From reviewing cases to administrative work, it’s no secret that attorneys juggle multiple daily tasks. In fact, the average lawyer only spent around three hours per day on billable work last year.
A missed phone call might not seem like a big deal. But according to a 2018 report from NewVoiceMedia, now Vonage, businesses lose $75 billion each year due to poor customer service, such as missed phone calls. In addition to that, cloud-based voice platform Aircall reports that 85% of callers won’t follow up if their calls are not returned.
In 2018, Joshua Haid and his firm, Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group by Haid and Teich LLP, moved to Amata Law Office Suites, a community of more than 700 attorneys with seven Class-A offices in downtown Chicago. He liked the flexibility of Amata’s business model, as it would allow him to expand or downsize office space to match the needs of his 16-attorney team.
He saw direct value in Amata’s reception services, as having a designated professional fielding calls was a clear way to dedicate more time to his cases. Haid’s firm immediately began utilizing Amata’s live receptionists to handle its call screening and fielding. Amata also offers personalized incoming call and client intake forms.
“It ensures our clients always have a live person answering the phone, so they’re not forwarded to a voicemail during business hours,” Haid said. “Even if an attorney is not available, clients always appreciate speaking with a person.”
Amata’s receptionists answered calls for 270 firms and managed 15,000 calls in October. As of Oct. 5, Haid and his firm also gained access to extended live reception from 7 a.m. - 10 p.m. without incurring a premium price for non-business hours, for which other live reception companies often charge.
The service relieves management stress from partners’ plates. If one of Haid’s team members is at home and feeling sick or taking a lunch break, he no longer has to pull others away from their responsibilities to answer phones or worry about shuffling staff. Live reception instead helps Haid and his team focus on building the practice.
“Having the depth of Amata’s live reception staff makes it one less of a headache,” he said. “It provides us a huge financial advantage. It’s one less thing that I have to worry about.”
Lawyers are only charged for used reception minutes and unlike other phone-answering services, where receptionists are outsourced, Amata’s receptionists are part of the team and have strong customer service backgrounds. Gwen Waters has been with Amata for 15 years. Along with handling clients’ calls, she is sometimes tasked with scheduling conference rooms, sending a fax and even calming clients’ nerves on their first lawyer visit.
“That is what I’ve always liked about Amata,” Waters said. “There is no routine.”
Fellow receptionists Tara Krkljes and Natalie Gonzalez, who joined Amata earlier this year, enjoy building a connection with callers and playing a role in lawyers’ practices.
“The attorneys need important information from these callers … and I do my best to get it to them,” Krkljes said.
Krkljes’s favorite part of the job is working with each lawyer to customize caller forms and greetings so the information is straightforward when presented to clients and helpful for the firm’s intake procedure.
“Amata feels like family,” Gonzalez said. “They try their best to make sure their clients and employees are taken care of.”