My Shingle

Who Answers Your Phones: Man or Machine?

by Carolyn Elefant on March 26, 2006 · 12 comments

in Law Practice Management, Outsourcing & Hiring

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Tom Kane of Legal Marketing Blog posts on the importance of a human answering a phone.  Tom is certainly right that you shouldn’t regularly let phone calls go to voice mail, particularly when you’re in the office.  At the same time, I’m not so certain about the importance of having a receptionist pick up.  As a personal matter, I’d much rather hit someone’s voice mail directly, then have to speak with a receptionist or secretary, let alone leave a message with them.  Also, many new solos don’t have the resources to hire a receptionist to answer calls.  Consequently, they’re likely to use a virtual receptionist, which can sometimes be more of a disaster if the receptionist is rude or simply sends messages to voice mail without any elaboration.

On

  • http://www.lawbizblog.com/management-349-who-answers-your-phone.html LawBiz Blog

    Who Answers Your Phone

    My Shingle talks today about who answers your phone, person or machine. In the past, I have always opted/advised that a human should answer your phone. It’s important to have the human touch. Even the phone companies realized this, ……

  • http://www.lawbizblog.com/management-349-who-answers-your-phone.html LawBiz Blog

    Who Answers Your Phone

    My Shingle talks today about who answers your phone, person or machine. In the past, I have always opted/advised that a human should answer your phone. It’s important to have the human touch. Even the phone companies realized this, ……

  • Mike Adams

    I must admit to using voice mail to answer when I am not available. That could be because I agree with Carolyn about leaving voice mail messages with others. Some attorneys in my town don’t like and won’t use voice mail at all, but their receptionists sometimes to not deliver my entire message.

  • Mike Adams

    I must admit to using voice mail to answer when I am not available. That could be because I agree with Carolyn about leaving voice mail messages with others. Some attorneys in my town don’t like and won’t use voice mail at all, but their receptionists sometimes to not deliver my entire message.

  • http://jamestownlawyer.blogspot.com todd

    It’s probably a defect of my personality, but I love being put through to voicemail. It allows me to get out my entire question/point and update the other side as to why I’m calling. There was a time recently I left a lengthy message with the receptionist at another firm in my building, then later saw the actual message slip: “Todd called, re: Smith case.”

  • http://jamestownlawyer.blogspot.com todd

    It’s probably a defect of my personality, but I love being put through to voicemail. It allows me to get out my entire question/point and update the other side as to why I’m calling. There was a time recently I left a lengthy message with the receptionist at another firm in my building, then later saw the actual message slip: “Todd called, re: Smith case.”

  • http://soloinchicago.blogspot.com Peter Olson

    Since I went solo about a year ago, I’ve used the receptionist only set-up. Then briefly when we moved offices we had a commercial answering service and now we have a receptionist with voicemal to go to if I’m not available. I like to have a receptionist for the personalization factor but you need voicemail too. I agree if it were no voicemail with receptionist versus voicemail and no receptionist, I think the latter is better.

  • http://soloinchicago.blogspot.com Peter Olson

    Since I went solo about a year ago, I’ve used the receptionist only set-up. Then briefly when we moved offices we had a commercial answering service and now we have a receptionist with voicemal to go to if I’m not available. I like to have a receptionist for the personalization factor but you need voicemail too. I agree if it were no voicemail with receptionist versus voicemail and no receptionist, I think the latter is better.

  • http://www.kidsquared.com Mieke

    My preference is to have a human answering with the voice mail option for messages. I own my own business but I’m not a lawyer. I wish I had a person to answer my phone, but do not at the moment. I have voicemail. I make a point of forwarding it to my cell phone as much as possible and returning calls quickly. I also ensure that voicemail picks up as soon as possible when I am not in the office so that people don’t have to wait.

  • http://www.kidsquared.com Mieke

    My preference is to have a human answering with the voice mail option for messages. I own my own business but I’m not a lawyer. I wish I had a person to answer my phone, but do not at the moment. I have voicemail. I make a point of forwarding it to my cell phone as much as possible and returning calls quickly. I also ensure that voicemail picks up as soon as possible when I am not in the office so that people don’t have to wait.

  • http://cowgill.blogs.com/soloblawg/2006/04/are_you_a_sane_.html SoloBlawg by Ben Cowgill

    Are you a SANE lawyer?

    Are you a SANE lawyer? In my view, you are a SANE lawyer if you are a Self-reliant, Autonomous, Networked, Empowered lawyer.
    You rely on yourSelf to make your practice a success. You enjoy a high level of Automony in deciding how to make that happen….

  • http://cowgill.blogs.com/soloblawg/2006/04/are_you_a_sane_.html SoloBlawg by Ben Cowgill

    Are you a SANE lawyer?

    Are you a SANE lawyer? In my view, you are a SANE lawyer if you are a Self-reliant, Autonomous, Networked, Empowered lawyer.
    You rely on yourSelf to make your practice a success. You enjoy a high level of Automony in deciding how to make that happen….

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