Telephone Etiquette for Lawyers


Consider how many hours you spend on the telephone every workday….not just speaking to your intended party, but also the time you spend getting to that person — listening to the phone ring on the other end; being screened in an oh-so-obvious manner; being placed on hold and forgotten about; being transferred from person to person; being accidentally disconnected; listening to long-winded, out-dated voicemail greetings; playing endless rounds of phone tag. It’s enough to drive you (and your clients) crazy!

In fact, my assistant and I were talking last week about how rare it is these days to actually get the person you want on the telephone when you place a call.

Every time a client, prospective client or referral source interacts with your firm (often by telephone call), he or she comes away with a positive, neutral or negative impression. Obviously, we want as many positives as possible. Making people feel important and letting them know you care leaves them with a positive impression. And it’s often the little things that make a big difference.

For your clients, getting you on the phone can be a frustrating experience. But it doesn’t have to be. How you and your law firm handle telephone calls speaks volumes. It communicates the importance you and the firm place on client service, and it either makes people feel important or it doesn’t.

Follow these common sense tips to make people feel important.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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