Automation & Efficiency

How to Find a Phone Service that Works for Your Law Firm

One of the things I love most about my law practice business is that I can work anywhere. When folks ask me, “Where do you office?”, my answer is always, “Wherever I am.” While there is freedom to it, working from anywhere also requires certain technology, including phone service.

Of course, the simplest option is to use your personal cell phone for business, assuming you have adequate coverage. (You can also setup a landline in your office, but that seems limiting for lawyers on the go.) For me, this option wouldn’t work because I didn’t want to give out my personal phone number. I didn’t want calls at all hours of the day, and mentally I need a separation between my personal and business life. So, I went searching for other options.

Sure, I could have purchased a separate cell phone for business, but then I’d be carrying around two phones (no thank you) and the all-hours-of-the-day issue would still exist unless I turned the phone off. I don’t know about you, but having to remember to do extra steps isn’t for me. I like my technology to work on its own.

If I wanted to only carry my personal cell phone but still be able to make and receive business calls on it, I needed to find a virtual phone service that would forward to my phone. When thinking about features, there were a few options that were really important to me:

  • Business hours – As you can guess, this was the priority. I wanted to set when calls would ring through to me and when they would go directly to voicemail. It was a bonus if I could also assign different messages for different times of the day so the caller knew what to expect.
  • Use of an existing number – While this wasn’t important to me when I first set up my virtual phone because I didn’t have an existing business number, it was when I decided to switch providers. Being able to port my existing number to the new provider made the transition seamless. I didn’t have to worry about notifying everyone, missing calls, or updating the business number everywhere.
  • Text messaging – Although this feature was initially a nice-to-have, I’ve found I use frequently. It’s really nice to text with a client as I arrive at a meeting to let them know I’m there and provide any last minute information.

In addition to the features important to me, many services also offer the following options:

  • Call forwarding to multiple numbers
  • Toll-free and vantiy numbers
  • Conferencing
  • Separate extensions
  • Company directory
  • Live-call transfers
  • Voicemail to email
  • Reporting

If you are thinking about establishing a virtual phone service or switching from your existing one, first identify the features need before looking at service providers. If you look at service providers first, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and purchase something you won’t actually use.

Once you’re ready to review virtual phone providers, here’s a list to help get you started:

Whether you want to work anywhere or you just want the option to leave the office and still be connected, a virtual phone service offers lots of flexibility that you can often customize to fit your practice.

This is not an ad. I do not endorse or receive compensation from any tools mentioned.

Are there features you wish your existing phone service provided? Are you looking for more flexibility?