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Solo In Chicago

...empowering the Second City's entrepreneurial legal community

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Office telephone policy

We've been thinking about how we answer our phones and client expectations. We office in one of these set-ups where the landlord provides a receptionist to answer our calls but you pay an additional amount per month. Frankly I'd like to cut back on the expense. On the mornings when my legal assistant works she handles the phones and obviously is getting to know our clientele.

Alternatives? I do come into contact with the occassional lawyer who answers her own phones but we just do too much hourly stuff for it to be feasible for me to answer calls. Once while transitioning between office spaces we just used one of these commercial answering services. I was happy with that set-up but that cost is virtually equal to what we currently pay our landlord.

Is just sending client calls to voicemail directly an option? I surely call lawyers that do that. My opinion, you can't do it. Obviously just my opinion, but no live-person answering just says tacky and inattentive business. I know we have a bunch of real estate transactions right now where deals are being delayed/threatened because of staff-less lawyers on the other side.


At 4:20 PM, Blogger Chuck Newton said...

Would you not just set up a VoIP PBX system that would have a greeting and then direct the phone to whoever is available. That could mean directing the phone to the receptionist at the office location as a last resort. This would give everybody a voice mailbox, everybody would have intercom capability, even if they are off site. It also might be beneficial because you could offer voice information lines, such as describe your services ("If you are selling your home yourself")("For our fax, email or package delivery address"). You can direct these phone calls to any line, land line, Internet phone, cell phone. Just a thought.


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