virtual receptionist

What Is a Virtual Receptionist?

Before the dawn of the digital age, there was only one way for law firms to connect with clients over the phone—someone had to physically pick up the receiver to answer the call.

Nowadays, between phone trees and auto-attendants, employees and practice owners don’t need to worry about a ringing phone and can rest assured that callers will have the pleasure of pressing “0” until their thumb falls off. Or hang up the moment they hear a recording on the other end of the line. And then return to their Google search, immediately clicking to call another attorney.

Ooh, plot twist.

While automation may be a game changer for efficiency, in today’s high-tech world, human interaction is more valuable than ever.

Which is good to know, but can you sacrifice the work you do to run your practice to answer every call that comes through?

Nope. You sure can’t.

But what if you were able to offer a client service experience that sets you apart, while also focusing on the needs of your firm?

Behold: the virtual receptionist.

What does a virtual receptionist do?

Virtual receptionists work remotely, offering callers the opportunity to connect with a real, live person that represents your firm. Unlike automated phone systems, virtual receptionists create exceptional client experiences while performing tasks an in-house hire would do, such as:

  • Answer and transfer calls
  • Take messages
  • Relay and collect intake on your behalf
  • Make outbound calls
  • Answer FAQs
  • Schedule appointments

At a fraction of the cost of an on-site employee, virtual receptionists come packing the same punch, plus a little extra. With the manpower of a full team at your service, 100% of your calls are answered, your receptionist is never sick, on vacation, or late, and every caller receives the same stellar service.

How do they do it?

A little bit of tech magic and loads of coffee.

While the above statement is absolutely true and I am tempted to just leave you with that, here is a quick break down of what this process looks like for you, your virtual receptionist, and your caller:

  1. Prospective (or current) Client Calls: A caller dials your published number and the call rings through to your virtual receptionist service.
  2. Warmly Greeted by a Receptionist: Using your custom greeting, virtual receptionists pick up the phone to say hello.
  3. Receptionist Takes Action: Equipped with training and your personalized call handling instructions, receptionists will either forward the call to your preferred line, take a message, or offer the caller voicemail.
  4. You Stay Connected: Can’t take the call? A message will arrive shortly after your caller and receptionist have disconnected to fill you in on what you missed.

In addition to picking up when you can’t, look for the virtual receptionist companies that merge the advantages of technology with a human touch. From handy mobile apps that put the power of the front desk at your fingertips to hosting your business line, the best services offer a suite of comprehensive features that integrate seamlessly into your day.

Is it right for me?

Excellent question. Let’s answer this query with… more questions.

  • What are your aspirations for your practice? If you’re looking to grow your firm, missed calls are missed opportunities. You never know when your next big client will phone in.
  • How many potential cases have you already lost to voicemail?
  • How do you value your client experience? Between casework, traveling, client meetings, and court dates, are you able to pay proper attention to your touchpoints?

If you’re feeling it and plan to start scoping out your options, make sure you select the service that fits the individual needs of your firm. To help you get started, we’ve put together a list of q’s to ask your top VR contenders:

  1. Will my calls be answered live? (Because what is the point, if not?)
  2. What is the average ring time per call?
  3. What services are included?
  4. How are the receptionists monitored? (Unhappy receptionists equals unhappy callers.)
  5. How can I update my call preferences? (Is it easy? Or just creates more fuss?)
  6. How will I be charged? (Better to clear the air right from the start. Is it per minute? Am I paying for the time even after the call has been transferred?)

With companies like Ruby Receptionists waiting in the wings to wow your callers and empower you with the freedom to focus, there is no reason to lose out on potential work or sour your relationships with clients due to a lackluster client experience.

To learn more about how a virtual receptionist can benefit your practice, give us a call at 866-611-7829 (RUBY) or visit us at callruby.com.

Happy calling!

About Law Technology Today

Law Technology Today
Law Technology Today is the official legal technology blog from the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center (LTRC). Law Technology Today provides lawyers and other legal professionals with current, practical and innovative content developed by some of the leading voices on legal technology.

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