see the inside of a trial venue. However, you’re the representative of those seeking visa petitions, immigration counseling, and you also need to monitor federal and state laws for compliance with international immigration statutes. When your clients need you, they should communicate with you always and in real time.
This may be impossible when you are running up and down to solve one problem or the other since you will rarely even look at your cell phone or sit in the office to take phone calls. This is the point where you should consider using an answering service. It will improve your work-life balance, and below are the reasons.
You Will Never Miss a Call Because You Are Working
Sometimes when you are busy with work, for instance, if you’re in court and a client calls needing urgent help, you may have to miss the call since you can’t talk to them at the time. And if a client realizes that their calls have gone unanswered, they may never call back again. They would instead contact other firms, which may mean you have lost a major case. An answering service ensures all your clients’ calls are always responded to swiftly & sensitively, and their concerns are handled accordingly. An answering agent will take the caller’s message for you and relay it to call back when you have time.
This speaks volumes about your dedication to tend to current and prospective clients. Additionally, a lost client is lost revenue, and usually, a single phone call pays for a monthly service ten times over.
You Will Receive Around-the-Clock Services
An answering service for immigration lawyers is more flexible than a receptionist. Unlike receptionists, live answering services never have paid time or sick days off. It will work for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year. Apart from being flexible, this service is also less costly since, unlike employing a receptionist to answer your phone calls, you’ll only incur costs for actions taken by the remote service provider. Most answering services charge on a per-call answered basis.
An Answering Service Filters and Prioritizes Phone Calls for Your Lawyers Once They Return to The Office
You should also use an answering service for your immigration law firm because it can filter top priority phone calls from all the others made by clients. Rather than your staff spending much time and resources searching through phone calls and sorting them in the order that they came in the previous night, an answering service makes sure that any emergency calls are handled first. As far as legal matters are concerned, this can at times be a matter of losing or having the opportunity to take on a major case.
Not all phone calls are equal. What a client considers an urgent issue might not be an emergency for your office. An answering service will work with your law firm to generate customized scripts for dealing with these kinds of calls. Thus, answering agents will be experts in knowing what clients need urgent attention and what clients can wait until later depending on your preferences.
Your Clients Can Talk To Somebody Even When Your Office is Closed
If you have retained an answering service, your office doesn’t close. Whereas a client may be incapable of speaking with a paralegal or specific attorney that can handle their case, they will be at peace knowing that someone has received their message and will deliver it to the right person without delay. This will also give the client somebody to hold accountable as the specific individual they talk to is responsible for passing on their message.
This is particularly helpful for potential clients who are trying your services for the first time. In most cases, prospective clients surf the internet throughout the day and even night, searching around for an immigration attorney with whom they resonate. Most of them want to utilize that moment and speak to someone about their legal options immediately. Calls answered by answering agents won’t be as detailed as the initial consultation may be. However, this kind of chat answers general questions and concerns for potential clients. What’s even better is that an answering service can schedule a timeframe for more comprehensive conversations to happen either in your office or over the phone by setting up an appointment.
Delegate Duties to Free UP Interns and Paralegals With an Answering Service
An answering service frees up your time, that of your interns, busy paralegals, the front office staff, and even your colleague attorneys so they can deal with other issues around the office. If you allow an outside source to handle your clients’ incoming calls, your staff has time to work on other more pressing matters. Your answering service could also handle sensitive and private client information if you direct them to do so.
A Legal Answering Service Boosts Your Firm’s Reputation
When a client is looking for legal immigration advice or help, there are specific things he/she will first consider. Apart from a firm with precise immigration expertise, a client will most importantly consider its reputation. A high reputation is an aspect that could take several years to establish and is generally reinforced by many clients referring your business to others and saying positive things about it.
Whereas creating a trustworthy status as an attorney is worthwhile, taking steps beyond merely being an excellent attorney to improve your business’s reputation is critical too, and an answering service can help you do that. If you have never used an answering service for immigration, you could be asking yourself how it contributes to your business’s reputation. Here is how the service can boost your firm’s reputation and bring you a lot of cases.
An Excellent First Impression For Prospective Clients
If you are a smaller firm, there is a chance that you do not have the additional time, energy, or mental capacity to answer calls. Generally, your interns and paralegals will be preoccupied with submitting documentation, research, and other million duties that must be done in the law firm. Apart from that, given times of the year or week may even be busier, for instance, when non-immigrants are seeking visas to tour the sandy beaches and national parks during the summer period. This will make it even harder to handle phone calls promptly and timely. During after-hours and weekends, when prospective clients are off work, there’s a chance that your staff may also not be at the office to handle calls whatsoever, which may leave clients hanging at the time they need the most.
