How Much Does an Attorney Answering Service Cost?
Most law offices are surprised to learn that having a live professional to remotely answer calls on demand is more than just affordable, but it actually pays for itself many times over. It’s one of those things you’ll wonder how you ever got along without and in some cases can cost as little as $29 a month. Answering services provide and efficient way for attorneys to promptly and professionally handle all incoming calls, and they usually present a cost savings to most law offices compared to full time receptionists. These services can range in price, however, based on a variety of factors.
See our Article on How an Answering Service Makes Your Law Firm Money
This quick guide will help you understand the cost drivers for attorney answering services, allowing you to select and pay for the services that are most cost effective for your law firm.
The amount of time your virtual receptionist needs to spend on the phone is the primary factor determining cost for your legal answering service. The longer your calls take, the more you can expect to pay. Like many phone plans, most inbound call answering services charge flat monthly fees for a certain number of minutes spent on the phone, with additional charges for going over your monthly limit. Plans that charge solely by the minute may also be available, though there is frequently a monthly service fee as well; though these plans are usually only advantageous for very low usage rates. To collect basic information a call should only last between 45 seconds to a minute, thus the cost will generally range between $0.79 – $1.40 per call. Longer calls requiring more information to be collected of given can run upwards of $1.50 -$1.90 per call.
Inbound Call Frequency
The number of calls your office receives is closely related to the number of minutes your virtual receptionists will need to spend on the phone, but is a separate metric used by many attorney answering services to set monthly and as-used plan prices. Again, the more calls you receive, the more you can expect to pay—and the more value and cost efficiency you are like to realize from your answering service investment. With a higher call volume, an answering service eliminates the trade-off between hiring multiple receptionists or putting callers on lengthy holds.
Appointment Scheduling Services
Another value-added option available from many inbound call service providers is appointment setting, which can free up substantial amounts of time for your in-office legal staff while also keeping your schedule clear and on track. This will prolong the duration of calls answered by the service you partner with, of course, and also requires additional training to enable your off-site receptionist to access and use your calendar system. This makes appointment setting another cost driver for legal answering services, but again many attorneys find the additional assistance far more valuable than the money spent.
Attorney answering services are very flexible, and can often be customized to fit your firm’s specific needs. By use of this service our team will connect you with as many as five professional call centers that will match your business needs with the best qualified companies that will provide competitive quotes to earn your business. Contact us today and see just how much you’ll save!
Inbound Call Patching/Transfer vs. Messaging
Most answering services for law offices provide the ability to transfer incoming calls to the appropriate personnel in your office or to simply relay messages via email or other interfaces, enabling you to return calls at your convenience. Call patching/transferring typically costs more, as it requires both more of your virtual receptionists’ time and more resources. This added cost is generally rather small, though, and the added benefit in terms of client satisfaction and retention makes it worthwhile for many law firms. If you are using a toll free number to have your calls forwarded to there may be a slight fee for patched calls, however adding this service typically only adds on average bout $0.05 per call (assumes not all calls are transferred and transferred calls do not result in long extended conversations.