Legal Law

Why Customer Service Representatives Are Not Good Intake Specialists

Most of the attorneys I work with post ads for intake specialists who have experience in a call center or customer service environment. They think that someone who knows how to help people, or deal with problems, would be the perfect candidate to handle their intake calls.

You are wrong.

Think about it: What happens when you call customer service for your Internet, cable TV, or cell phone? My experience is that when someone finally responds, they usually sound bored, aren’t very engaging, certainly don’t smile, and don’t mind putting me on hold for long periods of time. When they finally get back on the phone, they’re still bored, they rush me to another department, and often I end the call feeling like they don’t really care if I get the help I need or not.

The reason they are like this is because they know that I have no choice whether to deal with them or not. They know we have to wait on hold and we can’t just hang up and change providers. We’re stuck with them and they know it. It’s not like you can suddenly call Spectrum if you have AT&T.

Ultimately, there is no urgency to help you or solve your problem. They’re just doing a job for minimum wage, and they’re not interested in helping you or your company be the best it can be.

While these representatives can get away with it in their call centers, this is NOT the case with law firms. You know as well as I do that callers have too many options when it comes to choosing who to represent them. If you treat them like that (and a lot of them do, if you don’t believe me just call your competition or your own intake team), callers will quickly hang up the phone and just call the next billboard to see or list in Google. If your intake team doesn’t know how to build a real relationship, engage the caller in intake and close the lead, turn that call into a paid case, then you’re just rolling the dice.

So what is the answer?

The solution I implement immediately with the companies I work with is to run ads for people with inside sales experience. Sales reps have a completely different attitude and know how to work with urgency to qualify and close sales. This is the skill set that makes a big difference in the most successful companies.

The reason is that sales reps understand the sales environment and are used to the structure and best practice approaches that lead to increased performance and goal achievement. Sales Reps are perfect for legal intake and respond well to:

* Metrics and be measured against performance expectations.

* Training and accountability for the use of best practices, scripted approach.

* Recording of your calls and review of your performance.

* They are motivated by money and will perform well with the right compensation plan.

* They are competitive and come with high expectations.

Also, inside sales reps are closer in the background. They’re motivated to convert leads into sales, and they’re the kind of professionals you want to handle the leads you pay millions of thousands of dollars for each month.

Think about it: How much does it cost you to generate a phone call for a potential case? $400 each? $500? Much more?

Every time your phone rings, it’s a $500 bill call, and even thousands of dollars in fees if you convert the case. Do you really want your inexperienced receptionist to answer that? Want your overworked, untrained case manager to take that call? Do you want your customer service representative (who is not trained in sales) to take that call?

No. You want a highly trained inside sales person to take that call that is trying to make a quote and convert a sale. THAT IS who will convert more than $500 bills into thousands and thousands of dollars in boxes per month.

And don’t get me started on your supervisors and managers… I’ll talk about that in another article…

Bottom line: It’s easier than you think to upgrade your intake department and explode your conversion rates. It just won’t happen if you don’t update or train your existing team on best practices within the sales approaches they need to be successful.

Stop expecting customer service reps to do what trained inside sales reps are supposed to do for you. Hiring and training successful inside sales teams is what we’ve done for over 30 years, and it’s the best investment you’ll ever make in your company’s profitability.

If you want to know more about this, please contact us.

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