Should Your Law Practice Hire a Virtual Receptionist?
For home-based solo practitioners, those with ‘mobile offices,’ and/or those with smaller, unshared office spaces, hiring a traditional receptionist can be helpful, but many times, the benefits don’t outweigh the costs.
For those attorneys with non-traditional offices, there has been a rise of ‘virtual’ services designed to improve the impression that you make on clients without significantly impacting your bottom line, including ‘virtual’ mail services, ‘virtual’ offices, and ‘virtual’ receptionists, which we will describe in detail below.
What is a Virtual Receptionist?
As it sounds, a virtual receptionist is a service that provides a real receptionist located in a call center who can answer the phone, take messages, and direct calls to your office phone or cell phone as needed. Virtual receptionist services are traditionally billed monthly based on ‘receptionist minute’ plans and additional services provided. Most virtual receptionists answer with a greeting based on your business name, screen calls per your instructions, and set up appointments. Generally, virtual receptionists only bill for the minutes that a receptionist is working on your behalf and stop charging you once the call is transferred to you.
Compare Virtual Receptionist Services
Virtual receptionist services have become more popular in recent years, and among the most popular providers are Ruby Receptionists (recommended by JDblogger), MyReceptionist, and Gabby. Other popular platforms include LEX Reception, AnswerConnect, and Customer Contact Services. For more information on pricing and benefits, go to the respective websites (MyReceptionist, Gabby, Ruby).
Virtual Receptionist vs. In Office Receptionist
In terms of pricing, if you need a receptionist just to take calls and set appointments, these virtual services—even the most expensive plans—typically cost just under $12,000 per year.
The verdict? For solo and small firms who need few services aside from call transferring, telemarketer screening, and a professional sounding reception help, virtual receptionists offer a much more affordable option than a traditional receptionist. But as your practice grows and your administrative tasks become more time-consuming, it might make sense to consider a traditional receptionist.
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