Voicemail and law firmsObtaining new clientele is essential for most law firms. New clients ensure that the lights stay on and that legal staff have the work to remain profitable and generate income for the firm.

Prospective clients can reach out in multiple ways today. With most law firms, potential clients can reach out through phone calls, emails, texts, or online contact forms.

Voicemail is Problematic for Law Firms

One certainty for law firms is that voicemail is the enemy when prospective clients reach out by phone. Sometimes, taking every call to the law office right as it comes in might be impossible. However, law firms should look to reduce voicemail to as close to zero as possible.

When potential clients reach voicemail, some may patiently wait for a callback. Potential clients who wait for a callback usually have a referral for a specific attorney in a law practice or a non-urgent matter.

But for many clients, if they hit voicemail, they opt not to leave a voicemail at all. Instead, they may call another law firm. Even if they leave a voicemail, many potential clients will not wait long for a return call before calling another law firm.

Clients Legal Matters Are Often Emergencies to Them

The truth is that for many potential clients, their legal matters are emergencies in their minds. When a potential client has a legal matter that is causing them stress or anxiety, they often want help as soon as possible.

Thus, if a potential client calls a law firm based on an advertisement or a potential client stumbles upon a law firm’s web page, law firms must do everything possible to ensure that potential clients do not reach their voicemail. If they are reaching voicemail, it should result in a return call as quickly as possible. If a voicemail from a potential client is sitting for hours or even days, the potential client will likely have already met with and hired another law firm that was quicker to respond.

How to Reduce or Eliminate Voicemail?

To reduce or eliminate voicemail, law firms need to be proactive. First, a law firm needs to ensure that they have the legal staff to take and respond to potential client calls as they come into an office. Whether that means having an intake department or particular legal staff assigned to this task, stressing the need to prioritize prospective clients within your law firm is essential.

Some law firms have voluminous potential client inquiries, so having staff assigned to client intake alone is often necessary. While some law firms might shy away from doing this, having an intake department that takes potential calls, vets them, and sets the appointments can pay for itself. If voicemails are still piling up, it might be time to add more intake staff.

Some law firms might hire a third-party call service to gather the information and disseminate it to the firm. Many third-party services can act as receptionists during regular work hours, nights, and weekends. With a third-party service, this role can often be outsourced so that the law firm can have somebody handle this for them.

If there is no intake staff within a law firm, having a policy where all voicemails are checked the same day is critical. Further, having other employees check voicemail daily can make a big difference if an employee is out because voicemail can sit when somebody is out sick, on vacation, or in court. Finally, while it can cut into personal time, an after-hours call rotation can make a big difference in avoiding voicemails.

Of course, there are options to eliminate voicemail as well. Nonetheless, reducing the number of potential clients hitting voicemail is critical for law firms that want to succeed in getting new business.

If you have any thoughts, feel free to share them below.

The post Voicemail is the enemy with potential clients first appeared on Kirk Stange on Law Firm Practice Management.

The post Voicemail is the enemy with potential clients appeared first on Kirk Stange on Law Firm Practice Management.