I just got a question asking which answering service I would recommend. I definitely recommend that all law firms have an answering service. This person says “I’m sick of calls going to our front desk. She gets the info wrong and is gone nights and weekends.”
Why Your Phone Calls Should Never Go To Voicemail
That brings up a really good point. Your phone calls should never go to voicemail. You’ve got to remember, if someone calls a lawyer, for the most part it’s an emergency situation. They got into a car accident, they got arrested, a loved one got arrested, they were just served divorce papers, or they’re worried they’re going to get foreclosed on.
People don’t want to leave voice messages. If your toilet was overflowing and you call a plumber and get voicemail, are you going to leave a voicemail or are you going to hang up and call the next plumber? It’s very important that you have an answering service answering your calls 24/7.
The Answering Services We Recommend
We use two. I’m not affiliated with either of these but for our clients, we use Voice Nation and we’ve used Answer First. Both of them are pretty good. You do have to secret shop every once in a while just to make sure that everything’s good. I definitely recommend those two companies.
There are probably other ones that are good as well. I’m not saying these are better than others. I just know that we’ve used these two and had good results. Voice Nation and Answer First. Never let your phone calls go to voice mail. That’s something that’s really important.
What To Do If A Call Goes To Voicemail Anyway
Here’s a tip though. Every once in a while, the stars will align and a call will go to voicemail. If the answering service is completely full or if there’s some sort of screw-up with the connection, there still is a chance a call can go to voicemail.
Make Your Voicemail Say This…
What we tell all of our clients to do is this: basically make your voicemail say the following: “Hi. This is Attorney John Smith. We’re not able to take your call right now but we do want to talk to you. If you leave a message with your name, your phone number, and what you’re calling about on this line, we will call you back within 15 minutes.”
Obviously, you’re not going to be able to return every phone call within 15 minutes, but that is your best chance of getting somebody to actually leave their contact information.
I’m not saying it works 100% of the time but your chances are much improved if you actually give somebody some time frame, something to expect, for example, “Leave your number. We check this line regularly. It gets delivered right to my cellphone. Leave your number and I’ll call you back within 15 minutes.”
That might pause their search for a little bit. Obviously if it takes longer than that, you can apologize profusely. But you would have never gotten the lead anyway if they had just hung up, so you might as well say that and try to get them to leave their number.