According to Legal Intake Professionals, as many as 27% of personal injury callers are not reaching your on-call person, and frustrated callers may call another attorney!
This comes as no surprise to me. I ran a personal injury advertising campaign on TV with a large TV budget and calls going directly to 22 law firms.
Results of a Personal Injury TV Advertising Campaign
I ran a TV advertising campaign with a nearly seven-figure budget with 19 paying lawyers in NYC and 3 partner law firms in other areas receiving calls. I made test calls to the lawyers to see if they answered the phone quickly and how the phone was answered.
Lawyers who followed my advice about handling calls answered the phones properly and were successful.
For instance, one lawyer had 10 phone lines with incoming calls, never going beyond the 4th phone line with the other lines used for outbound calls. I told the lawyer to route 1-800-HURT-911® calls to the 7th line so that everyone in the office would instantly know it was an advertising call when that line lights up. I told the lawyer to give that line priority over everything else and to make sure it was answered within 2-3 rings.
Lawyers who complained about not getting enough cases often did not answer the phone quickly or put me on hold for several minutes. Sometimes, their phone just rang and rang and was never even answered!
Some lawyers were also losing clients because they scheduled appointments for clients to come to the office the next day or even later in the week! Not surprisingly, some potential clients never showed up.
In another article, I show how you can sign up new accident callers within minutes.
How to Answer Calls from a Personal Injury Advertising Campaign
For small to medium-sized law firms, answering calls in-house with proper call-handling policies is best during office hours. After hours, a call center is a necessity.
Large law firms can either answer calls in-house or with a call center. A couple of large law firms advertising 1-800-HURT-911® use their own in-house call center during the day and a third-party call center after hours.
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Consider using a call intake consultant. Yes, that exists! Maximum Intake Consulting.
Use a Specialty Call Center For Lawyer Advertising
For personal injury lawyers, there are specialty call centers such as:
- Legal Intake Professionals answer advertising calls and handle intake for over 300 law firms.
- Intake Conversion Experts (ICE) was started by a lawyer who managed intakes for a large mass tort law firm. ICE will augment your call and take or answer all of your calls. They can handle large mass tort advertising and even e-sign cases to retain clients using your retainer agreement. They specialize in pursuing leads your office gave up on.
- Alert Communications
- Ruby Receptionists
Use Call Intake Software for Lawyer Advertising
Call intake software for personal injury advertising can improve your bottom line by as much as hundreds of thousands of dollars to millions. Call intake software can be used to answer advertising calls in-house and/or with call centers.
Following are companies providing call intake software for lawyers that I am aware of:
- Captorra – Legal Intake for Plaintiff Practices. Legal Intake Professionals, Alert Communications, and other after-hours call centers have direct integrations with Captorra.
- Law Ruler – Legal Case Intake & Legal CRM for Firms to Sign More Cases. Integrates with Legal Intake Professionals. See features.
- Lead Docket – cloud-based lead management software which integrates with SmartAdvocate; TrialWorks; and Needles personal injury management software. It also with Ngage Live Chat, call centers, MailChimp, and other services.
- Lexicata – Law Firm CRM & Client Intake Software. Integrates with Ruby Receptionists. See features.
How to Verify Call Intake from Advertising Is Properly Handled
Record all calls to make sure calls are answered quickly and handled professionally. All 1-800-HURT-911 calls are recorded so HURT911® Lawyers can listen to incoming calls anytime.
Incoming calls should be listened to and examined for the following:
- Are your intake specialists answering all calls within three rings?
- Are your intake specialists putting callers on hold?
- Are your intake specialists conveying the right message?
- Is the tone of voice of your intake specialists appropriate?
- Are your intake specialists representing and promoting your law firm’s brand appropriately?
- Are your intake specialists capturing all callers’ contact information, including rejected ones?
- What can your intake specialists do better?
Best Practices for Answering Calls When Using a Call Center
New callers who have been hurt in an accident should be able to speak with an attorney immediately, even at night or on the weekend.
If the caller has an accident case you want, the caller should be retained immediately, not the next day.
Use an On-Call Cell Phone
Make sure an attorney is always available to receive calls from your call center/answering service.
If you rotate attorneys to be on call, you can either call your answering service to give them the new cell phone number or give an office line to your call center, which you can change to the next cell phone when you’re in the office or remotely.
Set up a Call Report Distribution List
Every time a call is received, designated attorneys should receive both an email and text message on their cell phones. The designated attorney should immediately follow up to find out what happened with the call.
Email reports and text messages can usually be sent automatically with any vanity phone number and also by call centers. 1-800-HURT-911 will automatically send a report by both email and text message as soon as the caller hangs up.
Retain New Accident Clients by Email
We retain 98% of our clients by email. With an average of three new clients every week, that saves us approximately 40 hours of attorney time every month!
An added benefit is that our clients are usually retained within minutes to hours, reducing the number of potential clients who retain another attorney while they are waiting to meet us.
Use Personal Injury Case Management Software
It’s surprising how many law firms still do not use personal injury case management software or don’t use it properly.
Personal injury case management software can be used to input new cases quickly, generate retainers, and upload to an e-sign service to sign up clients within minutes.
Personal injury case management software will also allow you to track the advertising that’s working.
We use SmartAdvocate®, which we believe is the most sophisticated personal injury case management software and the best software for small law firms to large mass tort law firms.
Find out how to get more calls from people injured in accidents with advertising for personal injury lawyers.
Philip L. Franckel, Esq., is the author of this article.
Phil Franckel is the owner of 1-800-HURT-911® and over 1,100 domain names. He is a personal injury lawyer and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the NYS Trial Lawyers Association. He is an expert in branding, advertising, marketing, and SEO. He has been doing SEO since 1994.
Phil Franckel has written and produced TV commercials for lawyers and other industries and has been a consultant to businesses, including several using vanity phone numbers. Phil writes a blog about lawyer advertising at LawyerAdvertisingBlog.com.
Phil Franckel began a mail order business in 8th grade, bought and sold coin-operated amusement games in 10th grade, and a used car business in 12th grade through college. After law school, he worked in the wholesale diamond business and part-time for a TV production company. Later, while a lawyer at a large personal injury law firm, he worked part-time for ABC Wide World of Sports and ABC Monday Night Baseball.
Phil Franckel then started a personal injury law practice and is a former member of the Board of Directors of the NYS Trial Lawyers Association.
In his spare time, Phil Franckel became an Aux. Police Cadet in 12th grade and is the Commanding Officer of the Communications Bureau, NCPD Aux. Police Section.
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