VoIP vs SIP: Which Communication Solution is Right for Your Business?
The Best VoIP Providers for Law Firms of 2018
Law firms can take advantage of a VoIP service in unique ways to help make their business run more smoothly. It’s particularly important for a law firm to present a professional and polished impression, regardless of its size. A VoIP system helps even very small law firms answer calls professionally and deal with out of hours calls in a supportive and streamlined manner.
Making calls from your personal cell phone doesn't give the right image for a lawyer, not to mention being inadvisable for privacy reasons. When you make a call through your VoIP service on your smartphone, it will appear to the client as though it’s been made from your office, allowing you to maintain a professional appearance, wherever you are.
Since most lawyers bill by the hour, a VoIP provider that includes time-logging features makes it easier to track time and enable lawyers to look up call logs to check how much time was spent on each call. Meetings are another frequent feature at law firms, both between partners and for lawyers with their clerks, legal secretaries, and office staff. Video and telephone conferencing options make it faster and easier to schedule a meeting without requiring all of the participants to be physically present
How Does VoIP Help Law Firms Deliver Exceptional Service to Their Clients?
What makes a law firm stand out is the level of customer service that it delivers. This is true for every business, but lawyers in particular need to be able to listen to their clients and make them feel confident about their services. Most VoIP services deliver reliable mobile integration so that you can answer important work calls when you are out the office and won’t need to leave your clients waiting for you to respond to voicemail.
The call recording, call tracking, and logging features offered by the best VoIP providers help legal personnel keep on top of every detail. Easy call recording means that you can go back and listen to the call again in order to refresh your memory about the finer points of the case.
VoIP providers that include CRM integration also help lawyers respond accurately and confidently to every caller, even if they’re out of the office because they'll have all the information about the client at their fingertips through the cloud. There's no need to worry about compromising client confidentiality or exposing firm secrets to hackers, either, as long as your VoIP system is one of the many that includes secure, encrypted communications.
Effective VoIP systems also improve customer service by saving you time. Fast and efficient call transfers mean that clients don’t need to wait while the right person is located to take the call, and there’s also less chance of accidentally dropping an important call. By enabling your legal secretary to filter calls, a VoIP system allows you to focus on the clients that need your attention the most and divert less-pressing matters to be dealt with by other members of staff.
The high sound quality is another significant plus to using a VoIP service in a law firm. High sound quality with good fidelity, low latency, and very little risk of jitters or dropping the call has an effect on the client’s experience. It also projects a more professional appearance for your firm.
Finally, a VoIP system lets you set up custom rules and scheduling along with voice messages for different situations so that an out-of-hours caller won't feel frustrated by his or her inability to speak with someone immediately.
Top 5 VoIP Providers for Law Firm
With plenty of integrations and superior sound quality, Vonage Business is one of the most popular VoIP services for businesses of every size. It has over 40 business features that include many which are valuable to law firms, such as call recording and call forwarding. Vonage Business makes it easy to project a fully professional image at all times, thanks to the auto-attendants, virtual receptionists, and call queuing so that you’ll never miss a call again.
Vonage Business also helps law firms of every size save costs. Compared to landlines, companies that switch to Vonage Business save an average of 36% on their communications costs.
Some of the main features of Vonage Business include:
- Mobile app so that you can answer calls from important clients even when you’re out of the office
- Call recording, tracking, and logging so lawyers can keep track of case details
- Calls made from your smartphone through the mobile app will show your name or company's name so that you maintain a professional appearance and hide your private number
- Plenty of integrations with CRMs and other 3rd-party apps, such as Amazon Chime, Clio, Salesforce, NetSuite, and Bullhorn
- Superior sound quality that doesn’t compromise on clarity and no latency issues or dropped calls
RingCentral offers many features and other advantages for law firms of every size. The quick and easy setup will be much appreciated by small law firms that don't have an extensive IT department to work on onboarding. The pricing plans cover many different business sizes and situations, and there's no contractual obligation, so you can easily scale up as your legal practice expands.
RingCentral’s customer service is very useful for lawyers who need support in dealing with their VoIP systems. Regular support is available 24/7 and is noted for being helpful, while large enterprises and even not-so-large firms can upgrade to the Extended Enterprise Support for dedicated account management, tailored help, and individual troubleshooting.
