A law firm is one of the busiest offices in the modern world. Magistrates and attorneys live busy lives from the courthouse to meeting new clients and serving their clients. For lawyers, an ordinary workday is full of many appointments, research on cases, and writing briefs.
By the end of the day, most lawyers are exhausted, leaving very little time for sleep, family and hobbies. However, a law firm could incorporate a third party to handle some critical tasks in the office. With the assistance of a third person, lawyers get time to concentrate fully on their work.
Attorney answering services are phone services provided by somebody else other than the attorney. These services can include calls, appointment setting, advocating the attorney to potential clients, and document filing.
These services can be divided into two, depending on how they are offered. The first type involves hiring a receptionist or an attorney in training. The second one includes an automated system, also known as live phone answering services for lawyers. Live phone services are automated mobile phone services that use either another company or application software.
Significant Differences Between Receptionists And Automated Phone Services
Hiring a receptionist into the law firm ensures that
• Visitors at the firm receive the best possible customer service and privilege they deserve.
• All incoming and outgoing calls are responded to professionally.
• Meetings and appointments are set on time.
• All the documents required during hearings are available when needed.
On the other hand, an automated system performs beyond the receptionist, and all through, the system’s programming is not overwhelmed by calls and messages. It can register all the calls and messages each separately and responds accordingly. All the responses by an automated system are connected to the attorney immediately without further need for briefing.
How Relevant Is The Automated Phone Answering Service, And Is It Essential?
No matter the effectiveness of the automated services, a lawyer should first seek whether they are necessary. In case of missed calls and appointments, the services are rendered relevant. Most clients expect their lawyers to be always available for inquiries and communication. When a lawyer is not available during calls, it drives clients away for the lawyer. The client does not consider whether it’s a weekend, holiday, or an important family event.
The cancellation of appointments or failure of clients to show up for scheduled appointments affects the schedule. The incidences are mostly attributed to miscommunication between the client and their attorney. Hence this is a primary reason that will make an attorney opt for live phone answering services.
The lawyer receiving most calls during off-hours should see a reason for automated services. A lawyer who opts to spend his after-hours privately can consider partnerships with automated phone services. An attorney with many phone calls at once should also consider hiring automated services.
Another factor that may render an attorney to consider hiring automated services is the need to improve his client outreach. The most relevant service, in this case, is a legal service that offers outbound calls. The finding of new clients for an attorney or firm is crucial for the firm’s growth.
The automated phone services could be hired in addition to the receptionist. Including automated services for an attorney renders the adequate receptionist time to handle other matters.
Negative Implications Of Hiring A Bad Answering Service
The voice of a phone answering service is the voice of the attorney to clients. A bad company will damage the reputation of the attorney to his clients. Some companies offering live phone services allow attorneys some trial period before signing partnerships.
The status created by a corrupt system could harm the attorney for many years, even after hiring a good company. The attorneys’ reputation is their livelihood and investment; hence should always be protected.
The cost of hiring a virtual receptionist may be cheaper compared to a full time, in-house receptionist. Automated phone services charge their client by the minute. However, different companies charge to the highest minute. Charges to the most top minute mean a call for a minute and a half is rendered as two minutes.
Other companies charge per minute to the next sixth second; this way, a request for a minute and eight seconds is considered one minute twelve seconds. Before signing partnerships or contracts with automated service providers, these should be discussed.
Some of the phone answering service providers include VoiceNation. VoiceNation’s services are a 7day free trial and full-time services. They also have an easy payment plan and have an easy to use mobile app. The second most popular provider of automated services is ruby. Ruby also offers fulltime services to clients and sounds significant to your clients. Also unique for ruby is the ability of lawyers to maintain their number or keep it private.
Another very affordable company for virtual answering services, which also specializes in law firms is USAnswer. USAnswer is recommended for Law Firms. They offer money guaranteed refund after 30day no questions full trial.
The deficiency created by receptionists is pushing lawyers and law firms to the need for automated systems. A computerized system responds to new potential clients and takes their details. The system also responds to inquiries from clients and provides answers when programmed. This system is available during off-hours, weekends, and holidays.
Another advantage of an automated system, unlike receptionists, is the ability to always respond, primarily through messages. Mechanical services are less likely to be overwhelmed by the overflow of calls and messages in the firm. It is sometimes possible to record some calls for future reference into a case or when working on the matter. This system is also relatively economical for an attorney.
Although there are a few challenges for automated systems, they ensure workflow in a law firm and for the attorney.