Legal Recruitment from Ten-Percent Legal

Friday, June 27, 2014

60% increase in out of hours telephone calls to Solicitors Firms

We received a press release not that long ago from a well known telephone answering service - AlldayPa (www.alldaypa.com - this is not a sponsored link - we don't get paid if you click it - but we are and have been clients for over 10 years now).

They have released figures to say that 'The legal sector has seen a 60% increase in out of hours calls' - which has consequences for many law firms across the country. More and more clients are expecting calls to be answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and it seems logical to suppose that this is a direct result of increased online and offline advertising. TV and Radio adverts are becoming commonplace, and it is natural for a client to call straight away, rather than wait for office hours.'

They have not published any figures demonstrating the 60% increase in the past few years (which is as vague as it gets), but the crux of their research is promoting the fact that it may be worth firms considering out of hours call handling services in order to deal with the increased traffic. Not sure the evidence is capable of backing this up, but there we go!

Should you consider an out of hours call handling service? The Law Society seem to have close links with a local company to our North Wales office - Moneypenny are based in Wrexham. They have always been more expensive than other options when we have looked into them and we have explored using a one-man band before now as well to cut costs. 

I have to say that we do not use a call handling service after 5pm. Many years ago we used to answer calls ourselves after 5pm but over time worked out that the vast majority of calls were a complete waste of time and we were spending valuable out of office time worrying about answering telephones. I got fed up of telling LPC graduates to read our website carefully (we don't offer free careers advice over the phone) and taking long calls from senior partners wanting to get market updates and talk about solicitors with following. 

If you are considering an out of hours telephone service then Alldaypa have always been good for us - again I should add that this is not a plug for them. When we have had problems with calls they have been able to listen to recordings and relay to us what went wrong if anything. 

We tend to use them when too many of our staff are out of the office all at one time, or our phone lines are engaged. I would not recommend using them for calls after 5pm as you can start finding the whole experience very costly, and with little reward.

You need to think carefully as to why you would need the service. If you are taking a lot of queries in the evenings should you start an on call rota amongst your solicitors? Its a bit pointless having PAs answering calls and taking messages if people are calling you specifically for quotes there and then, or have an urgent legal query.

Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and a non-practising Solicitor. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment provides online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search our Vacancy Database. Our Legal Careers Shop has eBooks on CV Writing for Lawyers, Legal Job Interview Guide, Interview Answers for Lawyers, NQ Career Guide, Guide to Finding Work Experience or a Training Contract and the Entrants Guide to the Legal Profession.

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