Whether you’re paying a service, a virtual assistant, or an in-house assistant to answer your phones you’ve got to have them well trained on how to properly do so. If you don’t, you’re letting prospects slip through the cracks and leaving tons of money on the table.
In this article I’ll be going over the four best ways to answer your calls for scheduling appointments:
1st Best: You want the person answering the phones to be able to schedule in-person appointments.
2nd Best: If that’s not possible, you’ll want them to transfer the call to the person who will be making the appointment (you, another attorney at your firm, etc.).
3rd Best: If that person isn’t available to schedule the appointment, a time will have to be scheduled for a call back to the prospect in order to schedule.
4th Best: And as a last option, if nothing else works, you’ll want to the call to be forwarded directly to your voicemail.
Ideally, you’d want the person answering your calls to be booking appointments right then and there. To do this, they need to be trained to properly pre-screen prospects to ensure that you’re only meeting with those who are ready and able to work with you, and if so, prepare the prospect for your meeting.
In some cases – for instance, using a live answering service – you may not be able to train the reps who answer the phone on your behalf. In that case, you’ll want the person answering the call to be able to transfer the call directly to the person who will be making the appointment – either you or your client intake specialist.
If you’re unable to get the person who can schedule the meeting on the phone, you’ll need to schedule a time for a call back. It’s easy to lose good prospects in the phone tag game. Once they get off the phone, it’s hard to get them back on. This isn’t the best option, but by setting aside an exact time for the call to be returned you make it a bit easier to get back in touch with your clients/prospects.
And if all else fails…
If you are unable to train someone, unable to get the person on the phone who can make the meeting, and unable to schedule a call back time, you’ll need to have the call transferred to your voicemail.
Use this only as a last resort.
If you’re going to use this option, you’ll need to be 100% clear in your voicemail message about who will be making the call back (you or your client intake specialist) and when they can expect the call to be returned (within 24 hrs, by noon the next day, etc.).
Having a strong, working system in place for managing calls and scheduling appointments is an absolute, must-have process for every successful law firm.
If you’re ready to implement this simple system as well as others that are just as easy and effective into your practice, take a look at our Personal Family Lawyer® & Creative Business Lawyer™ programs that offer this type of support.