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Due to daily distractions and competing priorities, American lawyers report billing just 2.5 hours per day, on average. Administrative work, marketing, and business development efforts can eat up an attorney’s time and bottom line. Learn how simple adjustments can help you increase efficiency and profitability.
Discover how legal virtual receptionists grow your business.
In today’s on-demand economy, legal consumers want quick answers, personalized service, and to be able to connect in the way they prefer. Right now, someone is looking for your services, and if they don’t see an easy way to connect, they’ll move on.
Never fear, Ruby is here! In this workshop, we’ll share how Ruby uses our proprietary software to personalize interactions, ensuring calls get to the right person while also keeping you in the loop.
Explore a list of businesses offering free or discounted services to small business owners during COVID-19.
Ruby’s 24/7 live chat engages your website visitors, connecting them with highly trained, caring professionals. The best part? People never know they’re not speaking to your office directly. Watch this video to learn more.
“We have pivoted to telephonic and online services in a manner that has allowed business to continue, and even increase. We will continue rethinking how we approach servicing our clients, with particular emphasis on virtual and cloud-based systems to meet our clients where they are.”
“Most people don’t see attorneys under happy circumstances, unless they are working on a business deal. In your personal life, you’re either planning for your death, or someone has died, or you’re getting divorced, or someone was hit by a car… having some compassion helps attorneys bring things down to the level of their clients.”
“I made major revisions to my workflows in order to be more paperless and location independent. I use more features in Clio and Microsoft 365 re: cloud storage of documents. I leverage my VoIP phone to be able to answer calls at home. I use MS Teams meetings for video conferences with clients and potential clients. I can serve more clients over a broader geographic area through virtual meetings and make more money.”
“Don’t Panic. Think. Be ready to act decisively. We’re a law firm that takes care of small businesses and we’ve gone to a completely remote and virtual format for our operations. As for our clients, we’re helping them find ways to reorganize their businesses so that they can continue to prosper in this new, contactless society.”
“Video conferencing has become so mainstream that it will forever replace many other types of client interaction. Remote signing and notarization of estate planning documents will become commonplace.”
“We’re a small law firm that works with small healthcare practices and professionals, so we’ve had to adapt every detail of our practice! We’ve moved to an entirely remote practice structure, which has helped us empathize well with our clients’ transitions to telemedicine. We’ll definitely allow more flexible work-from-home policies! Our team has been very productive, and we’ll defer more to them regarding where they work. We’ll probably also move into an office with more delineations of personal space, so we’re already planning for the number of doggy doors we’ll need installed to allow everybody equal access to the firm’s most popular member, Crosby.”
“I would not have made it without having Ruby. Just being able to get an email or a text to say that somebody just called and a live person spoke with them? It goes a long way. People want to talk to people.”
Check out our full resource library for more tips and tools.
Technology and the human element.
What might be the biggest challenge of running your own practice? Following up with client communication in a timely manner in the midst of meetings, casework, and court dates. While the clients who have you face-to-face appreciate your undivided attention, your focus there will inevitably result in unanswered client (or potential client) phone calls. Virtual receptionists are a great solution to a ringing phone. Clients are able to connect with a real, live human ready and trained to help them, while you remain focused on the task at hand. Even if a receptionist is answering your calls, be sure to set aside time to follow up with clients. Keep them updated and check in to reassure them that their needs haven’t been forgotten to maintain valuable positive client relationships.
Bottom line: Eliminate distractions in your environment, seek to understand client goals, and avoid legal jargon to meet clients where they are. Better communication means an elevated client experience, which translates into wider profit margins for your firm.
Running your practice is like working any case, it requires a goal and an understanding of all moving parts. With these in mind, you’re able to build a strategy and an action plan to reach your next milestone.
But let’s talk about your needs for a second. Are you honest with yourself about them? What are your strengths? Your weaknesses? What tasks do you hate doing? Outsourcing is an excellent way to help you focus on what’s profitable while shifting what you either don’t enjoy or don’t have time for to someone else’s plate. Find a virtual attorney whose strengths are your weaknesses, virtual legal assistants who thrive on those tedious tasks you dislike, and virtual receptionists and legal tech for areas where you are losing money on office management.
In delegating tasks to virtual talent, you regain billable hours for your firm. Attorney and paralegal time can be billed to the client at a reasonable profit margin and you don’t need to cover their overhead as you would a body in your office.
Doing everything yourself results in a self-perpetuating cycle of being overwhelmed, overworked, and overstressed. As your to-do list grows, you become more inefficient and less profitable. Delegate tasks where you can to remain productive and in control of your quality of life.
