The reason you use your toll-free number on all the marketing materials for your law firm (newspaper ads, web pages, YouTube videos) is to entice potential clients to pick up the phone and call you for more information. But that strategy will do you absolutely no good if you don't train your staff how to handle phone inquiries—and make sure they're handling calls right by recording each and every call to your law firm.
Why You Should Record Phone Calls
Depending on the laws in your state, you can record all incoming phone calls to your law firm. This is a very good option for solo and small firm attorneys. You need to know if your potential leads are being treated with respect while they are on the phone. One of the biggest complaints about law firms on Google is that the receptionist is rude or unhelpful. If this is the case for your law firm, recording incoming calls can tell you a lot about the person you hired to answer your phones.
No matter what size your law firm is, you won't get a second chance to make a first impression—and if that first call from a potential client is poorly handled, that piece of business will be lost forever. That's why it's important to record your incoming calls. With this system in place, you can:
- Identify employees who have especially good phone personalities, and can handle curveballs thrown at them by potential clients
- By the same token, identify employees who need to brush up on their interpersonal skills, or should not be allowed to answer phones at all
- Discern patterns in client inquiries. For example, if the bulk of your phone calls happen between 9 and 11 in the morning, you can schedule your staff's day accordingly
- Listen to the “script” your staff is using to answer the phone, and make improvements to provide a better customer experience
- Listen to what potential clients are asking about on the phone, and find out what piece of marketing prompted them to call your number
Beyond monitoring how your employees are doing on the phone, you may discover valuable marketing information from your phone calls. Are people calling because they read an article about your law firm? Do they have complaints about your website? What are most callers asking about? This data can guide your marketing and staff decisions.
After you have set up a call recording system, be sure to listen to your calls once a month, or more often if your schedule allows. While it may be time consuming to listen to many dozens of phone calls, you don't want to miss the information those calls provide. An employee may be doing a good job on the phones now, but that can change if you are not attentive enough.
The intake specialist position is very important and should never be neglected or overlooked. This position has a relatively high turnover compared to other law firm positions, so don't be surprised if you hire a new phone person every year or two. If you are lucky enough to have an receptionist longer than this, reward their amazing performance! A good receptionist is hard to find.