Understanding a Virtual Answering Service
Nick Werker April 18, 2018
If you’ve ever considered hiring additional help for your law firm, you’ve likely had the thought of a virtual answering service cross your mind. In the case that you haven’t thought of an answering service, this message is still for you. We’re here to help you understand what a virtual answering service actually is, does, and how they can help your firm grow without the added cost of hiring additional employees.
What is a Virtual Answering Service?
A virtual answering service is a service oriented business that provides virtual receptionists, who answer the phone calls that you forward to them for a monthly fee. However, there are so many virtual answering services to choose from, and each of them operate differently. So, let’s go over the different types of virtual answering services so that you can better understand your wants and needs when deciding which service to choose from.
Where the Virtual Receptionists Are Located
Virtual answering services typically have their virtual receptionists location handled in one of three ways. They either employ all of their virtual receptionists in-house at a central location, outsource their call centers overseas, or can have domestic employees remote into their workspace from their homes. Let’s learn more about each:
In-house Virtual Receptionists:
Some virtual answering services have massive office spaces, wherein they can house the hundreds of virtual receptionists in their employ. Here are some of the benefits of having a virtual answering service with in-house virtual receptionists:
- You can easily make customizations to your account, as the virtual receptionists will receive real time updates
- Your call pickup time will usually be very quick, as managers and virtual receptionists are face to face
- These answering services usually have a higher monthly rate
- If this answering service is in a different part of the country than you, their accents will differ from your local callers’ accents.
Virtual Receptionists Outsourced Overseas:
In order to decrease overhead costs, some virtual answering services will outsource their call answering to virtual receptionists located overseas. While you might receive your answering services for cheaper because of this, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Your monthly rate will be significantly less than employing a virtual answering service located in the United States
- The virtual receptionists answering your phones might have foreign accents that might diminish the uniform image of your firm
- Cultural differences might lead to miscommunication on some of your phone calls
- Call forwarding can be difficult to establish when first starting out with these Virtual Answering Services
- It can be hard to make customizations to your account
Virtual Receptionists Who Can Remote In From Home:
In order to keep up with a high volume of phone calls, virtual answering services might allow employees located all over the country to remote into their workstation from their home computers. There are even companies that have employees working both inside their central location and from the comfort of their own homes. Here are some of the things to keep in mind when hiring a virtual answering service of this nature:
- Your call pickup time will usually be extremely fast, as your virtual answering service can theoretically employ a large amount of virtual receptionists this way
- Monthly rates for these services tend to be lower than virtual answering services with in-house virtual receptionists
- A combination of different accents will diminish the uniform image of your firm
- Quality control cannot be maintained in a face to face medium, therefore errors might take a long time to be caught
- If employees are never trained face to face, training may be insufficient to handle your law firm’s calls
Now that you understand the types of answering a virtual answering service can employ, let’s discover the ways that a virtual answering service can help grow your law firm.
A Virtual Answering Service Can Help You Obtain New Clients:
Being an attorney is one of the busiest jobs known to man. However, the Catch 22 every attorney encounters is having to answer phone calls while also having to silence their cell phone when appearing in court, meeting with clients, and running a business. That’s where a virtual answering service comes in. Whenever you can not answer the phone and a new client is trying to reach you, your virtual answering service can answer the call, obtain the caller’s information, and send you your messages so that you can call the person back when you are free.
Obtaining new clients is the only way to make sure that your law firm actually stays in business, and who doesn’t want to make more money? Your answering service will help you cash in on your advertising dollars, and help you increase your bottom line, all for a small monthly cost compared to what you could be losing out on.
A Virtual Answering Service Can Keep Your Existing Customers Happy:
No one wants to hire a lawyer and leave him/her a thousand messages before hearing back. They want answers to their questions, and they want the help that they’re paying for. By always having a live person answer your phone whenever you cannot answer yourself, you are ensuring that these clients do not become frustrated. They won’t be left to their own thoughts about what work is being done on their case - instead they will be assured by the virtual receptionist answering the phone that you are simply in court, in a meeting, or on the other line, and are working on their case as they speak.
Now that your understanding of a virtual answering service is clear, we’d like to introduce ourselves:
We’re Answering Legal, the #1 Answering Service For Attorneys. We specialize in answering for lawyers and law firms in all 50 states. We offer 24 hour live answering 7 days a week in 2 languages, and perform customized legal intakes to make sure that all of your callers get the chance to hire you when they call for help! Call us today at 631-400-8000 for your free trial, or sign up hereand see the difference a live voice can make for your law firm.