The voicemail, previously known as an answerphone machine, was developed in the 1930s and was widely adopted by businesses in the 1980s. It’s still popular feature of phone systems, but today it’s a little different! It has been improved to deliver more value to businesses and make the customer experience better. What are these drastic improvements and how can solicitors take advantage of professional voicemail to increase their success?
Let’s find out!
What is a Professional Voicemail?
A professional voicemail is an automated answering service that meets the following requirements of businesses, like your solicitors office;
- The message communicates meaningful and helpful information to your clients.
- The message sounds perfect and creates a positive impression of your solicitors
- The length of ringing before the message is played (and the message itself) is automatically adaptable for different times, days and purposes.
- Voicemail messages trigger an instant notification (on the handset, PC, or smartphone app) to your solicitors office and can be accessed and listened to easily and instantly from anywhere in the world.
- The voicemail system should (if wanted) give solicitors the option for clients to “press 1 to be connected to the emergency out of hours service” if one is offered by your office.
These are the high standards we set for ourselves when we reinvented the modern day business voicemail.
Top 9 Reasons Why Professional Voicemail is Important for Solicitors
- It helps you provide excellent service to your clients.
- It communicates to and receives communication from your clients which leads to more bookings at your office.
- It helps clients get the information they may need.
- A great, well thought-out and professionally recorded voicemail message gives you another opportunity to make money.
- It shows clients you care about them.
- It satisfies clients and builds trust in your solicitors.
- It can create a positive and professional impression in your client’s mind.
- It makes it possible to contact clients quickly enough to get/keep them as clients
- It’s the perfect opportunity for you to put your vocal pipes to great use (only joking, an actor will do that for you).
Questions You Should Answer Before Deciding How to Set-Up Your Solicitors Professional Voicemail
In this section we’ll look at the different features professional voicemail offers solicitors and discuss the best ways to use them.
How Many Different Messages Do We Need?
Is one message for any time of the day enough? Probably not. Let’s look at why.
By only having one message which plays both when you’re open and closed, your message will not be specific enough to deliver the correct communication to your clients. The message will also be tediously long.
Two messages usually hits the spot. One message for when you’re open but can’t answer – called an OPEN VOICEMAIL MESSAGE, plus another message for when you’re closed – called a CLOSED VOICEMAIL MESSAGE.
This way you can tailor the message to deliver useful, relevant information to your clients (it’s worth noting that modern Yo Telecom phone systems automatically switch between open and closed voicemail messages depending on the time and day of the week – so your clients always hear the correct message).
How do You Communicate a Meaningful and Useful Message to Clients?
The first thing you should find out is what do your clients want from a voicemail?
Here are some things clients said they want from a solicitors voicemail:
- To know they’ve called who they intended to.
- The reason why the call wasn’t answered.
- When they can speak to you (opening hours).
- What alternative methods of communication are available.
- What to do if they have an emergency.
- When their call will be returned if they leave a message.
- Guidance on what they should do to speak to you as quickly as possible.
Don’t try to fit all of those points into one message, otherwise it will be too long. Instead, decide which points are most important for different times of the day and create a message around what is important to you and more importantly your clients.
With the above information, you can start to tailor a meaningful message for your clients (or if you switch to Yo Telecom our talented script writers will do this for you).
Here are two examples of the types of message we can create for you;
OPEN VOICEMAIL MESSAGE
“Thank you for calling [name of your solicitors office]. We’re sorry we can’t take your call. We are open, but currently busy on the line helping other clients. We aim to return all calls within one working hour, so please leave us a message with your name and number and we’ll be in touch shortly.”
CLOSED VOICEMAIL MESSAGE
“Thank you for calling [name of your solicitors office]. We’re sorry we can’t take your call right now, we are currently closed. Our opening hours are [insert opening hours]. If you are in need of an emergency out of hours appointment, we can help. We now offer out of hours services for a call out fee of [insert fee] plus standard appointment cost. To be connected press 1 now. Alternatively, if you would like to leave a message, please press 2.”
Will Returning Calls Promptly Lead to Happier Clients?
To put it simply, yes. But why?
Professor James Oldroyd of MIT discovered that if you call back within 5 minutes of a client’s enquiry, you are 100 times more likely to reach the client as opposed to calling back after 30 minutes. You can’t argue with the facts! If you miss a call and take too long to call back, your potential client will start to look elsewhere to get their questions answered. They’re now just a Google search away from finding an alternative.
Let’s think of a scenario;
A potential client leaves you a voicemail message. He is looking for some legal help and wants to enquire about your services. However, it’s a Sunday morning and you’re closed. But you have a Yo Telecom phone system that emails you as soon as you receive a voicemail. So you call the client right away. Guess what happens next? You exceed that client’s expectations on the first interaction with them. Which will stick in their mind. You don’t just say you offer great service, but you prove to this caller that you offer great service..
Pretty smart, eh?
Should We Give Clients the Option to Speak to Us Directly Out of Hours?
If you offer an out-of-hours service, you want to make it easy for clients to contact you.
If you don’t offer an out of hours emergency service you may want to consider it for the following reasons:
- It’s extremely valuable for both clients and solicitors.
- It differentiates your solicitors office from the competition.
- It can be a good (and sometimes untapped) source of new clients.
- You can charge higher prices for emergency work.
- Emergency legal help improves communities and lives in times of need.
However, most solicitors owners and managers do not want clients to have their mobile numbers (even if they offer out of hours services), which we understand. As much as you want to help your clients whenever you can, you don’t want your phone ringing left right and centre on your days off.
So what is the solution for this? Time-specific voicemail messages that enable clients to press 1 to be connected to you and you chose the hours that the message plays (the hours you’re happy to provide out of hours emergency appointments). You may want that message to switch off at 8:30 pm, it’s up to you and what you feel will suit the needs of your clients. Whatever suits you, the Yo Telecom Phone System is flexible.
3 Step Plan to Increase the Success of Your Solicitors Office
1. Book a Demo
You can book in for a FREE demo of our phone systems for professional services by calling us on 02381 103195.
2. Sign up for the Option that Suits the Needs of Your Solicitors Office
One of our specialist consultants will come to your solicitors office and discuss all of your options until we have come up with the perfect solution that meets your requirements.
3. Let us Take Care of a Hassle Free Installation & Training
Your delivery and installation date will be booked on a day that suits you. We’ll take care of the whole switch over and will train you to make the most of all of the features on your new phone system!
A professional voicemail has many benefits for both clients and solicitors.
If you’d like to know more about anything discussed in this article please call us on 02381 103195 or email email@example.com