Mindful planning coupled with effective communication is key to feeling confident that all delegated tasks will be completed. You have a plan, you know your weaknesses; you know you can bill paralegal time, and that by freeing up hours in your day you can focus on the work that generates revenue.
You’re a small or solo practice, and sure, while the law is the law there are some nuances to each practice area. You can’t possibly know everything about every specialty, so you inevitably reduce your practice area to focus your work.
So, as an estate planner, what do you do when you discover your client has a patent that is being infringed? How do you handle an immigration case involves human trafficking? You want to give your client the best service possible, so you study and familiarize yourself with the associated nuances. But what’s even better? Hiring a freelance specialist to join your team. A virtual attorney and/or virtual legal assistant who supplements and compliments your own expertise is incredibly helpful. Their knowledge is a significant benefit to your practice, as well as your individual clients.
People are often caught in the push and pull of technological connectedness and the perceived deterioration of face-to-face interaction—a result of the widespread use of smartphones. And yet, people of all ages are addicted to their phones. The truth is, the pull of technology doesn’t always have the negative impact that people assume it does.
Think of it this way:
In many cases, technology enhances relationships. It doesn’t replace them. When used strategically, your business can use tools like chat on your website, your phone line, and video tutorials to enhance relationships with customers. It’s still human. You just don’t have to be in the same physical location.
Technology empowers meaningful conversations. Unless you have a bricks-and-mortar shop with a steady and strong following of local customers, you’re using technology to communicate with your target audience. I’m willing to bet that even your favorite locally-owned coffee shop is using at least some form of technology to grow their business.
The trick is to be strategic. Every company connects with their customers differently, in different places. And every individual has different ways they like to interact with the businesses they support.
Maybe you love email. Or maybe you’d rather Facebook message a company when you have a quick question. For others, chat on a business’ website may be the right choice.
To effectively empower human interactions through technology, it’s important that you understand your customers. You want to talk to them in the same place they’re looking to talk to you.
At some level, everyone uses technology to make connections. It’s become such an ingrained part of our culture that no matter how much you love or hate it, businesses can’t really run without it. As long as you’re thoughtful about how you use it, technology can revolutionize the way your business interacts with customers.
Marketing and Customer Service: Use technology to add value to your customers’ lives. Start a blog and share content from influencers within your company. Start pulling in email marketing campaigns and newsletters that share real, valuable insights and news. Connect with individuals on social media by responding to their interactions and even reaching out to them. It may be virtual communication, but it can still be personal, meaningful, and real.
Project Management: Strengthen communications within your team—even remote team members—with tools like Basecamp, Asana, Trello, and Jira. These tools bring your team together, even if they’re physically far apart. When they’re used well, they’re powerful.
Team Relations: If you work remotely, you may already know the value of technology. But did you know you can use it to help your team members bond with each other? We love Facebook Business, which takes the familiar platform and turns it into an instant online office, where you can chat with co-workers about work and personal happenings.
The key to enhancing human interaction with technology is remembering that technology should never replace the human element. No matter how smart your bots and AI technology gets, it will never replace the sincerity and power of a business owner or employee interacting with a customer.
“Active listening” and “good communication” are buzzwords we’ve all used during an interview or around the office, regardless of our industry. From law firms to contractors to hair stylists, professionals recognize the role of effective communication—which might explain why most adults fancy themselves expert listeners.
While active listening is typically associated with head nods, the occasional “mhmm”, and an accurate regurgitation of a speaker’s main points, the Harvard Business Review contends that these actions just barely scratch the surface. Skilled listeners will first create an environment in which a person feels comfortable speaking. For attorneys, this means eliminating distractions. Desk and cell phones, a smartwatch, or any other electronics that threaten to divert attention away from a client should be tucked away. From here, your own body language, the questions, and insights you offer, and your ability to pick up on nonverbal cues (and acknowledge them) not only deepens your understanding of a client’s unique circumstance, but also establishes a foundation of trust.
Missed connections translate to lost revenue. With Ruby, you have a partner in gaining and retaining customers. Plus, we’re so confident you’ll love our service, we offer a 21 day money-back guarantee*.
*Ruby is delighted to offer a money-back guarantee to first time users of both our virtual receptionist service and our chat service. To cancel your service and obtain a full refund for the canceled service (less any multi-service discount), please notify us of the service you wish to cancel either within 21 days of your purchase of that service or before your usage exceeds 500 receptionist minutes/50 billable chats, as applicable, whichever occurs sooner. Some restrictions may apply.