Why Your Law Firm Needs a Reception Service with Bre Swanson

You can spend hundreds of dollars on social marketing hoping to get phone calls. But what happens when there's no one to answer the phone when it rings? Having someone in the reception role is crucial to finding clients. 

Bre Swanson of LEX Reception joins us in this episode to discuss the advantages of a reception service in expanding your business. She builds on her 13 years of expertise and explains how hiring a receptionist puts your firm in the top third of law firms. Bre also discusses the importance of looking after your employees and how to inspire them to be passionate about your firm's success.  

If you are contemplating getting a reception service for your law firm, this episode might be for you!

Here are three reasons why you should listen to this episode

  1. Discover the importance of having an integrator in your law firm. 
  2. Learn about reception service providers and how they can grow your law firm. 
  3. Find out proven ways to set up a reception service and push your law firm onto the path toward success! 

Resources

Episode Highlights

Bre’s Road to Operations Director

  • Bre has been with LEX Reception for 13 years. 
  • Her first job in the company was answering phone calls. 
  • After a year, she moved to the Sales Department, where she helped attorneys scale law firms through different tools. 
  • Bre has then moved to different roles and played a significant role in scaling the company with more team members and different leadership. 
  • LEX Reception now has over 3,000 customers and 200 full-time employees. 

Visionaries and Integrators

  • The visionary is your business owner and has all the 'half-baked ideas' that come too quick to execute.
  • An integrator makes the visionary’s ideas happen. 
  • You can find an integrator using the ‘Mailroom Strategy’: hire somebody for the mailroom and give them more responsibility as they move. 
  • Through this strategy, your employee transitions naturally through phases until they get to the integrator role. 

Bre: “Rather than bringing in somebody who, maybe, has the experience but doesn't have the passion about the company, go for somebody who’s brought up from within.” 

Master Your Role 

Bre: “Master your role. First and foremost, master that, and then start wearing the hats of the role that you want to do, or the role that you see yourself in and make yourself that point person where people think, wow.”

  • Make yourself a critical part such that people cannot do their jobs successfully without you. Executive leadership will start leaning on you more. You will become essential for a role you did not have. 
  • People will start thinking about you, and executive leadership will start leaning on you more. 
  • In her experience, Bre's roles came from the need to scale the brand. 
  • Companies these days are more open to creating roles for people when you’re doing the hard work. 
  • Your firm will need to create and fill new roles as it grows and your number of clients increases.

Finding Your Business’s ‘Intrapreneurs’ 

  • Intrapreneurs are employees who are engaged in the mission of the company. They take the role and responsibility for the company's success as personal ownership. 
  • These people will do whatever is necessary for the success of your business — even if it means going out of their comfort zone. 
  • In the same way, business owners need to help their people envision how they will grow in the company or firm. 
  • You will not be able to bring on good talent if you do not have a success path for them. 
  • Listen to Profit with Law’s episode with Molly McGrath of Hiring & Empowering Solutions to learn more about the value of ‘intrapreneurs.’

How A Hybrid Work Setup Can Help Your Company 

  • Before the pandemic, there was a stigma around employees working from home — especially lawyers. 
  • The pandemic has caused a shift in the mindset of the employment market. People now expect more and hold their leaders to a higher level. 
  • Bre emphasizes that there are many benefits to working from home. 
  • Working from home helps cut down commute times, which leads to improvements in mental and physical health for employees and even attorneys. 
  • It also eases geographic barriers and opens the diversity of the talent pool. 

Evaluating Interviewees in the Hybrid Setup

  • Keep in mind that people show up as their best selves in interviews. Consider how a candidate presents themself during the interview. 
  • Bre emphasizes looking for the empathy factor when hiring a receptionist. 

Bre: “People aren’t typically calling attorneys because they’ve won the lottery and they want to figure out how to allocate that to the family. It’s hard stuff. It’s divorce, bankruptcy, criminal defense, DUIs.”

  • If you hire someone in-house to take calls, it is not cost-effective to have their only duty be handling calls. 

Bre: “People are expensive right now — rightfully so. So make sure they can do multiple things at one time.”

Reception Service vs. Receptionist in the Office

  • Attorneys usually spend money on marketing to get phone calls.
  • Data shows that people prefer phone and video as their initial contact method.
  • However, 66% of 2,000 law firms either never answered their phone or returned a voicemail.
  • If you have a reception service or receptionist, you are already in the upper one-third of law firms. 

Moshe: “How much of a difference it can make to get that call answered and to do nothing about it.”

Answering the Phone Call

  • A 2021 Legal Trends Report found that responsiveness to questions is the number one factor influencing whether someone will choose to hire a lawyer. 
  • Have someone who answers the call quickly but is also friendly.
  • Go through a few prepared intake questions and schedule a consult with them.

The Value of a Lost Call

  • Not every phone call is a potential client. It could also be an existing client or a wrong number. 
  • Lawyers or law firms often do not know how many calls they get in a day. 
  • Having someone answer your phone calls 24/7 could double the percentage of consults you can have. 
  • People are searching for an answer — even after office hours — and that is when you have to be available for them. 

Moshe: "Because when people are looking for a solution, they're going to call the one who's open. They don't want to call and leave a message."

Why You Should Make Client Calls Personal

  • In establishing a contact line, the law firm must be clear about whether they want an answering service or a receptionist. 
  • The person answering the call will represent your firm. 
  • However, you must ensure that the person answering the call gets all the information to the attorney and schedules a client meeting. 

Bre: "In the legal process where everything is unknown, everything is scary; to have that direction and those steps definitely set everyone up for success."

The Flow of a Reception Call 

  • A legal assistant's salary should focus on high-value tasks, and answering calls from clients is not one. The answering service should be weeding this out for you. 
  • Simple is always better. Try to keep the call as short and sweet as possible while still trying to get the most valuable information. 
  • Make sure to give information about the price. Price transparency is one of the deciding factors following responsiveness. 
  • Bre also suggests keeping the calls a little vague while ensuring the potential client knows you can provide the service and offer a free consultation. 
  • Inform the clients that you have free consultations and payment plans customized per client. 

How LEX Reception Works 

  • LEX now has 150 receptionists who work 24/7 and are scheduled depending on the expected call volume. 
  • Their service is around $300 to $500 a month — less than $20 a day for 24 hours.
  • LEX Reception also offers bilingual services: English and Spanish. 

Bre’s Advice for Law Firms 

  • Be a learner for life. If you can take 30 minutes a day to step away from your computer and listen to a TED talk or read an article, do it. Every employee is required to learn. 
  • Learning is everything.

About Bre

Bre Swanson is a mom, operations manager, sales leader, and learning/development professional. She is currently the Director of Operations at LEX Operations, a 24/7 legal reception service. Bre has been part of LEX Operations since 2008 and has assumed different roles, including Senior Sales Manager and Sales Account Executive. Bre was responsible for turning what was a startup company in 2008 into a brand billing over $1.5M monthly. 

If you wish to get in touch with Bre, you may email her at [email protected] or call 1-877-322-9911. 

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