I’ve talked about voicemail in the past regarding issues like having your office phone answered by a human (here and here)  and tips on leaving a voicemail message

Tom Collins at morepartnerincome.com has another post on voicemail where he raises the issue whether the device is a friend or foe. Since communications are so critically important for good attorney-client relations, Tom offers several good suggestions on how to ensure that the use of the system doesn’t have adverse consequences.

  • If you give out your direct number, don’t hide behind it so callers always end up in voicemail, and begin thinking that you’re avoiding them (good idea to give the opportunity to bail out to a human);
  • Have receptionist offer the opportunity to leave a traditional message or go into voicemail; and
  • As to your outgoing message, make sure to:
  1. State your name clearly (so they know they have reached the right person),
  2. Update message often (if not daily),
  3. Indicate whether you are checking for messages, or when you will be back,
  4. Encourage caller to leave a detailed message (so they won’t fear being cut off prematurely), and
  5. Give indication when calls will be returned – late afternoon, the next day, within 4 hours, etc.

Voicemail can certainly be a friend, if it is used to enhance communications rather than frustrate them.