How to Use a Virtual Assistant to Retain More Law Firm Clients
If your law firm is short on staff, a virtual (or real) assistant (VA) can easily help you retain more clients for a relatively low investment. A VA can increase the number of appointments you set, cut down on no-shows (even for scheduled phone consults), and improve retention rates. Here are 10 tasks for a virtual assistant that will pay for themselves:
1. Answer every call
Since any unanswered call could be from a prospective new client, you need to be sure to answer every single incoming call to your firm. A VA can make that possible, even when you (the attorney) are unavailable. If someone doesn’t answer, callers will simply go to the next law firm on their list.
2. Schedule appointments
A VA can quickly schedule an initial attorney consultation for new prospects during their initial call. 90% of prospects will stop calling law firms once they have a fixed appointment.
3. Return voice mail messages
If a call is not answered by a live person, most people today prefer not to leave a voice mail message. But if they do leave a message, a VA can quickly return the call (preferably within minutes, or at most within an hour), when otherwise it might have taken you a day or more to return the call.
4. Respond to email inquiries
A VA can also respond quickly to all email inquiries within minutes — the sooner the response, the better the chance of speaking directly to the prospect. Optimally, your firm should be responding to email inquiries within 5 minutes of initial message receipt.
5. Answer basic, non-legal, questions
Empower your VA to answer basic questions (they don’t need to provide legal advice), questions that don’t need to be answered by an attorney.
6. Get multiple contact information from new prospects
A VA can get multiple phone and email contact information from prospects when they first call – to assure that you will be able to get in touch with them for appointment reminders and followup emails.
7. Send consultation confirmations
A VA can immediately send a consultation confirmation email to prospects including the appointment date, time, address, map, driving directions and parking information. And, a VA should ask for the prospect to confirm his or her planned attendance as well.
8. Send regular appointment reminders
A VA can send reminders for appointments several days prior, the night before, and the morning of appointments to assure the prospect will show. The VA can use phone, email and/or text for the reminders and should ask each prospect to confirm that they will attend.
9. Send thank-yous and consult followup emails
A VA can email a followup thank you note to prospects after each appointment. If the prospect did not retain your firm at the initial appointment, the VA can implement a multi-step follow-up process, including email and phone calls until the prospect retains your firm, hires another firm, or decides against moving forward with the case.
10. Send email trickle campaigns to long-term prospect lists
A VA can also send regular email trickle campaigns to all long-term outstanding prospects. You never know how long it might take some prospects to finally make a decision.