Customer Service Standards – Telephone skills

Many industries have their key frustrations for customers/clients.

For trades such as plumbers, it is turning up when they said they would and for lawyers a common client frustration is getting a lawyer to return a phone call.

If you don’t believe me, type into Google the phrase “Getting lawyers to return client phone calls”.

You will get pages of results about the subject. It is a real problem.

Now of course I’m sure that this doesn’t apply in the case of your firm, but if you accept that it does happen at other firms and it is a problem in the profession, the question is “How can I use this to my advantage?

Before I address that question, the issue of returning telephone calls is only the start of the problem with the telephone skills for law firms.
Take client interrogation policies for example.
Imagine this call happening at your competitor:

Your competitors receptionist- Emily: Good morning XYZ Lawyers

Prospective client- Colin Ritchie: Hello, I’d like to speak to Mr Smith please.

Emily: Can I ask you name?

Colin : It’s Colin Ritchie

Emily: And what are you ringing about?

Colin : I wanted to get some legal advice.

Emily: What specifically did you want advice about?

Colin: Oh well I was thinking about buying a house

Emily : Will Mr Smith know you?

Colin: I don’t think so.

Emily: What did you say your name was again:

Colin : Colin Ritchie

Emily: Very well … I’ll see if he is available.. for you

The “for you” is important to be emphasised, so that as a prospective client I will feel privileged if Mr Smith takes my call.

Your competitor doesn’t see anything wrong with that exchange, in fact he trained Emily on what to say.

So….  How can you use that to your advantage?

Improving telephone skills to differentiate your law firm

There are firms that don’t do it that way.

They do return telephone calls

They don’t interrogate callers

They do however generally make more money than their competitors, with all the benefits that brings to their staff, their clients and the principals of the firm.

The secret is to treat your clients how you would want to be treated yourself.

If you harbour a sneaking premonition that I was describing your firm, test it. Get a few friends to ring your firm and see what the experience is.

If you cringe when they tell you their experience, then do something about it.


1)    Want to differentiate your firm with excellent telephone skills?

We have used the Phone Right telephone training program extensively with clients.

It is a powerful program that we can now deliver via webinar.

To register an interest contact me at

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