We return many calls to lawyers who contact Catalyst. One of our assessments is how the firm phone is answered. This is the first point of contact for new clients. How the phone is answered can make or break the image of your firm. You have 5 to 7 seconds to convey to the new client what your firm is about. We have some basic marketing tips we gladly share with you for answering the phone:
1. Only put people friendly employees on the phone. While we can’t imagine anyone hiring an unfriendly person there are people who see this duty as beneath their abilities. The days of the receptionist being a low level entry job are over for highly profitable firms.
2. Teach everyone to smile before they answer the phone. Put a big smiley face where they have to see it as the phone rings.
3. What is your firm about? Our recommendation is this: Good morning, Smith, Smith & Smith, this is Alice, how many I help you? People like to know who they are talking to, and who they have called and the request “how can I help you” says what you are about.
4. Test your firm. Call back at odd times. Call while you are in the office. Find out if your people are doing what you want.
One extra hint: Task your front desk person with advising you of any call where anyone (client or otherwise) expresses dissatisfaction. In today’s world the internet lets unhappy clients tell millions of people how they feel about you.
Today’s economy demands you provide yourself with every competitive edge and how you greet your clients is a crucial one.