Out of the nearly 4 million secretaries and executive assistants employed by U.S. companies, a growing portion is virtual assistants.

Hiring a virtual legal receptionist can be a great way to either build perception or simply fill in for a real receptionist. But you should be aware that not all virtual agents are created equal.

Receptionists, much like virtual receptionists, are tasked with helping complete administrative tasks around the legal office. While a receptionist fulfills a much more limited role than an executive assistant, a virtual legal receptionist can fulfill vastly more tasks than an in-office receptionist.

If you’re in the market for a virtual agent, you must ensure that the quality they offer is up to the standard your customers expect.

Look for these seven qualities and features in your virtual legal receptionist.

1. Live Call Answering

While you might expect a virtual legal receptionist to merely offer automated services, they actually offer what your customers expect: a live person on the other end of the line. When a potential client calls your firm, they don’t want to talk to a machine or an automated service. They want to talk to a real voice.

No matter what industry you’re in, an automated answering service is never preferable over a live agent on the line. Many of your clients could end up hanging up the phone once they realize there’s no live person on the other end. This is an issue, considering when they hang up, there’s no way to convert their call into a sale.

2. Customer Service

If your company values customer service, hiring a virtual receptionist is a smart move to please your callers. By providing good legal phone etiquette along with basic customer service functions, they can give excellent personal treatment to your callers no matter the day or time.

When most people call up your office, they’ll have questions that are fairly simple to answer. They want to know what time or days your office is open, which services your company can provide, and details about where you’re located.

Virtual receptionists can answer these simple questions easily. The most important function this provides is to move your potential customers through your sales funnel efficiently. Good customer service is the first step to securing clients and leading them down that path.

3. They Return Calls for You

If you’re a busy law office, you might get to the end of every day with a looming stack of phone calls to make. You have to call back all of the people you didn’t have time for throughout the day. Wouldn’t it be great if someone could call these people back for you?

The call center you hire should have this ability. While you can’t expect this from an automated service, a virtual legal receptionist can make outbound calls and reach out to clients on your behalf. This saves your office a great deal of time and money because you can stay focused on work without worrying about these minor details. Likewise, missing phone calls and not following up instantly can cause you to lose business.

4. Customers Can Make Appointments

Most virtual legal receptionist services offer the ability to handle appointment scheduling if you give them access to your schedule. It’s a fairly simple task that can allow customers to book your office during after-hours or switch things around after you’re gone for the day.

No matter what industry you’re in, this is a service that can be beneficial to the development of your business. Finding out that you have a day free or an appointment booked when you wake up in the morning could save you extra work or make you additional money.

5. They Can Provide Appointment Reminders

Throughout the course of your day, you’ll have a variety of appointments, meetings, and people to get back to. When clients don’t show up for appointments, it can lower revenue and throw a wrench in your entire day. While you may be able to recoup some of the expenses from those booked appointments, it won’t match the full price for service.

Some virtual agents have the ability to send your customers appointment reminders. This can reduce your number of customers who miss appointments by a huge margin.

Reminders keep customers on track and keep your schedule open for last-minute appointments.

6. Get Messages Other Ways

See what kinds of alternative ways your virtual legal receptionist can send you messages.

Some services allow voicemail messages to be delivered to your email inbox so that you can be on top of things when you’re away.

Some services allow text-only messages to be sent via email or text. This way you can be alerted as soon as you receive a message. You’ll be able to respond in a few seconds to a message that’s urgent.

Missing important messages can make the difference between completing a sale or not.

7. They Have Warm Transfers

When people call your office during open hours, you could be on another call, in another meeting, or have stepped out for lunch. A virtual legal receptionist can alert you when clients call to speak to you. They can find out the details of when they should call back, and you won’t be distracted from the task at hand.

Clients will feel better than if they’d received a busy signal or a voicemail. At this point in history, younger people won’t leave you a voicemail when given the option. It’s considered a relic of another era and doesn’t serve the purpose that it used to.

You’re much better off offering the option for a warm transfer when clients call.

Experience the Change at Your Law Firm

When people call your office and receive a live receptionist on the line, they won’t know if that virtual receptionist is working remotely or not. To them, it doesn’t even matter. As technology has developed, the division between a virtual and a live receptionist has blurred.

At Alert Communications, we help you overcome law firm challenges in customer service. Whether you’re a small, medium, or large law firm, our professional receptionist services are tailored to suit your unique needs. We work as an extension of your firm and offer 24/7/365 coverage to ensure your clients have access to the best support possible.

If you’re interested in more ways a virtual legal receptionist can help your business grow, please contact us.