The Top Three Mistakes to Avoid When Outsourcing Your First Impression
When your firm receives a call, how is it handled? Does it go to an automatic receiver, or does a receptionist answer it? What is the conversation like? Do you think your firm makes a good first impression, or do you lose more potential clients than you gain?
We recently had a conversation with Maddy Martin, the Senior Vice President of growth at Smith AI. Smith AI is a 24/7 customer engagement platform best known for virtual reception and outreach. Maddie is a nationwide speaker that’s been recognized over the last six years for providing CLE on law firm communication and growth. We discussed the top mistakes to avoid when outsourcing your law firm’s first impression.
Below are three mistakes and ways to correct them.
Virtual Receptionists Are Not Empowered To Work on the Firm’s Behalf
If your firm hires a virtual receptionist, it’s your responsibility to ensure they represent your company well. They also must be able to schedule consultations for you and take payments over the phone. This applies to your in-house team as well.
However, one of the first mistakes is that the firm takes too long to hire a virtual receptionist in the first place. Many hold their firm’s tasks too close to their chest and struggle to delegate. But if the receptionist knows what is expected of them, there will be little work to tidy up on the converting progress.
Not Auditing Your Firm
Many do not call their own firm to see how the inbound process is handled. It’s essentially “secret shopping,” but it can be beneficial to demonstrate what is working and what can be improved. You can also hear people’s tones and tell if the receptionist is smiling, pronouncing the person’s name right, etc.
It’s possible to get the call recordings or transcriptions from real calls from potential clients and use them as a learning opportunity as well.
Providing Direction Only for Positive Outcomes
Another mistake is that receptionists are often only taught how to respond to positive directions and not when a potential client is upset or pushing back. The first step is to identify if there is a path out of the escalation and get on the same page as the caller. There should also be documentation on how the firm would like the virtual receptionists to handle those sorts of conversations.
However, if the client is agitated because they are upset about their own situation or just may be difficult to deal with, the firm may decide they are not a good fit, and there needs to be a process for when these calls come in.
If you want to learn more about outsourcing your first impression, check out https://www.nextlevel.legal/episode/lfn094.