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OUTSOURCING INTAKE PART 3: HOW TO SELECT THE RIGHT OUTSOURCING SERVICE FOR YOUR FIRM

Legal intake is complex. How many types of cases do you handle, and what are the unique requirements of each type of case? Which types are high priorities, and what kinds of cases do you prefer not to handle? How are you filtering those leads? The more complexity you require, the more important it becomes to hire a professional answering service that understands the needs of your firm.

When deciding on the right outsourcing solution for your firm, here are three things to consider when making your selection:

  • Do Your Research

When considering a virtual resource, it’s important to do research.  Look for the services that have a proven track record. Read reviews of the services and look for signs that this person or service is capable of good communication.  Check references and look through potential candidates yourself.

  • Conduct Interviews

The only way to know if you are hiring a good candidate or service is to speak with them yourself.  Whether if they are in the U.S. or international, you can set up time for a phone or skype interview.   It’s important that the person you hire can effectively communicate with you.

  • Don’t Ignore Your Intuition or Red Flags

If you have a feeling or see a red flag that this individual or service is unable to meet your law firm’s needs, move on to another resource.  It is better to hire the right person than rush into hiring an individual who will cost your firm time and money later.

The three major red flags to be aware of are a lack of responsiveness, a lack of experience, or an absence of documented processes.  You should expect a live answering service to follow up with you in a timely manner. Virtual assistants should possess relevant experience in the practice area(s) of your law firm, and they should demonstrate a process for determining your needs and maintaining your accounts.

If the resource you hired doesn’t ask appropriate questions before you start and assign a single point-of-contact to you to handle your account set-up and management, you may have a serious problem down the road that could cost you valuable time and money.

OTHER FACTORS TO CONSIDER BEFORE HIRING AN OUTSOURCE

What is the overall goal of hiring an outside resource? Is your firm focused on reducing costs, ensuring that you don’t lose leads or a combination of the two?  Whatever your goal is, be sure to consider these important factors:

  • What specific services do you want the outside resource to perform? Is it phone assistance, bookkeeping, or general administrative tasks?
  • Do you need the support of a live answering service or would you prefer to outsource all incoming clients so your law firm can focus on qualified leads?  Do you need an audit trail for your phone calls to track marketing data?
  • Is your virtual assistant looking for long-term employment? Do their work goals align with the goals of the firm and the work you need them to do?

 

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