Anyone who knows an attorney or a partner at a law firm knows one thing for sure: they are very busy people.
Client meetings. Court dates. Conference calls. Depositions. Filing deadlines. The list goes on. You think you’re going to reach them to ask that quick question you’ve had to rewrite on your to-do list every day for the last two weeks since you can never seem to get in touch?
We hope so. And when you do, tell them to upgrade their phone system to the Cloud so they can be reached more efficiently and effectively. (And tell them to take a break!)
Upgrade to Custom Call Routing
They may not give you much time to explain, but here are 5 quick ways cloud-based custom call routing solves so many headaches for attorneys and law firms:
Find Me, Follow Me
This service literally “follows” the person you’re trying to reach, regardless of where they are. You call them during the day at their office line, and if they’re not sitting right there at the desk (or on the phone) when the phone rings, the call “finds” them. Their office extension can be set to ring multiple extensions, devices and locations (mobile, home, office, softphone) where your recipient may exist during business hours. And even if they are in court or a meeting, they will see you calling on their mobile line and (soon, hopefully) return your call from wherever they are. This is especially helpful for attorneys who wouldn’t dare give out their mobile number to clients but still need to be reached when they’re out of the office.
Click to Call
It may not take more than a moment, but taking that extra step to find someone’s number and type it into a keypad is one step too many for most busy people – it’s the extra step that puts off more phone calls throughout the day than you might expect. Thankfully, like the amazing feature on mobile that allows you to look up a restaurant’s website and then click on their number to call immediately, your office phone system can also “click to call” from any web-based phone number (or CRM software), as well. All it takes is a simple plugin. If the number is on a website and you have the click-to-call plugin running, it gives you the option of dialing the number for you when you click on it…no keypad (and little brainpower) required.
Voicemail to Email
Voicemail to Email does exactly what it says, and as simple as it sounds it is one of the most under-utilized features of modern communications. Attorneys, like most people, respond to visuals over audio. They like to see their tasks in front of them. They check their email obsessively (their job requires it). And they don’t like to take the time to stop what they are doing to get to their phone and check on the several minutes of voicemails that are waiting for them after a long court appearance. Having their voice messages sent directly to email saves a ton of time…they can see their messages right in their inboxes (and even grab them in court while the jury takes their sweet time to reach a verdict).
Yet another simple yet underutilized feature of modern cloud-based communications is the auto attendant. While most law offices (and probably all clients) would prefer to have a live receptionist answering phone calls, there will always be the inevitable flux of busy call times when there are more calls coming in than people to answer them. What should potential clients experience at a time like this? “We are either busy or on the other line. Please hit 1 to leave a voicemail for one of our 20 attorneys’ offices or call back at a more convenient time.”
The caller is already online looking for the next attorney to represent her in patenting her amazing million-dollar idea.
For times like this when overflow is inevitable, phone systems can be easily customized to handle callers who aren’t lucky enough to reach the receptionist and find out who they need to talk to (or how to reach their attorney). Auto attendants can be personalized with a kind voice that allows them to navigate to the right department, the right extension (which is beautifully set up with Find Me Follow Me and Voicemail to Email), or the first available live person who can help them. Win-win-win.
Audio conferencing is nothing new to law firms big or small. However, even for Ivy-League educated lawyers and highly intelligent legal personnel, setting up a conference call that seamlessly begins with no confusion is not easy. In fact, many firms opt for the paid conference call services that do everything for them so they don’t have to deal with the headache. But this added expense is completely unnecessary if they already have cloud-based communications.
Conference Bridges are a great feature that can be initiated as soon as you move your phone system to the cloud and easily utilized anytime a conference call is scheduled, even at the last minute. A dial-in number is set at the beginning that everyone calls, and all callers are immediately connected into a “conference bridge” that bridges multiple, separate callers into a single conference. It’s easy to set up and no one has to pay a fee every time they need to hold a virtual meeting.
Surely that attorney you’ve been trying to reach for days needs to hear about these features so that you (and surely hundreds others) can reach her when you need to. Find a way to get in touch and tell her how easy it could be for her to be more available to clients on her terms. She and her jury of partners will very likely vote unanimously in favor of you, the plaintiff.