Call Answering Service Business Guide
Call Answering Service Business Guide

Lawyer's Guide: Could a Virtual Receptionist Give Your Law Firm an Edge?

Call it growing pains. Trying to strike a balance between taking on more clients without stretching yourself too thin can be a real challenge. So how can you scale up your law practice without dropping the ball? You need support you can trust, including your paralegal, legal secretary, and a virtual receptionist for lawyers.

A Virtual Receptionist Can Free Up Billable Time in Your Law Office

You have a finite time to spend on the phone. Every phone call you take eats into your billable hours, but every call you miss means you could lose a potential client. Your legal support staff can’t keep up, but a virtual receptionist could be the perfect solution!

Are You Putting Your Legal Support Team to Their Best Use?

Without an effective support team, you could find yourself floundering. Be sure you’re using your paralegal and legal secretary to the best of their abilities, and not swamping them with unnecessary admin. 

Your legal assistant should improve the efficiency of your law firm. Beyond handling calls, a legal secretary should provide administrative support across several facets. From preparing court documents to typing minutes and taking dictation, their skills can genuinely improve the flow in your office. Likewise, your paralegal’s time is best spent on high-level tasks such as case planning and fact-checking.

All too often, however, these critical players in your office waste time on non-billable tasks like answering the phone. Not to say phone calls aren’t important; for plaintiff-oriented practices like personal injury law, every call matters. Those calls are how your firm brings in new clients and continues to grow. Even so, every minute your support team spends on the phone is a minute of billable time going for free.

Even when they’re not on the phone, calls can still be a distraction! Knowing a call could come in at any moment means your team is always working with split attention, keeping one eye on the phone so they don’t miss a critical call. 

We know multitasking and frequent interruptions damage efficiency worse than any other disruption. Your team needs to be free to focus on building your cases and serving your current clients with the best possible legal help. Constantly bouncing between tasks and calls can damage your efficiency. 

A great virtual telephone receptionist can streamline your phone protocols and let you find flow in your day. That means more efficiency, less burnout, and more high-quality attention for your clients.

Expanding Your Call Capacity with a Virtual Telephone Receptionist

Even if you decide answering the phone is worth their time, your team can only take so many calls in a day. At some point, they’ll get caught up on another task, or you’ll need them to sit in on a critical meeting. And how many phone lines does your law office have? What happens to calls when all lines are busy during high-traffic times of day? No matter how you look at it, there is a bottleneck to the flow of clients into your legal practice, starting with your phone lines.

A virtual receptionist for lawyers is a great potential solution that can pave a multi-lane highway into your practice. No matter how many clients call simultaneously, a virtual phone receptionist has the bandwidth to handle them all. Think of us like a pressure valve that can relieve some of the strain as your practice grows. With a virtual receptionist backing up your team, you’ll be able to take more calls without sacrificing your time or focus.

How Virtual Phone Receptionists Help You Make the Best First Impression

Every call you miss is a lost chance to connect with a current or potential client. New clients need to know you’re responsive and available. They need your attention now and their trust in you starts from the first time trying to reach you. Every call that goes to voicemail is a major hit against the way clients see your availability for them. After all, they would have written an email if it could wait! They’re calling because they feel like they need you now, and ensuring their call is answered helps satisfy that sense of urgency.

If your team can’t pick up the phone, that client will call the big firm down the road with fifteen people waiting to answer. With a small, dedicated virtual receptionist team for your law office, you can give the impression of running a larger firm with plenty of bandwidth to give every client the attention they need. When clients reach the same few voices on the other end of the phone, they assume your virtual receptionists are employees of the firm. This lends a sense of credibility and authority that puts your clients’ minds at ease that they’re in the best possible hands.

What’s the Difference Between a Virtual Receptionist and an Answering Service?

Being in the best hands usually doesn’t bring an answering service to mind. Let’s be real: the average answering service can’t cut it when it comes to a thriving legal practice. 

They can’t assess the relative importance of different calls. That’s why you need a full-service virtual receptionist for attorneys. Unlike your typical answering service, partnering with Abby means you get receptionists trained on your firm and its unique needs. We’ll get to know your clients and how to handle each kind of call. 

Answering services tend to lean heavily on taking messages and letting the client know you’ll be in touch. When new clients call needing legal help, every minute counts. New clients need to talk to an attorney immediately, and you need to know you’re not missing any critical conversations. Unlike an average answering service, Abby’s receptionists understand the urgency of every call to your practice. You tell us how you want new client calls vetted and sorted, and we’ll take care of the rest to ensure your new clients are handled correctly every time. After all, you don’t get second chances to make a first impression!

Your Firm Needs Virtual Phone Receptionists Who Care

As a lawyer, you know your job is more than giving legal counsel. You need to be a shoulder to cry on, an empathetic friend, and sometimes almost a therapist. As attorney and Abby client Christopher Burk puts it, “Practicing law is about dealing with clients on a day-to-day basis. You must be kind – be a therapist at times. Be a friend at times. Clients need to have good service provided to them.”

