If you have seen any comedic television shows or movies in the past couple of decades, you can probably remember or envision a scene with a low level, financially strapped lawyer answering his or her phone and pretending to be a receptionist. Generally they answer in some goofy voice, hold their hand over the phone, and then they start talking to the phone again after a few seconds have passed.
The situation is, of course, laughable, but it’s a common trope because we can all recognize why a lawyer would do this. A receptionist gives a lawyer more clout and makes the practice seem more established and professional. What this trope fails to highlight, though, are the many other benefits a receptionist can have for a lawyer or his or her firm. Furthermore, it suggests that a receptionist would be much too expensive. Better to just pretend with some squeaky falsetto, right? Well, not really, but more on that later.
First, let’s discuss the benefits of a receptionist for a lawyer. Like the joke suggests, a receptionist does increase a lawyer’s prestige. It makes a statement to a potential client that the lawyer they might hire is established, responsible, and organized. These are all qualities a potential client would like out of their potential lawyer. And it turns out, those qualities that a receptionist makes a client believe are actually valid. A receptionist certainly implies responsibility and organization. A good receptionist means an attorney need not worry about missing calls from clients. A receptionist means that there’s no chance of missing a court appearance or a conference with court officials. A receptionist also means that a single lawyer running his or her practice alone can take a break from time to time without having to worry about missing a week’s worth of potential work. These are all benefits a receptionist provides for the lawyer, but a good receptionist also provides real benefits to the clients too. Having a comforting, assuring voice on the line to send a pleasant, comforting smile across the phone can put a person calling about litigation or a nerve wrecking, impending case at ease. A knowledgeable receptionist can also answer simple, common questions that clients might have so as to take those small tasks off of the attorney’s desk.
But a receptionist costs too much money, right? They require a wage or salary and probably benefits too. Receptionists might call in sick or take vacation and leave their attorney vulnerable after coming to rely on the receptionist. These are certainly valid concerns. For a lawyer just starting off their practice, the idea of hiring a receptionist can seem costly and daunting. Today, though, these worries are no longer a concern. Virtual receptionist services exist to offer all of the previously mentioned benefits without any of the concerns. A virtual receptionist will never call in sick or take a vacation because there is always more than one receptionist working for you at any given time. Also, you don’t have to worry about the possibly expensive task of having a full time employee. Instead, you simply have to pay for the service, which can provide you thousands of dollars in savings over a single year.
This might seem like it presents its own set of problems though too. A virtual receptionist cannot possibly know the inner workings of your specific law office, and there is no way they could have any knowledge of your clients or how to interact with them. Actually, these aren’t really concerns either. Reputable virtual receptionist services, such as Gabbyville, make sure that the small team of receptionists are fully dedicated to your practice, and they genuinely want to see their clients succeed. At Gabbyville, for example, they make sure that their receptionists know the ins and outs of your office so that they can cater specifically to your clients and provide the same level of service that an in-house receptionist would. Furthermore, their digital connectedness allows them to stay up to date on you and your practice to provide you with scheduling, messages from missed calls, and even setting up conference calls and sending you alerts through text or email when something important is coming up. Now that’s something that even an in-house receptionist wouldn’t be able to do.
So if you’re that struggling attorney covering your phone after faking a sweet old woman’s voice into the phone, or if you are simply an attorney looking to take your practice to the next professional level, consider a virtual receptionist service. You’re guaranteed to see an increase in professionalism and efficiency.