Some of the most appealing features of RingCentral include:
- An intuitive dashboard that makes it easy for small law firms without an IT department to manage call settings successfully
- Developer platform so that large law practices can customize the VoIP service and connect it with home-grown applications
- Mobile app that redirects calls to your smartphone and presents a professional front when you call from your personal cell phone
- Multiple 3rd-party integrations, including many CRMs, so that lawyers can stay connected to their clients wherever they go
8x8 is a good, cost-effective choice for small to medium-sized law firms that need a professional VoIP option without being able to field a full IT department to maintain it. Even technologically challenged lawyers can setup and activate the system in a few minutes, and management is simple through the built-in web portal.
8x8 also provides plenty of 3rd-party integrations as part of its standard package so that law firms can connect all of their favorite business tools.
Some of the best reasons to use 8x8 include:
- A mobile app for Android and iOS that keeps you connected with all of your clients even when you’re out of the office.
- Integrations with plenty of 3rd-party apps, including CRM tools such as Outlook and NetSuite so that lawyers can access client details instantly wherever they are.
- Advanced security including encryption to protect client confidentiality.
- Video-conferencing and fax facilities included in premium plans.
- Consolidate contact details from a number of different programs to maintain full client files and keep you informed about your client before you answer the phone.
- A solid VoIP network worldwide that ensures high sound quality and low latency.
- Standard features such as auto-attendant, call queuing and call transfer to present a professional image
Although Grasshopper only handles inbound calls and doesn’t include outbound communications, it’s still a very efficient VoIP solution for small to medium law firms. For smaller law firms, Grasshopper makes it easy to present a professional image to clients and competitors alike.
Grasshopper includes all the features you need as a successful law firm, including virtual assistants, call queuing, and call forwarding to any phone, anywhere in the world. Small law firms will particularly enjoy the easy setup. You won’t need to buy any new hardware to use Grasshopper, since it works with your existing landlines and cellphones, making it a money-saving option for small practices.
Some of the main attractions to using Grasshopper include:
- Low-cost plans.
- Very easy setup that doesn’t require any extra hardware – perfect for small, cash-strapped firms.
- An intuitive mobile app that enables you to check voicemail, faxes, and call logs from your smartphone as well as changing your caller ID number when you call from within the app so that you’ll always appear professional wherever you’re calling from.
- Custom business numbers such as toll-free, local, or vanity numbers to make it easier for clients to get in touch.
- Voicemail recording and transcription so that you can return important messages and check voicemail even in a meeting.
- Call recording and call logging so that you can track your time and check up on details of a case.
- Name directory which invites clients to choose which employee or department to talk to, so as to give an impression of a large and well-organized practice.
Jive is particularly easy to use and intuitive to set up, making it a preferred VoIP provider for small legal practices that don’t have any IT employees to deal with complicated apps or infrastructure. You don’t need to buy any specific hardware, either – Jive can be used with any internet phone, which saves money for smaller firms.
Jive offers 80+ business features along with the ability to integrate directly with almost any application you choose. Its open API means that you can connect any homegrown or favorite business tool with the VoIP platform.
Some of the main features of Jive include:
- Intuitive and easy-to-use dashboard that makes it simple for small law firms to maintain VoIP functionality in-hous
- Unlimited auto attendants so that you can set up custom rules and schedules for virtual call handling.
- Voicemail to email transcription so that you can check voicemail even in meetings and preserve the transcriptions for future reference.
- Call recording to help lawyers listen back to check the details of a conversation.
- Plenty of integrations that include Office365, NetSuite, Outlook, and Google, as well as an open API for connection with homegrown apps.
- Powerful mobile app that includes video conferencing, split calls, and location-based call rules as well as changing your caller ID to a work profile when you call from within the app.
How Does VoIP Help Law Firms Cut Costs?
Whatever the size of your law firm, you’ll be happy to reduce your communications’ costs with a VoIP system. Most VoIP providers are able to offer much cheaper calls per minute locally, nationally, and internationally, thanks to the lower cost of internet-based calls when compared to traditional international calls.
The video-conferencing and audio conference call features also help law firms to save on transport costs and conference facilities since there's no longer a need to bring everyone together physically or shell out for meeting space. Finally, the ability to integrate existing business tools with your VoIP service means that there’s no need to buy new tools or get used to using a different system. You can start saving money on communications straight away with a VoIP solution for your law practice.