So what does your receptionist or inbound phone staff say when he or she is receives a call from a prospect? How are they doing this intake? What are they saying?
That's the million dollar question, right? Every attorney wants scripts. Every attorney says, “Hey, I want a script” as if it's some kind of THAT WAS EASY button but the reality of it is, it's not. I'll give it to you. I teach what I call the 3 R's of this.
The most important of those R's is the R that stands for Relationship. The key for the person on the phone is that they use their God-given talent of two ears and a mouth–listen twice as much as they speak. All they are supposed to do is ask good quality questions and shut up.
They are not to give them any advice, especially no legal advice. The key is to make the attorney the star. They are to let the caller know they have located the right person and that he or she is not going to solve all their problems but that they ARE going to listen to those problems. But they must then say: If Mr. Smith could solve these problems for you, is there any reason why you wouldn't be able to have him or her help you? What they are waiting to hear is: “No, I absolutely could use his or her help.”
The call staff then moves on to the next stage of either setting an appointment for the attorney to talk to them or hot transferring the caller right there. Another option, if the attorney feels comfortable, is to let them actually get a retainer agreement over to the caller and collect the credit card for the first payment right over the phone.
There are some fundamental things that I think are important to mention. The first thing they must do is be sure they have the caller's phone number. If it isn't available on caller ID, the staff person must ask the caller for the phone number to verify the caller. All the staff person needs to say is, “In case we get disconnected, may I have your phone number?”
Since most law firms are not sophisticated enough to have a Customer Relationship Management tool that ties into their phone systems, the next round of questions is: May I collect your email address? And may I have your address? May I verify the spelling of your first and last name? So the person on the phone has to be able to harvest the data right off the bat. As long as they follow that rule: That they listen twice as much as they speak and at the end they make sure they ask for the order, you'll catch 90% of the leads.
If you aren't sure your inbound call staff person is doing these things, it's time to do a little reconnaissance work and find out. We can help you assure your firm's customer service on inbound AND outbound calls; find out the last two of the Rs. Visit our website and learn how Automated Business Results can help you increase your leads and sales with great call staff performance.
Building a better law firm, one inbound call at a time.