With a 24 hour economy, people are on the road at all times of the day and will engage in various activities at different times. DUI cases are common on our streets, with drivers being arrested for operating their vehicles under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Whether prescription drugs, controlled substances, or alcohol, it is a criminal offense to drive intoxicated by any of these. Many drivers think they can drive while drunk, while some assume the drugs or alcohol they have consumed do not exceed the legal threshold to operate a vehicle.
Law firms dealing with DUI cases are some of the busiest firms. Calls to your office will come at any time and day of the week. All these callers need urgent representation ranging from posting bail to being arraigned in court to answer DUI charges.
Your staff members can be overwhelmed by the amount of work, let alone dealing with multiple incoming calls. Irrespectively, you cannot ignore incoming calls as they are the backbone of your practice. This makes it critical to partner with an answering service to ensure no call is missed or unanswered.
Overview of an Answering Service
Before you hire an answering service for your office, you may want to understand what it is and how it works. For starters, an answering service is not to be confused with an answering machine. A machine has a pre-recorded answer, often asking the caller to leave a message, and someone will attend or call them back at the earliest opportunity. In this case, a caller does not have their questions answered or cannot book an appointment until they receive a call from the office responding to their message.
This is frustrating, especially where the caller requires an immediate response or to understand something. In most cases, when a caller calls your office, and an answering machine picks their call, they hang up because they know it will be hours before their call is returned or they receive the service they require. As a result, the caller will direct their business to another DUI firm that is readily available to answer their questions and take their case. This leads to loss of business or income to your firm, and in some cases, your firm receives the reputation that it is unreliable.
On the other hand, an answering service is a business developed to assist businesses and, in this case, your DUI defense law firm with incoming calls to your practice. DUI lawyers are often busy representing their clients in court, bailing them out following an arrest, or holding a meeting with potential clients. This means staying in the office to respond to calls is out of the question, and the available staff is busy helping clients with their cases to a favorable outcome.
An answering service is a virtual receptionist office that receives incoming calls to your firm, screens them, interacts with the caller by answering their questions, takes messages, and makes appointments. When a caller finds someone on the other end responding to their call or problems, they are often confident that their case is essential and will be handled. An answering service ensures no calls go unanswered, no matter the time of day or the day of the week.
Besides answering the calls, they will screen the calls for priority and dispatch those urgent immediately while waiting to pass on messages for the others. This also means it is unlikely for the caller to pass their business to a different DUI defense practice because they are attended to even in your absence.
Virtual receptionists work similarly to in-house receptionists. How the service works are entirely synchronized to your office operations, making it impossible for callers even to know an in-house staff has not answered them. When you hire this service for your DUI defense practice, you will provide them with a narrative of representing you when talking to clients. This means that the service is tailor-made to your firm's services making your clients comfortable with the answers they receive when they call.
Besides answering incoming calls, the service can take messages from the callers and dispatch them to you. Messages, just like calls, are screened and delivered in order of priority. This helps you stay organized and have your clients satisfied with your operations. The service can also schedule appointments on your behalf. However, you must provide your calendar beforehand and provide scheduling instructions. When an appointment is made, you are informed. When the time nears, both you and the client are reminded of it. This helps in preventing missed appointments and cancellations at the last minute.
After understanding how an answering service works, the next question would be whether it is beneficial to your firm. Below, we discuss the various reasons why an answering service is critical to your firm and the benefits of having it.
Benefits of Using an Answering Service in Your DUI Defense Law Firm
An answering service is an essential tool in the modern-day business environment. Traditionally, most offices would hire a receptionist to answer incoming calls, among other duties. However, with the change in the business environment, it becomes more critical for your DUI firm to have this service. Some of the benefits an answering service will bring to your busy DUI defense law practice are:
Round the Clock Accessibility
As earlier stated, people are on the road at any time of the day and can drink or consume drugs anytime and use the road. The police are on the look-out for traffic offenders to reduce accidents on the streets and create order at any time of the day. This means drivers operating their vehicles intoxicated are arrested any time and may want to reach their attorney at any hour or day.
For this reason, it makes business sense for your DUI defense firm to engage an answering service that will receive these calls at any hour and screen the most important ones as they dispatch them to you. One of the advantages of clients reaching your practice at any time is that you will not miss a business opportunity no matter the hour of the day, which increases your income.
