Many law firms are starting to use third party call centers to help them not only follow up with the case leads that they receive, but in some cases actually send out the paperwork and retain the case for the law firm as well. There are some very obvious benefits associated with going down this path, but you need to consider the potential cons as well.
The most common reason that law firms choose to hire a 3rd party to retain cases for them is the savings in labor cost. The cost of hiring an internal intake person to retain cases typically costs anywhere between $40,000 - $50,000 (benefits included). There is also cost associated with hiring and training intake staff and this cost is passed on to the 3rd party as well. By having a 3rd party retain the cases, you will likely also free up more time for your paralegals, thus increasing the number of cases each paralegal can handle.
Call Centers are going to be able to handle calls at all hours of the day, where as your law firm is likely only equipped to handle calls and questions during business hours. In today’s Internet age, if a potential case lead looking for an attorney doesn’t get an immediate response, they are likely just to move on to the next law firm in the search results. Thus, law firms that have a quick response time have a significant advantage.
Similar to how Microsoft’s software is the most valuable commodity that the company owns, the number of cases and the strength of those cases is the most valuable commodity that any law firm has. Would Microsoft ever outsource the writing of their software to a 3rd party? No, because that is what differentiates them from their competitors. Before outsourcing the retaining of your cases to a third party, consider whether there is anything unique about your retention process and if you are willing to divulge that to a 3rd party.
Alternative methods of cost reduction
Aside from using a 3rd party to retain cases there are numerous other ways in which you make your staff more efficient and reduce labor cost:
- First, invest in a lead and case management system. A lead and case management software will help standardize your intake process and make your intake staff and paralegals more efficient when retaining a case.
- Second, if you are buying case leads from a third party vendor inquire if they have a live call transfer option available. If your intake staff has to make less outbound calls, it will allow them to resolve more leads in a day, thus reducing your labor cost of resolving a lead.
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