Why You Should Use Virtual Assistants to Reduce Costs
The business landscape has changed for law firms. Many attribute this to the recent recessions and how law firms had to respond to them to stay in business. This typically involved finding ways to cut costs and become more efficient. Most lawyers agree that these changes are not done and in fact may be accelerating.
Clients themselves are one of the driving forces behind these changes. They want lawyers to provide more services at lower costs. They're also pushing for lower hourly rates and more alternative pricing options. Yet, they're still demanding the same customer service.
How Law Firms are Combating These Realities
Discounting prices can only satisfy clients to an extent. No law firm can risk reducing pricing to the point that it starts affecting the bottom line. They still need to pay staff and take care of overhead expenses. Clients, however, have made it clear that they will shop around and find the best deal with the most to offer.
One way law firms are reducing costs is through technology, i.e. having a remote office or using social media and their website for marketing as opposed to hiring a full-time salesperson. Another avenue is outsourcing “paper pushing" to further reduce costs and to focus on strategic law work.
Virtual Assistants for Administrative Tasks
A lawyer still needs to do all of the strategic legal work, but items such as mailing motions, typing up letters and other administrative tasks can be outsourced to a virtual assistant. Virtual assistants can be taught repetitive tasks. This eliminates the need for a full-time administrative staff member.
Virtual assistants are also excellent at fielding phone calls from current and potential clients. They can be given talking points and scripts to learn in order to provide information about the company or gather information for forms. They can make follow-up calls, schedule appointments, send reminders and any other administrative tasks that are needed.
Virtual Assistant Benefits
While technology is excellent for reducing costs on certain tasks, most people still want to be able to speak to someone about their issue. A virtual assistant can provide that critical piece of customer service even with a reduced staff. Customer service could make the difference between someone using one firm versus another.
Another benefit of virtual assistants is that businesses only pay for the hours that the assistants work – not the time when they're making coffee or speaking with coworkers. They don't require benefits, and they're always available – no downtime when a staff member is out. These savings can be passed on to clients in the form of lower prices that don't affect margins.
The legal landscape has changed. Clients want more for a lot less. One way law firms can respond to these challenging times is with virtual assistants.