Law firms today have a lot more to contend with than only a few years ago. The industry is now extremely competitive. In particular, smaller solicitors and freelance legal professionals are challenging the power of the big firms in both cost and quality service. At the same time, a technological revolution is demanding more of legal firms. Digitisation is threatening law firms by widening access to legal information, and putting power into the hands of ordinary people to conduct their own legal business. This includes creating their own wills or patents. Online companies like LegalZoom are already capitalising on this at the expense of law firms.
Legal firms therefore need to recognise the importance of harnessing technology to meet the expectations of a changing industry. ‘Brick-and-mortar’ firms in particular will be wary of falling demand for legal services at a time when overheads are still high, and perhaps increasing. Providing a vital personal link between clients and legal professionals is something that the internet revolution cannot offer.
Cost efficiency and customer service, as it happens, are areas where a VoIP telephone system can pay dividends. It is an investment which is being made in many other similar industries, including property and recruitment, where reliable, round-the-clock contact with real people is becoming the dominant USP. As VoIP telephony uses the internet instead of a landline connection, companies of all shapes and sizes are recognising its cost benefits and flexibility. Let’s see how a law firm can use VoIP to its advantage.
When anyone can conduct an internet search to receive legal advice or perform a basic service, why go to a law firm at all? The ability to be on-call 24-7 is now an expectation for most legal professionals. Luckily, VoIP systems provide the essential features to keep lawyers in the loop with their clients.
Voicemail features such as auto-attendant guide your clients to the relevant department or colleague. Ensure you never miss a call with advanced voicemail services such as voicemail-to-text or -email, and single number reach which allows missed calls to be transferred to other available phones in your network.
Conference calls can be easily hosted on VoIP phone systems, a vital feature for legal professionals coordinating clients, colleagues and related third parties.
Professionals these days often leave the office to do their work. This is especially true in the legal industry, where freelance solicitors and paralegals are taking up a bigger bulk of the market. Even established companies are beginning to change their work practices, allowing employees to create their own schedules and work from home.
VoIP provides complete flexibility of communication within the same network. Whether you are working from home or from the office, you can use the same virtual number to receive and make calls anywhere. And if you’re on the way to a meeting or a courthouse, you can link your mobile to your VoIP system so that calls and texts can be received and sent anywhere, anytime.
With the pressures facing law firms today, an efficient communications system is essential. VoIP systems can be programmed remotely to ensure the right people get the right calls. If your firm has multiple divisions or offices, for example for corporate and private clients, group mailboxes can help organise incoming calls. Since VoIP systems only require an internet connection, they can be installed easily, and managed remotely via computer software.
Legal firms will have to adapt to a changing business model, focused on consumer choice and internet competition. VoIP technology provides a range of options for legal professionals, from freelancers working at home, to large-scale corporations with complex sub-divisions and round-the-clock clients. The internet isn’t just a threat - it’s an opportunity as well.
GRiP Communications is a UK based VoIP Service provider providing high quality affordable business telephone systems to organisations with one phone or many. All you need is an internet connection.
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