The case is different when it comes to a big law firm. They possibly have receptionists who are ready to field phone calls from prospective clients. The capability to quickly talk to a live agent, and even better, one that can respond to questions and concerns, leaves a more significant first impression than a voicemail box.
When you have an answering service working for you, you can match the experience that potential clients would receive at a giant law firm without overburdening your paralegals or incurring high costs.
Improved Customer Service and Care for Existing Clients
Apart from the advantages for prospective clients, an answering service will also directly benefit the clients you already have. Even if they have trusted you to handle their cases for years, it’s still advantageous to show them that you have people working round the clock just for them. If you have an answering service, you’ll have ensured that their phone calls are answered at all times and that all emergencies are forwarded to the right person.
An answering service will also help to ensure that all clients’ phone calls are appropriately addressed. Your law firm is probably busy. In an environment like this, it is easy for clients’ calls to be forgotten or misplaced if something more serious comes up. With an answering service, calls will be appropriately recorded and addressed timely.
An Answering Service Increases Billable Hours
When you opt to be a lawyer, it means you’ve accepted the reality of working for long hours— overwhelming, exhausting, long hours. A study by a reputable career-building site shows that an average lawyer works approximately 66 hours a week. However, only 46 of these hours are billable. Practicing law is different from running a business. Other studies estimate that a lawyer spends less than two-thirds of his/her time on billing hours since most of their time is spent finding clients, handling administrative duties, and phone call interruptions. How can answering service help?
An answering service reduces the interruptions you have due to answering phone calls. It prioritizes what calls need you to stop what you are doing to answer them and which ones can wait. Decreasing interruptions could increase your overall productivity and efficiency. Imagine how much more productive you would be if you were to be interrupted ten times less in a day. Minutes better spent mean more time to do billable duties. An answering service can give you one or two hours every day, which you can spend on billable work.
Finding New Clients
The most significant factor in a client opting for one attorney over the other is how fast a lawyer answers their call. With an answering service, clients’ calls will be answered within the shortest time possible. Answering agents will collect the relevant information you need and assure the client that you’ll be in touch. This, in turn, allows you to respond to high-value leads faster than your competition, so you do not risk losing prospective clients. Thus, an answering service can help you reduce the time you spend searching for new clients, letting you go back to your valuable, billable work.
You can’t simply avoid some administrative duties. However, a legal answering service may save you valuable minutes all day, and these minutes add up substantially. You can reduce the percentage of time you spend receiving phone calls or listening to voicemails by hiring a legal answering service to handle all the calls, filter out those that are not critical to you, organize your messages, and even schedule appointments.
Having a legal answering service acting as your receptionist means you won’t waste more time on unnecessary calls or going through conversations yourself to collect the critical info for those you care about. When you need to return a phone call, you’ll be ready with the applicable information upfront so you can make the phone conversations you have shorter. When a trusted and experienced answering service answers all your calls, you can reduce the time you consume talking to clients, prospective clients, or court systems.
An Answering Service Offers Bilingual/Multilingual Services
Since you are an immigration law firm, chances are you will be dealing with clients who speak different languages. Being incapable of communicating with your clients due to the language barrier can be embarrassing and frustrating. However, if you retain an answering service, the language barrier issue will be resolved. An answering service provides bilingual services. With it, you can provide bilingual customer service so your callers can choose the language with which they’re more comfortable, be it English or Spanish.
The answering service will create different scripts for your clients, depending on your input, so that answering agents can use the one the caller prefers. Additionally, the service will help you choose how you would like those messages to be conveyed. This improves your credibility with those clients that speak different languages and prove to them that you are committed to serving them well. And there’s also the extra advantage that you will have somebody else handling the phone calls, enabling you to focus on other things.
Make Your Immigration Firm Stand Out By Hiring an Answering Service
Remember that clients have many immigration law firms to select from, but customer care and service can cement an individual’s decision to work with one firm over the other. An answering service for immigration lawyers will ensure outstanding customer service every time the phone rings. Additionally, you can leave your office any time to go to court or chase leads, knowing that any client who calls looking for you will be well taken care of. Note that customer loyalty comes from mutual respect, and this helps to improve your firm’s reputation and grow business through word of mouth and positive online reviews.