Essential Clients sign on for more than just a pretty website. They understand the system and the processes it takes to get that “pretty website” to really work, like blogging, social media activity, emails, video and more. Once the system is in place and working, the phone should be ringing.
At IMS, we are diligent in guiding your digital marketing plan. Solidify that branding by carrying the strong message through from your website to phone presence.
Many of the estate planning and Elder Law firms that we work with are just one or two people that wear many hats. Some are both the attorney and appointment scheduler. Other firms may be a little bit larger and have another staff member handling the initial phone calls into the office.
Either way, it is very important that each staff member – every one of them – be properly trained on the telephone techniques for that firm. For example, if Sally normally answers the phone but has a dentist appointment and is out this morning, a caller should receive the same greeting from Paul, who is covering for Sally while she is away from her desk.
The greeting needs to be short and sweet. Clearly identify both the name of the company and the person with which the caller is speaking. “Hello and thank you for calling The Best Firm in Town. My name is Sarah. May I help you?”
If your company has a brief tagline that you want to include in the greeting as well, by all means. Just keep in mind how you feel when calling businesses yourself. Don’t make your caller sit through five minutes of introductions before they can ask their question or be transferred.
In contrast, the greeting should not be too short. “Yel’low?”, “Hello?”, “This is [name].” etc. are not acceptable greetings for a law firm. Remember, you likely want to reflect professionalism and trustworthiness. Your phone greeting is a great place to reinforce those traits!
Because of the sensitive subject matter that may be associated with some estate planning or elder law phone calls (perhaps the loss of a loved one, arguments between siblings or family, etc.), it would be a good idea to practice or script out approved responses you and your staff members can refer to while on calls. Having appropriately supportive responses by your staff may make all the difference in the selection of an attorney for a daughter who just lost her mother and needs assistance figuring out the next steps to take.
Another seemingly small but actually very important part of a company’s phone presence can be time on hold or being transferred. Make sure, again, every single person who works in your office has practiced and can reference a guide for putting a client on hold and making transfers. Both tasks should be seamless. You would hate to lose a client because you accidentally hung up on them!
These are just a few suggestions to help keep your potential clients happier on the phone with your firm. If you are interested in learning a bit more about marketing ideas carried through to your phone systems, check out this article by Tristan Barnum of MarketingProfs, including the use of vanity numbers, product or education recordings for clients on hold, and automated messaging tips.