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The Difference Between Overflow vs. After-Hours Coverage

Overflow vs- After-Hours Call Center  Coverage

If you want to increase revenue for your firm, it's critical to have a live person answer the phone when potential clients call the office. Sometimes this practice extends only to office hours or a few phone lines; however, people seeking legal help expect to reach a helpful, empathetic person, no matter when they call. Two of the most popular options for backup phone assistance are overflow and after-hours coverage. Both options offer significant benefits, but they function differently. In this post, we will help you understand the differences, so you can choose the option that best addresses your firm's needs.

What is Overflow Coverage?

Overflow coverage is a supplement to your current system. It allows you to send calls that cannot be answered by your staff (often because they are speaking with other clients or otherwise unavailable) to a third party to ensure the caller speaks with someone when they call. Overflow applies during regular business hours.

Users can set up the overflow coverage so calls automatically go to overflow if they are not picked up in a specific number of rings. It works much better than allowing the call to go to a general voicemail system. This process is more personal and effective for your clients, and it can keep your leads from going to another firm because they were unable to reach a live person at your firm. The overflow intake specialist gets the information from the client and passes it along to whomever you designate as the contact person—that person could be you, the intake specialist within your firm who would have received the call, or anyone else you choose.

Potential clients want to speak to a professional right away when they call, especially for the first time. Overflow coverage combats this problem by ensuring calls never go unanswered.

What is After-Hours Coverage?

After-hours coverage is just like it sounds—someone is available to answer the phone even when your office is closed. No matter when a potential client calls, your after-hours legal call center is prepared to respond. Legal issues do not take days off; the caller may have finally gained the courage to place a call or could be in dire need of legal assistance. After-hours coverage allows your firm to demonstrate compassion by having someone to take the call, regardless of when it comes in.

No matter what type of law you practice, you will have clients who need to address legal concerns after-hours. Partnering with an after-hours legal call center makes certain your clients will be heard (and screened) if they call just after your office closes or in the middle of the night. The legal call center can then alert you by phone, email, or even text if you need to address an issue quickly. 

Choosing the Right Solution for Your Firm

Legal call center needs vary from firm to firm, and that’s why working with an experienced legal call center is beneficial. You can completely customize your intake process and work with professionals who are essentially an extension of your law firm, treating each caller with respect and attending to details.

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Tags: Call Answering Best Practices

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On the Alert Communications Blog we're publishing articles dedicated to helping your law firm improve client intake and increase marketing ROI. Our team of experts regularly research, report on, and write about topics that help us super serve the legal industry, and specifically the personal injury and mass tort sectors.    

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