Can Your Legal Intake System Withstand Emergencies?
By John O'Haver
Can Your Legal Intake System Withstand Emergencies?
Acquiring new clients is the fuel that energizes your law firm. That’s why you’ve put together a legal intake system that can handle new calls, direct potential clients to the right place, and make every caller feel like they’re being heard.
But what happens if there’s an emergency? What happens to those calls?
Whether the emergency is localized—say, damage to your office—or on a larger level that affects your area, your law firm still must remain up and running. You still have to field calls from vulnerable clients who may need your help. And those affected by a similar emergency may need someone like you to turn to.
An effective legal intake system shouldn’t just acquire new clients. It should also be robust enough to handle new clients in dire situations like these, allowing your firm to continue to thrive even if you’re in “emergency mode.”
Here are some things you’ll need to consider to assess if your legal intake system is capable of withstanding these sorts of emergencies:
Emergencies Are a Real Threat
The first thing you need to consider is the fact that emergencies are indeed a real threat. Having a backup system in place which prepares you for the unexpected is the solution against emergencies and/or disasters.
Consider the following:
- The economic impact of disasters over the ten years preceding 2014 was $1.4 trillion, according to statistics from UNISDR.
- Those disasters affected 1.7 billion people—a significant portion of the world’s population.
- Over the same time, approximately 700,000 people were killed in these disasters.
- Over 150 million people were affected by floods alone.
- The United States and China lead the world with the most disasters, but the United States incurred the most damage from disasters—even more than China.
In other words, emergencies are indeed a real threat—and they pose a serious financial risk to anyone with a law firm.
Having a call center in place that can handle legal intake even in the case of emergency is not only a way to ensure that your law firm can continue on when there are emergencies or disasters in your area, but it can prepare you for handling an influx of clients that may result from these emergencies.
It can also help you secure the peace of mind knowing that you’re ready for unusual events—which, as it turns out, aren’t so unusual at all.
Asking the Right Questions
Can your legal intake system handle emergencies? Let’s ask some critical questions that get to the heart of the matter:
- In the event of an emergency, how quickly could you respond to clients? How quickly could your firm begin acting like its ordinary self?
- If you had to shut your physical presence down for a while, would your current legal intake system survive?
If the answers suggest you need more emergency preparedness, there’s a solution for your challenges.
Hiring the Right Legal Intake Help
Legal intake with the help of call centers can seem like a risk. After all, you’re the expert. You’re the human touch.
Outsourcing your legal intake seems like it might run the risk of giving someone else—someone incapable of handling the empathy required to speak to real potential clients—control over your ability to earn new clients.
But you’d be surprised.
A legal intake call center can specialize in everything you need to handle new clients and old clients, even during emergencies. And when you outsource this aspect of your business to a third party, you then give yourself a layer of protection from these emergencies.
You no longer have to rely on your physical presence to handle legal intake. Instead, you can continue to take calls and have them forwarded appropriately even during emergencies, which in turn gives your law firm the appearance of working on business as usual.
When you hire the right call center, your law firm can work with its legal intake process in any way it chooses.
You can customize the experience. You can tell the call center what you specifically need for call flow. And when a natural disaster occurs, your callers will still be able to reach a live person, even though they might not be able to do so in the case of other law firms in the area.
Hiring a legal intake call center can seem like a risk at first, but in the long run, it can be one of the best decisions you make for your law firm. Not only can you work with the call center to ensure you capture as many potential new clients as possible, but you can continue to keep your law firm up and running even in dire circumstances.
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