8 Tips To Improving Your Law Firm’s Phone Intakes

Brian November 8, 2018

Most of our clients hire us with the goal in mind of making their phone ring more often. Ultimately however, what our clients really care about is getting new clients that they can attribute directly to our marketing. As you might imagine, what’s critical in making that happen is measuring the amount of calls that a firm gets and even monitoring those calls to ensure that when the phone does ring, the lead is being handled as best possible.

While a lot employees want a script to stick to, because every person calling is different and behaves differently, there’s simply not a script for every situation. So what’s more important than having a script is having principles that are constantly being reinforced to your receptionists and staff that can apply to each every single call regardless of the individual.

Here are the ones we think are most important:

  1. Assume every call you get is your dream client – Every suggestion here is based on that premise. By following this principle, when that client does call your firm, you will give yourself the highest likelihood for converting them to a client.
  2. Answer the phone no later than the third ring – Our experience has shown most people will not wait past 5 rings when they call so our advice is not to chance it and answer the call within 2-3 rings.
  3. First Impressions Matter – Your phone receptionist is making your firm’s 1st impression with your client which means this person should have a friendly, inviting and professional phone voice.
  4. Don’t Ask For The Same Info Twice – Pre-determine the level of detail you are going to have your receptionist ask before he/she routes the call to another individual. Few things are more frustrating than having to tell a long, painful story twice over the phone to a stranger. Our suggestion is, if you are going to route calls to an attorney, do so quickly so that your valuable lead isn’t having to go through that experience.
  5. Show Your Humanity – The people calling you are often in tremendous emotional, financial and even physical pain and because of that, your receptionist should have the emotional intelligence to convey the appropriate level of compassion and empathy for your clients when they communicate their problems.
  6. Escalate VIP Calls – Your receptionist should be able to quickly distinguish a “VIP Call” – a call that is of high value to the firm, whether it’s because of who is calling or the issue they are having, and then be able to direct the call to the corresponding level within the firm.
  7. ALWAYS Get Contact Info – Before any call is transferred, make sure that your receptionist receives contact information, as this could save a lead in the event that the call is not connected properly or that the individual is sent to a voicemail upon transferring.
  8. No Cold Transfers – The receptionist should do their best to “hand off” the call within the firm rather than just perform a cold transfer. By handing off the call we mean calling the individual you are transferring to and giving them a brief explanation of the caller’s situation, then notifying the caller of the individual you are transferring them to, then perform the transfer. This “hand off” will make a much stronger impression than just simply transferring the call.

Sample Law Firm Phone Intake Script

While phone scripts need to be flexible, here’s a sample script for your firm that will helps to illustrate how you can ensure you are making the most of each and every call you receive.

Receptionist: Thank you for calling {FIrm Name}, This is {Receptionist Name}, how can I help you?

Caller: Hi, my name is Suzy and I need to speak with an attorney.

Receptionist: Ok Suzy, just so I can make sure that I am sending you to the right person within the firm, can you tell me a little bit about what it is you’re needing help with?

Caller: Well I was in a car accident in Downtown Houston and my daughter has been seriously injured … I really need help from a lawyer because I don’t know how I’m going to pay my hospital bills …

Receptionist: [sympathetic, genuine] Suzy, I’m terribly sorry to hear that you are having to deal with that. Our lawyers are phenomenal at helping people who have experienced serious accidents. Do you mind if I put you in touch with one of our attorneys so they can get all the important information surrounding your case?

Caller: That would be fine.

Receptionist: Thank you. And just in case we get disconnected after I transfer you, what’s the best number for me to reach you at?

Caller: It’s 555-55555

Receptionist: Ok excellent, thank you for that. Now if you don’t mind holding, I’m going to try to put you in touch with Attorney Mark, he is one of the best attorneys in town when it comes to car accidents

[puts caller on brief hold, makes contact with attorney, gives brief description to attorney]

Receptionist: Ok Suzy, I am transferring you to Attorney Mark right now, I have shared with him what you told me and he would like to speak with you to learn a little more about your situation.

Caller: Thank you

[transfers call]


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