Why Law Firm Receptionists Can Ruin Your Marketing Efforts

I don’t hate a lot.

I always remember telling my children not to use that word – it is too strong.

My other mind blowing advice as a father was telling them to drink more water; it fixes everything.

“I have a bad stomach” – drink some water.Why Law Firm Receptionists Can Ruin Your Marketing Efforts

“I have a bad head” – drink some water.

“I’ve burned myself” – drink some water whilst running your hand under the tap.

Parent of the year, me.

I called to arrange for a quote for some double glazed windows recently.

I have used the company a couple of times before; the owner used to live opposite me.

This was my conversation:

“Hello, I would like someone to come around to quote for some double glazed windows.”

“OK, have you used us before?”


“Who came round to quote for you?”

“I have no idea and I don’t mind who comes, I would just like a price as soon as possible please.”

“Well, I need to know who to send out. Hold on while I find out who you saw last time” sigh follows as she realises she now needs to pull up the database because this useless customer doesn’t know who came to quote for him 6 years ago…

I duly held.

Some minutes later I was proudly told that “Steve” had come around, so he would have to be the one to come around again.

Several minutes of my life lost whilst the receptionist dealt with their internal procedures.

All that she needed to say was, “OK Mr Jervis let me take your telephone number and someone will call you back to arrange a visit.”

What I hate is the ‘business prevention police’ who usually lurk on reception desks, not only in double glazed window companies but frequently in law firms too.

If I have done my job correctly and made my clients telephone ring, the last thing I want the potential client to hear is any of these:

  • What’s your reference number? I am a new prospect, I do not have one and this isn’t a very friendly start to my experience of your law firm…
  • Which fee earner do you want to speak to? I have absolutely no idea. I don’t know which of your ‘fee earners’ deals with my type of legal challenge. To be honest, you lost me at ‘fee earner’. That has to be one of the most disgraceful terms in existence. It tells me as a client what you want from me (my money) and your solicitor what you want from them (make me money).
  • Ring ring, ring ring, ring ring, break in ringing (whilst redirected to 5 other telephones), ring ring, ring ring, ring ring (whilst the other people on the back up call list fight not to answer the telephone)…. Hangs up.
  • Which office are you trying to speak to? I have no idea, I just have a legal matter and want to talk to someone about it.

Bad telephone answering systems cost law firms thousands of pounds in lost business every month. In my experience of ringing lots of law firms, all first contact is not fit for purpose, unless they use a call centre to handle new enquiries.

If they do that, have one telephone number across their website and other marketing materials which goes to the call centre (existing clients still use your old telephone number), then the new client telephone answering process improves dramatically, as do the number of new instructions each month.

I have a supplier database of call centres, live chat providers, website designers, copywriters etc which I call The Legal Syndicate.

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Case Study

I’d always had a retirement date in mind, but before I started working with Nick, I didn’t imagine there was any chance that I’d achieve it

Whether you’re a sole practitioner or a large firm, you’ll get huge value from working with Nick, of that I have no doubt.

It was five years ago that I first came across Nick Jervis, and my only regret is that I didn’t start working with him earlier.

I was a sole practitioner, and for years I’d been advertising in the Yellow Pages and getting decent results.

But as time went on, the response diminished, I was struggling to get as many clients as I needed, and to top it all off, the Yellow Pages still kept pushing the price up.

Eventually, enough was enough – something had to change, otherwise my business was going to be in trouble.

I’d been aware of this guy, Nick Jervis, for a while, and as far as I could tell he was pulling up trees in the solicitor industry with new, sophisticated marketing.

But something had held me back – maybe it was a fear of the new or the unknown.

Whatever it was, I eventually overcame it, hopped on a train to Nailsea, and spent an enthralling day with Nick, where he explained exactly where I was going wrong, and what he’d be doing to fix it.

He certainly wasn’t all talk either, because he went about fixing it with quite some speed.

He got to work constructing a website that would actually convert clients, and then focused on getting me to the top of Google Adwords.

And once he’d done that, the response was spectacular – a few months earlier I’d been scratching around for leads, and now I was getting 3-4 qualified Probate or conveyancing leads direct to my email inbox every single day.

As a result, the turnover increased considerably, and with more breathing space, Nick and I were able to get everything working smoothly.

I was getting more leads, gaining more instructions and making more money than I ever had before.

I’d always had a retirement date in mind, but before I started working with Nick, I didn’t imagine there was any chance that I’d achieve it – the income just wasn’t there.

But with Nick’s help, things changed quickly and significantly, to the point where I was able to reach my retirement date – I’d been at it for 42 years and I decided enough was enough!

Thanks to Nick, I stopped doing Probate and conveyancing, and stepped into semi-retirement as a notary public, which gives me just enough to do to ensure I’m out from beneath my partner’s feet – needless to say, Nick still helps me get work via Google Adwords.

I can’t overstate this enough – Nick changed my life, and for that I will always be grateful. Where I was struggling, Nick stepped in, transformed things and ensured I met my personal and professional goals.

Whether you’re a sole practitioner or a large firm, you’ll get huge value from working with Nick, of that I have no doubt.

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