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The Importance of Hosted VoIP for Law Firms

A group of people going over contracts in a board meeting

A standard, conventional landline has no place in a modern law firm. They're inconvenient and bulky, expensive and limited. They clutter your office with hardware that continually needs to be updated and maintained.

For these reasons and more, many law firms are making the switch to a hosted VoIP system. This version of telecommunications uses data or the internet to create lines for communications, rather than relying on physical landlines. They're simple to use, easy to update, and incredibly accommodating. Best of all, they're more reliable and more affordable than landlines, so you can bring all their advantages to your law firm without sacrificing anything.

Much lower costs

There are plenty of costs associated with running a law firm—the more areas where you can cut back on spending, the better.

VoIP phone systems will cost you much less than a conventional landline phone system. One primary reason for this is that unlike a landline system, VoIP phone systems do not require any expensive hardware in the office. You don't have to buy it, and you don't have to pay a high price to maintain and update it. While a landline phone system might require you to hire an IT member just for the hardware, VoIP systems are much simpler to maintain.

You'll also significantly cut back on cost if you spend any time communicating with long-distance clients. Landline services charge steep fees for long distance calls, but that's not the case for VoIP. Since a VoIP system relies on the internet to connect two or more callers, there are no additional fees to place long-distance or user to user calls.

Since no two firms are exactly alike, savings will vary from firm to firm. Still, it's not unusual to see law firms save anywhere from 30% to 50% on their annual telecommunications costs when they switch to VoIP.

Scales up and down with your firm

Law firms are often adjusting in size and priority, and a phone system should keep up with changing needs. As your law firm grows or scales down in size, a VoIP system can seamlessly follow along. Adding additional numbers or extensions is as easy as creating a new virtual extension online. It's a simple and affordable task that won't delay your expansion process. If you add additional partners working at a separate location, you can use your VoIP provider to connect these new locations under the same system.

The process of scaling up or down is nowhere near as simple with a traditional landline as adding new employees or extensions means bringing in additional hardware and wiring. When an extension is no longer needed there is no simple way to get rid of it, and you may end up paying for a line you don't use.

Better client communications

In the legal field, there's no time to waste. You need an efficient way to check messages, communicate with multiple people at once, and stay in touch with clients. Switching to a hosted VoIP system can enhance your firm's communications in more than one way.

When a firm operates with a VoIP system, lawyers are not bound to their office phones. VoIP systems can route extensions to ring personal smartphones, allowing lawyers and employees to receive important calls wherever they go. And it's not just smartphones that can link to a VoIP extension. You can use it to transfer calls to any phone, even a landline. VoIP gives you the ultimate mobility and flexibility with your telecommunications.

Such extreme mobility puts you in a position to take calls most of the time, but VoIP systems have tools for when you know you'll be unavailable as well. For instance, it's easy to use the system to record your own auto attendant greeting that will answer when you're "out of office" instead of ringing to voicemail. This way, you can let clients know exactly when you'll be able to return their call and can give them additional prompts of action if necessary. You can also easily program your VoIP system to send all of your voicemail to your email inbox for quick and convenient access

Billing accuracy

As a lawyer, you need to keep track of every minute of service provided in order to create the most accurate bill for your clients. Failure to do so could mean you're getting paid less than you deserve or that you've accidentally overcharging your client

Luckily, a VoIP system makes keeping track of call times and records much easier for you. Your hosted VoIP system will automatically record each of your client calls to the minute. In addition to the call duration, records will indicate the call start and end time, as well as the incoming number. To make things even easier, you can streamline your billing process by integrating the VoIP with billing and accounting systems.

Many VoIP systems also allow you to record your calls, which inevitably comes in handy.

Multiple pieces of equpiment meant for confrencing using VoIP

Access affordable video conferencing

Video conferencing sometimes plays a major role in lawyer-client communications. It's helpful to be able to bring multiple people together for a face-to-face interaction. A landline system doesn't offer any convenient or affordable means for this option, but a hosted VoIP system does. You can use yours to invite clients and other attendees to a virtual conference room on the web. It's a simple process that can make a difference in the quality of communication with your clients.

Connected in the event of a power outage

Whether by severe weather, an accident, or a problem with the power company, power outages happen. When they affect your firm's neighborhood, you'll be happy to have a VoIP system instead of a conventional landline. A standard landline would lose functionality without power, but since your VoIP system is cloud-based, you'll still have access to your phone lines, even without power. You'll simply access your extension with your smartphone or by logging in from a different location with power. There's no risk of missing important client communications or missing out on a potential new client call.