You are a lawyer operating in a small law firm and looking for options on how to handle your incoming calls?
You are debating if you should hire a receptionist full-time or maybe outsource that to a virtual receptionist service company but you’re not sure what type of services they offer?
Perhaps you are just educating yourself the services offered by law firm virtual receptionists?
These are great questions and we have just the right article for you!
In this article, we will go over in detail the law firm virtual receptionist service and see how it can be useful for your law practice. We will look at how you should define your needs, how a law firm receptionist can alleviate your needs, identify nine reasons why you may actually need a virtual receptionist and what other services they offer aside from answering telephone calls.
This article is divided into the following sections:
- What services are offered by law firm virtual receptionists?
- Define your needs so you can choose the right law firm virtual receptionist?
- What services do law firm receptionists offer?
- Nine reasons why you may need a virtual receptionist
- Different type of services offered by law firm virtual receptionists
- Takeaways regarding services offered by law firm receptionists
Let’s get started…
1- What services are offered by law firm virtual receptionists?
Sole practitioners and small law firms are leveraging more and more the services of virtual receptionists to enhance their customer service, reduce costs and continue to grow their business.
Increased popularity of law firm virtual receptionists
Virtual receptionists and chat services have become very popular among lawyers practicing solo and small law firms due to many advantages it offers.
Some lawyers and law firms use the services of virtual receptionists to fully handle their inbound calls, emails, chats and other inbound client communications while others use their services to cover any overflow when there is a volume spike or when there is nobody available to take the call.
Cloud-based phone services are interesting
There are some law firm virtual receptionist service providers offering cloud-based phone services enabling you to manage your call routing features, call analytics and other interesting useful calling features.
2- Define your needs so you can choose the right law firm virtual receptionist?
If you are in the market looking for a law firm virtual receptionist, you’ll need to take a few points into consideration to help you make the best decision.
First, you will need to define what your needs are.
The following questions can help you better define your requirements:
- Are you looking to outsource all your law firm receptionist tasks?
- Are you looking to handle inbound overflows only?
- Are you looking for services during business hours or 24/7?
- What are the services you need other than purely having someone answer your calls?
- Do you want your calls screened in a particular way?
- Do you want to have chat services with your clients online?
- Do you want to have text message and SMS services with your clients?
- What is your budget?
Once you have identified your needs, you can then engage with various law firm virtual receptionist service providers best positioned to deliver what you need.
3- What services do law firm receptionists offer?
Law firm receptionists fundamentally provide you with telephone answering services customized for your law firm.
Telephone answering services
Telephone answering services include:
- Offering you a live person answering your calls
- Calls answered in a customized way suited for your law firm
- Call dispatching services
- Call center etiquette and methodologies to answer your calls
- Identification of your caller and their needs
- Transfer of calls to the right person in your firm
You can consider a virtual receptionist to do exactly what a live receptionist would have done if you had hired a receptionist full-time in your office.
The virtual receptionist service is given by a real person trained to operate in a call center employing call center phone etiquette for handling calls.
Services beyond telephone answering
In addition to telephone answering services, virtual receptionist service organizations can offer further services such as:
- Responding to your phone calls after business hours
- 24/7 telephone answering services
- Management of call overflows
- Call screening
- Personalized advertisement on hold music
- Reporting on call management
- Text messages and SMS
- Email response
- Chat services to clients
Automated call answering is not true virtual receptionist services
It’s important to nuance what’s an automatic answering service as opposed to a virtual receptionist.
Auto attendant services
The automated answer service is typically called an “Auto Attendant”.
An auto attendant system is a system allowing your callers to be transferred to an extension without the intervention of an operator or a receptionist.
An auto attendant system can also be used to route a call to a live operator once the caller selects a few options offered through the auto attendant system.
Virtual receptionist services
A virtual receptionist service is a service provided by a live person who will handle inbound phone calls to your law firm.
A virtual receptionist service can be offered by a specialized company or a self-employed individual providing administrative support.
A virtual receptionist is nearly the same as having a live receptionist at the office answering calls, routing them and screening the callers.
4- Nine reasons why you may need a virtual receptionist
Hiring a virtual receptionists for lawyers and small law firms can be an important decision but potentially a good one for your law practice.
Here are nine reasons why hiring a virtual receptionist for law firms can be a good strategy for you:
- You can answer all your incoming calls
- You can have telephone answering services after business hours
- You will not have to hire and train an actual receptionist
- You can rely on having a virtual receptionist all the time
- You can save time to handle your own business
- You minimize interruptions in your day-to-day legal operations
- You can have someone book appointments for you
- You can have the virtual receptionist dispatch and route calls to anyone, anywhere
- Your law firm can appear more professional
If you see value in what we’ve listed above, then you can see value in a virtual receptionist for law firms.
5- Different type of services offered by law firm virtual receptionists
To get a bird’s-eye view of the different services and features offered by virtual receptionists for lawyers, we have compiled a list to help you out.
When you work with a virtual receptionist service organization, you’ll come across the following service features.
This is to have a virtual receptionist book your appointments and schedule meetings in your calendar or your law firm’s calendar.
Auto attendant is an automated system routing calls to an extension, voice mail or an actual person.
Call analytics is call data such as call volume, duration, patterns, type and other measures so you can monitor your inbound activity and measure any advertisement or success of your marketing campaigns.
Call recording is the feature allowing you to record your client calls so you can listen and evaluate the service offered by your virtual receptionist and measure quality of service.
Call routing is the process by which an inbound call is directed to a live person or based on a routing protocol you have established. This will depend on whether the call is coming during business hours or not.
Call screening is a virtual receptionist ensuring that the caller meets certain defined criteria before transferring it over to your law firm. For instance, you can have your calls screened by the virtual assistant to ensure that the caller is effectively calling for a service offered by your law firm.
Chat features are either live chats or through chatbots. A live chat is handled by a live person responding to inbound chats on your website or through chatbots that are programmed to respond in an automated manner.
Inbound calls are all the calls coming to your law firm handled by your virtual receptionist.
Lead capture is the recording of the caller’s information and data based on what your law firm requires so this information can ultimately be stored in your law firm’s CRM system.
Live chat is a chat service offered by a virtual receptionist through a live person responding to incoming chats and messages.
Live receptionist is an actual person responding to your calls and offering you telephone answering services.
Telephone answering services
Telephone answer services are the overall phone answering services offered by a law firm virtual receptionist using trained and qualified individuals and the right technology to handle inbound calls.
Text messaging the sending and receiving of text messages with your law firm clients using your phone system.
6- Takeaways regarding services offered by law firm receptionists
Virtual receptionist services are becoming increasingly popular within the legal community.
Lawyers in a solo law practice or small law firms now have the ability to provide their clients with great customer service and live telephone answering services without having to hire a full-time receptionist and incur the costs associated with that.
Law firm virtual receptionist services enable you to offer professional and customized telephone answering services.
Virtual receptionist service companies can also offer you additional services valuable to your law firm such as 24/7 answering service, answering services after business hours, live chat services, call analytics and tracking and more.
This article is intended to educate you on the different types of services virtual receptionists offer so you can begin your assessment and evaluate if there is a fit for your law practice.
We hope you enjoyed this article.
Did you ever use the services of a law firm virtual assistant? How was your experience? We would love to get your feedback. Drop us a comment!