Being accessible at any hour through the answering service also builds your reputation. Many clients ask for referrals to find a dependable and reliable firm available at any time. If you have had a client before that accessed you, they will likely recommend you to others. But, if you are inaccessible when clients require your services, you will likely receive no recommendations.
Screened and Organized Phone Calls
Many types of calls will come to your office. Some callers may be seeking business from you, while others may be calling to catch up with you or a staff member. There is no way of knowing a call you can ignore presently and attend to it later without receiving it. This wastes precious time you would have used working for your client. With an answering service, they will receive all these calls and screen them in order of priority. Additionally, they will organize them, separating business calls and personal calls or salespeople calls.
When the calls are organized and messages, you avoid wasting time receiving each call to determine the important one and the less important. Taking all the calls that come into your office directly wastes time and reduces productivity.
No Hang-ups or Sifting through Recorded Messages
Many callers or potential clients do not want to have a machine receive their calls. Even when you are unavailable, when a live voice answers them, they have more confidence in you. If a client calls and a machine receives, they often hang-up and may never call again. Additionally, those that will not hang-up will leave a message. Sifting through the many messages will consume a lot of time that could be better spent generating income.
Your business as a DUI defense practice is kept going by your current or potential clients' calls. If they hang-up or you fail to find their recorded message, you risk losing their business altogether. Fortunately, there is no risk with an answering service because all your clients will be attended to satisfactorily.
Besides receiving incoming calls, this service can manage your calendar, ensuring every client that calls your practice has an opportunity to discuss their case with you. A DUI attorney's calendar is busy with many issues to handle all the time. Without a person keeping your schedule, you or your staff will find themselves in a chaotic working environment where clients are frequently disappointed.
Besides scheduling your meetings, this service will remind you of upcoming meetings and the client too. This is critical in avoiding cancellations or missed appointments that would translate to business.
Reducing your Operational Costs
Hiring an in-house receptionist is costly, let alone hiring several of them to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The cost of having someone present to answer calls at any time or day is much higher than hiring an answering service. Additionally, the benefits that a virtual receptionist receives is not your headache.
When your in-house receptionist needs to take a vacation or is unwell, you have the responsibility of hiring their temporary replacement. All these and training costs can be avoided by having an answering service for your DUI law practice.
Answering incoming calls takes a lot of time, and finding your way back to what you were doing before the phone call takes even a longer time. As a result, work that would have been completed in one hour takes a longer time to be completed hence reducing overall productivity.
However, when you have someone else answering and screening your calls, you are left with a lot of time to finish your work in good time and do even more. With increased productivity or output, you will have increased earnings.
Our legal answering service provides their clients with receptionists that can speak various languages. For instance, if a Spanish-speaking person has been arrested on a DUI charge and your in-house receptionist only speaks English, you will likely lose the client to a firm that understands their language. Fortunately, you do not have to lose business because of a language barrier. An answering service ensures your potential client is well received by a Spanish speaking receptionist and made to feel comfortable.
When a person has been arrested on a DUI charge, they are often panicked because of the charges' potential outcome. These people require personal assurance or interaction to calm them down and be assured of help. However, if they call and an answering machine picks their call, they often feel the firm is not empathetic or does not value them. This usually will result in them looking for another practice that makes them feel valued and cared for.
You Avoid Missed Calls
The number of calls that come into a DUI law firm is many in any single day. Sometimes, the in-house receptionist can be overwhelmed and miss some as they are attending to other business. Missing a call can potentially mean missing your biggest client. But, with an answering service, you do not run the risk of missing calls to your law firm.
Any call from a prospective client means viable business. The calls that come in mean you have an opportunity to transform them into a business. When an answering service responds to your incoming calls, it means you increase your chance of making an income out of it. This will increase your overall revenue and client base.
Creating an Image of a Busy Practice
Clients and potential clients have the illusion that a busy and big DUI law firm is more experienced in DUI laws and understands how to navigate the system for their client's benefit. When the client calls and an answering service responds to the incoming call, the illusion of a busy and large firm is created. This makes the client have confidence in your assistance and will not move the business to another law firm.
When persons facing DUI charges call for your services, it is a privilege that must not be taken lightly. Your response to their inquiries or the reception they receive can be the difference between you retaining them as clients or losing their business. Phone calls are how you convert a potential client into a real client. In a nutshell, having professionals answering your phone at any time increases your potential of growing your DUI law practice to greater heights.