Because of our automated culture, many people find themselves frustrated when dealing with an office answering service. However, it’s simply a fact of doing business and particularly when you have to do so after hours, which many clients of attorneys find themselves doing often. If this is the case and you have to deal with an attorney answering service, here are some tips on how to get exactly what you need:
o Be firm about what you need: If you need a call back from your lawyer — or a lawyer with the firm you’ve retained — and it’s a matter of urgency, be firm about that when speaking with the virtual answering service receptionist. Let them know that the matter is important and that you need to be called back as soon as possible.
o Be as specific as possible with the office answering service: Give as much information as you can to the live answering service receptionist. Be clear about exactly what you need from your attorney and the time frame in which you need a return call from someone affiliated with the firm. The more information the live telephone answering service receptionist is able to include within your message, the more likely it is that you will receive a return call from your lawyer.
o Don’t take your frustration out on the live telephone answering service representative: Understand that your attorney’s firm has hired the attorney answering service representatives and they serve an important purpose. If you are upset about having to deal with the live telephone answering service receptionist, then let your attorney know at your next meeting. In some instances, an attorney will give out an alternative number to certain clients; however, the virtual answering service serves the purpose of filtering through the urgent calls and those that can wait until the next business day. Therefore, in that vein, dealing with an answering message service receptionist can actually ensure that if it’s that important, someone will call you back almost immediately. So don’t take your anger or frustration out on the live answering service receptionist; they are simply there to try to help you deliver your message through the proper channels.
Following these tips will help you get what you need from the virtual answering service and thereby your attorney. Keep in mind that the firm you work with hired a live telephone answering service for a reason and you should be aware of their abilities and limitations via discussion with your attorney before you find yourself in an after-hours crisis.