Attorneys spend millions of dollars advertising to make the phone ring. But when it does, it is surprising to me how rude, uninformed, rushed and unprofessional law firms can be. I have spent 18 years representing victims of injury accidents. This blog fulfills a longtime promise that I made to many of my clients, past and present, to chronicle some of their worst experiences dealing with other law firms, before they found us.
You call the law firm. The telephone rings, 6-7-8 times before a very rushed, very rude person answers and rattles off a law firm name that is incomprehensible. You start to explain your story - she puts you on hold. She gets back on the line minutes later. Now, it is obvious that she has forgotten who you were. You start again-only to be put on hold, again. She gets back on the phone and tells you that you will NOT get to talk to an attorney, but she will put you through to some secretary or paralegal. Next, you find yourself talking to yet another rude, rushed person. You, at least for the third time during this call, feel like you are bothering them with your case. This person interrupts you, makes you feel insignificant and tells you after a brief exchange that "someone will get back to you." You wait an hour-two-three, if you are lucky, and then you get a call. Now, this person is even more rushed, and rude. He identifies himself as an attorney. You ask a question about your situation. He does not answer it directly, but instead says "well, come on in and let's talk." You ask what is the deadline for filing your claim? Again, not a direct answer but instead he responds, "so, can we set an appointment?" You ask him how often his firm handles cases like yours? He responds abruptly by saying "so, you are not wanting to set an appointment?"
Does the above sound at all familiar with any recent experiences you might have had with a law firm? I hope not. I am at a loss how these law firms get any clients to come in after such a horrible display. Yet, my clients tell me about these sorts of experiences with their first call to other firms, all the time.
I am not here to say that we at Anderson Hemmat are perfect. But, we know that YOU NEVER GET A SECOND CHANCE TO MAKE A FIRST IMPRESSION.
Furthermore, I can show you a bad law firm with substantially unsatisfied clients, miserable employees and poor management and I never even have to meet the attorneys. Give me 20 minutes on the telephone with their staff. On that alone, I can tell you what is happening with the firm. See, lawyers, like doctors, generally view themselves as above all this "business and customer satisfaction" stuff. After all "we are LAWYERS!" BUT, THEY ARE ALSO DEAD WRONG. Our firm was the first in Colorado, MAYBE EVEN IN THE COUNTRY, to send out CONFIDENTIAL CUSTOMER SERVICE SURVEYS to our clients. Why do we do this? Because we care about our client's view of us and want to learn if there is anything else we can do better. Do we even sound like law firm? Well, good I hope we don't. Simply stated, WE WANT TO BE BETTER THAN YOUR OLD LAW FIRM.
Let me give you an example of how that first telephone call is different at ANDERSON, HEMMAT:
Our receptionist, who has been with us for more than 6 years, has absolutely no responsibilities in the office other than to answer your calls, listen and try to help. Furthermore, you will never be directed to a secretary or a paralegal during the intake of your case. Attorneys are ALWAYS available to talk to you on your first call to our office, and thereafter. Our attorneys WILL answer your questions straight. Our attorneys are not clock-watchers. They are paid a salary and are not required to bill their time. So, they will not rush you through the call. They will be respectful and polite. Lastly, we are not car salesman and WILL NOT high-pressure you to come see us.
Make the decision to visit an attorney based on your experience during that first call. Please consider calling us and other law firms. And, of course we always provide you a free consultation.
One last thing, we always want to know how we are doing. If you ever have a problem with an experience at my firm, feel free to give me a call, personally. I think you will find that Anderson Hemmat is a different experience entirely from other law firms, and you will notice it from the first call.