Michael Ford (post until Oct. 31/19)
Legal Suppliers

Alert Communications turns callers into clients

Alert Communications helps law firms convert callers into clients, says Tom Ball, the company’s director of sales and marketing. 

The legal intake call centre recently branched out into Canada from its U.S. base, where it already serves more than 1,000 accounts for law firms, legal marketing agencies and legal consultants.

Ball tells AdvocateDaily.com that if Canadian law firms are anything like their U.S. counterparts, they typically spend between five and 10 times as much cash on their marketing efforts as they budget for lead responsiveness and client intake. 

He says Alert prevents the marketing push from being wasted and boosts the return on investment by helping firms keep up with the volume of calls and queries coming in with an instant response to every type of lead. 

“Much of the time, we will pick up the slack while the firm is doing its own intake or out of normal hours,” Ball says. “Whether it’s 2 a.m., 2 p.m. or on weekend and holidays, we will answer the call within three rings.”

As well as handling incoming phone calls, Alert intake specialists also immediately respond to texts and web chat inquiries around the clock, making outbound follow-up calls as needed to reach potential clients.

Although its client base is comprised mainly of personal injury law services, Ball says Alert can handle calls on behalf of law firms specializing in any practice area. And its call centre staff can also offer service in Spanish for those who want it.

“We’re fully customizable. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing immigration law, real estate law, or anything else,” Ball says. “We have the ability to take down strong, qualifying, intake information and send it over in real time by email and provide access to call recordings. We can also integrate with a firm's case management or CRM system.

“Once we know exactly what the law firm wants us to do, we can get started,” he adds.  "This includes embedding the law firm’s contract or retainer and texting it to the potential client on the initial call and retrieving an electronic signature for instant conversion to client."

Alert’s call centre history dates back as far as 1965, and the company is now devoted entirely to servicing law firms.  

“We’re like an extension of your firm and we work in a tight partnership. When people call, they won’t notice any difference between us and your law office,” Ball says. 

He says Alert prides itself on its robust training regime for staff, which focuses on empathy, psychology, call control and keeping its representatives up to date with legal terminology.  

“The type of intake specialist we staff is very different from the upbeat energetic style you might look for in other businesses,” Ball says.

“When you’re dealing with people who are calling a personal injury law firm, empathy is key. You also need to understand their needs and be able to probe a little bit into the details of their claim. You must show interest to gain trust and confidence in your law firm. It’s a completely different feel.”

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