When people need a lawyer, it’s frequently a high-stakes, high-emotion situation. Especially if you practice family law, estate planning, elder law, criminal law, or have a similar type of practice, you know your clients call with big emotions. Can you really trust an answering service to handle those clients with the emotional care they need?

Virtual receptionists for attorneys should be able to give your clients the kind of connection they need. Abby’s receptionists, for example, operate with empathy and are trained to navigate tough emotions to help your clients feel the depth of care you’ll have for them. If the person answering your phone isn’t dedicated to your practice and familiar with how you operate, they’ll treat your callers like a number instead of a person. We give you dedicated receptionists who know your practice and your clients.

(Related Post: The Difference Between an Answering Service & Virtual Receptionist Service)

You Need Control Over Your Calls

It can be terrifying to give control of your phones to a service. If they don’t handle your calls correctly, they could damage your firm’s reputation. After all, what makes your firm stand out among all those huge law offices is how your clients can expect personal attention and not get lost in the crowd. How does it look when your firm hands them over to an answering service that doesn’t give them individual care?

A great virtual receptionist for an attorney should blend seamlessly into your practice. They should be well trained on how your firm operates, what verbiage you like to use when talking to new clients, and what to do in every situation. Your firm needs customized receptionist services so that your clients receive personal care with every call. That’s why Abby’s receptionists will know your firm inside and out, so you can stand apart from the competition and most importantly continue to help your clients feel like they can trust you with their wellbeing. You’ll retain full oversight and benefit from regular account optimization. You can control how your calls are handled at all times and receive suggestions from our team.

What You Need from a Virtual Receptionist

As you consider a virtual phone receptionist, you need to know you’re getting what you need. You need personal attention to your clients, customized care for whatever your law office needs, and complete control over how your calls are handled. Here are 5 key must-haves in a great virtual receptionist for your law office.

  1. Customized call handling. No two calls coming into your law firm are the same. Your clients deserve personal care, and you deserve total control over how your calls are handled. Abby gives you that control and gives every caller the undivided, focused attention they need.
  2. Seamless integration into your practice. Your clients shouldn’t be able to tell you’re using a virtual receptionist for your law office. With a small, dedicated team of receptionists trained on how your firm operates, Abby can blend seamlessly with the rest of your support staff. That seamless integration also means we adapt to the systems you already have! If it ain’t broke, why fix it? You know what works for you, and we can work with that.
  3. Warm, friendly, and positive attitude. Your receptionist is usually the first point of contact for incoming clients. Effectively, that makes them the vocal face of your firm. Therefore, you need receptionists who smile when they talk, and engage beyond the basics to ensure a positive experience. Abby’s receptionists are experts in creating the best possible client experience so that every call becomes a connection that can evolve into a lasting client relationship for you.
  4. All calls answered promptly. No outages, and no excuses. Some of our competitors have struggled with outages that meant hundreds of missed calls for their clients. We have extensive protocols in place to ensure that we will never miss your calls, and your clients can expect prompt attention.
  5. Receptionists who can engage with empathy, care, and undivided attention. Your law office needs support staff who can give your clients empathy and understanding. Because our receptionists all work together in a physical office,  unlike other answering services that allow their staff to work from home, your Abby virtual receptionist for lawyers will give every caller focused, undivided attention and the emotional support your clients need.

Create Healthy Growth with Virtual Receptionists

You want your law practice to grow. But you need to be able to keep up with demand in a way that serves your clients’ best interests. Balanced growth means answering more calls while maintaining high quality connection. After all, you’re not just trying to make a sale or answer a question. You’re trying to create lasting relationships with clients who need you. 

So give your clients the care they need and cultivate sustainable growth for your law firm with Abby. 

With predictable pricing, customizable call handling, full control over your calls, and receptionists trained to fit your practice, you’re in the best hands with Abby Connect. Try us out for 14 days, completely free, to see how we can free up more billable hours for your team and help you serve more clients!

 

Written by

Ashley Fisher-Nelson

Ashley Fisher-Nelson

Ashley Fisher-Nelson is the Director of Demand Generation at Abby Connect, a top-rated virtual reception solution serving law firms in the US and Canada. In just shy of two decades Ashley has performed with Billboard Top 25 Artists, helped dozens of businesses grow and scale through strategic sales and marketing implementation, developed strategic partnerships with over 300 organizations, and she helped Ruby (formerly Ruby Receptionists) grow as a top brand within the legal industry. As the daughter of a small-firm lawyer, Ashley has a passion for helping law firms develop and optimize their practice and has spent most of her career working with organizations supporting law firms like the Lawyerist.com. Ashley has worked with established brands developing, implementing, and teaching best-in-class customer service practices. With a dedication to results, exceptional service, and building relationships Ashley has helped clients and teams hit their growth goals and develop strong, customer-centric brands.