Did you know that, according to the American Bar Association, between 2008 and 2018, there was a 15% increase in the number of US lawyers? If you run a law firm, then this figure must come as no surprise to you, given the growth of the law industry in the US.
If your law firm has also been growing, then you might be thinking of using a business phone service to make communications within your office and with clients. However, you might have many questions such as:
“How can I use a business phone service?”
“What are the benefits of having a business phone service installed in my law firm?”
“What are the best business phone service solutions for my law firm?”
“How do I decide what my law firm needs when it comes to a business phone service?”
Having so many questions can be overwhelming, especially when you’re juggling so many other responsibilities when running your law firm. That’s why we’ve put together this communications guide for law firms. By giving you all the information you need to know about business phone systems, you’ll know all you need to know to choose the right system for you.
Read on to learn more.
1. Your Law Firm Needs a Business Phone Service
The first thing you should know about business phone systems is that you need to install one if you want your law firm to be as efficient and client-friendly as possible. Even though it can be easier to resist change and continue doing things the way you already are, there are many ways that a small business phone system will revolutionize how you run your law firm.
This is because an office phone system simplifies the way you use your phones in your law firm, streamlining every element. This simplified the administrative side of running your law firm, which means you can spend more time increasing billable hours and taking on more clients.
Because of many elements we’ll now cover, from making it possible to track your conversations to guaranteed security, your law firm will benefit from having a business phone system.
2. You Can Track and Transcribe Phone Conversations
With a business phone system, you can track and transcribe phone conversations. This makes it much easier for you to keep track of everything your client is telling you when you’re speaking on the phone. Instead of having to jot everything down on a yellow legal pad, you can rely on the phone system to track and transcribe everything for you.
This is because of cloud-based technology. Everything is automatically and securely stored so that you can access it later. Depending on which service you end up using, there’s data you can store in addition to the call itself, such as who made the call and when it was made.
If you need to play any part of the conversation back to your colleagues in a meeting, you can also do this. Even if you prefer to take notes while speaking on the phone, having everything recorded exactly as it appeared will help you have the exact words said for when you are negotiating settlements or preparing for a trial.
3. Support Your Support Staff
Having a multi-line phone system also helps you support your support staff. Because support staff members are often ready to jot down anything you ask them to while on a call or to answer phones when you can’t, having a business phone service means they don’t have to do this as often.
At a law firm, support staff members are an integral part of your team. They don’t only answer phones; they also do other essential tasks such as reviewing briefs and helping you with your cases. This is especially so with legal assistants and paralegals.
By making it less necessary for them to man the phones, they can help you with other tasks. This, in turn, frees up your schedule, making it possible for you to do better on the tasks at hand and to serve new clients.
4. You Can Work From Anywhere
With a business phone service, you can work from anywhere. This is because everything is cloud-based, so your business phone number can be accessed from both your office and anywhere else.
While it has always been possible to make calls or check your email from home, there were limitations when it came to logging conversations, transcribing calls, or recording calls while out of the office. Additionally, you would have to be in the office to check your voicemail.
With your business phone service, all of this is automated. In addition to being able to work from home, you can also have access to what you need while you’re in the courtroom.
5. Ensure Confidentiality and Security
One of the worries you might have with so much being on the cloud is the confidentiality and security of the calls you make with a business phone service. After all, as a lawyer, confidentiality is a big part of what you promise to your clients. It’s also a legal requirement and is one of the things that define integrity in your industry.
However, you don’t need to worry about this at all. The best cloud-based business phone services make it impossible for anyone who isn’t authorized to access recordings, transcriptions, or case data.
The only people who can are you and the team members of your law firm you’ve given access to. This is another benefit. If there’s anyone you want to give access to this information to, you can do so easily. This can be a much simpler process than with other security-based technologies.
6. You Can Combine with Case Management Software
Another benefit of using a business phone service is that you can combine it with case management software in order to understand how well your law firm is doing. When you combine these two technologies, you can analyze every element of your calls, including:
- What percentage of calls lead to a client taking you on as their lawyer
- How many calls (and which ones) are related to specific cases
- Knowing when inbound calls and client touchpoints occurred
- Knowing information about calls such as time and date
- Knowing how to organize calls with keywords and case types
As you can see, by combining these two technologies, you have a powerful set of resources. This will free up your time doing much of this administrative work, making it possible for you to serve more clients and run your law firm more smoothly.
7. There are Additional Benefits
There are additional benefits to using a business phone service. Depending on how your law firm functions, you can benefit significantly from these. From call transfer to on hold software, here are some additional benefits:
- Call transfer, which means your office assistant can help you with other tasks and gets clients connected to you faster
- Call queuing, which makes it possible to keep your clients on hold until you’re ready to speak to them
- Team collaboration and management, which means you can have team calls and make it easy to include team members if you need their help in the middle of a case
- Smart call forwarding, which means clients can reach you at your office cell phone when they’re calling the office, making it easier for you to work from home (this is especially useful during the COVID-19 Pandemic)
- Voicemail to email, which means you can receive email transcription version of voicemails left for you
- On hold music, which means that your clients will have something enjoyable to listen to while they wait for you to be available
As you can see, many of these additional benefits make your law office run more smoothly. In addition to having more time to manage more cases, this might eventually save you money, since you won’t have to hire that new paralegal after all.
8. You Have To Ask the Right Questions
When you’re deciding whether a business phone service is the right choice for your law firm, there are several questions you have to ask yourself to know if you need it. Additionally, these questions will help you decide which phone system is right for you.
The Features of Different Systems
The first question you’ll want to ask yourself is, “What features do I need my business phone service to have?” You might already an idea from what we’ve covered in this article. The answer to this question will help you decide if you want your system to be cloud-based or to exist on-premises.
The Type of Service
The next question you should ask is, “What type of service am I looking for?” The answer to this question will help you decide if you want a virtual, VoIP, or landline system. Do you prefer your law office to use desk telephones, using landlines provided by regional or local phone companies? Or do you prefer to work with an Internet-based company?
9. You Need to Think Carefully
When you’re choosing the right business phone service for your law firm, you need to think carefully about your choice. Unfortunately, there aren’t any free trials available. Additionally, making the shift to a business phone service makes many changes needed, such as:
- Purchasing new phones
- Creating new messages for outgoing messages and voicemail
- Transferring any information you have saved from your current system, some of which may be confidential or key to a current case
- Porting your current number
These are some pretty big changes. As a law firm, you need to be reliable, so you can’t have any mistakes happen once you make the switch. So, if you choose to install a business phone service, you need to plan this entire transformation of technology with a careful schedule and an idea of how long it will take.
Additionally, you should take a moment to assess how much you would benefit from making this change. We believe that most law firms would benefit from using this new technology, but you’ll still want to think about this in-depth.
What Does Your Firm Need?
You need to think about what specific features your firm would need. Additionally, you need to think about specific people in your firm. What features will they benefit from the most? Even though you might get excited about a feature that helps you specifically, it may be worth investing in a business phone service that helps run the office as a whole more smoothly.
Ask for a Demo
Even though you can’t get a free trial, you can ask providers for a demo of their services. We recommend doing this so that you can decide what works best for you. You can also speak with a representative and ask more questions about how your law firm specifically can benefit from a business phone system.
Need More Information?
Do you need more information on how a business phone service can help you run your law firm? Maybe you want to know more about the different options out there or want help setting up a business phone system in your law firm.
Whatever your questions or needs might be, we’re here to help. Here at Phone.com, we’re professionals in setting up a variety of phone systems. We offer all the features you need and work with many professionals. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you.