Dustin Murphy was stepping into his future, with law school behind him and his new practice before him. He needed to make the most of the opportunities his law degree afforded him because he had financed his entire education; the young attorney had saddled himself with $150,000 in student loans. Instead of renting his plush office space, he bartered with the landlord, offering a monthly legal retainer in exchange for his upscale accommodations. He also picked up an impressive array of office furniture and accessories, on the cheap, from a middle-aged attorney who abruptly shut down his practice during some midlife crisis. Instead of hiring an expensive legal secretary, as all his classmates had done, he relied on a virtual assistant or VA. His VA was a highly skilled legal professional, with years of experience. But he only paid her for the time actually worked, without having the burden of providing expensive benefits or the hassle of handling payroll. She simply provided him with an itemized invoice each month, and he wrote one check. There was no withholding to handle, taxes to remit, or government reports to fill out. It was easy peasy, as his kid sister was fond of saying. For his office phone, he used voicemail to answer calls quickly when he was meeting with a client, in court, or out of the office. Everything worked great – except for his voicemail. It just didn’t match the impressive image he sought to portray to his high-end clientele. What he needed was a sort of VA receptionist. On a whim, he typed the phrase “virtual receptionist” into his search engine. He expected nothing, but the results shocked him. The local telephone answering service offered something they called a virtual receptionist. With mounting excitement, he read their online description of this promising service. It matched exactly what he needed. First and most important, their virtual receptionists were real people, not an automated solution or computerized attempt to mimic a person. Their virtual receptionists also had extensive training in telephone etiquette and customer service skills. Just like his VA they would work remotely, which was good because he lacked the office space. When he wanted them to answer his phone, he simply call-forwarded it to them. There was even an option for them to serve as his backup, answering his phone if it rang more than three times. They would take messages or otherwise note every call. His virtual receptionist would email him routine messages and text him with urgent ones. Plus, the service automatically recorded every call-in case he ever needed it for legal purposes or verification. In addition, his virtual receptionist could provide callers with basic information about his practice and the types of clients he worked with. As a bonus, they could schedule meetings for him, using a virtual scheduling app that both he and they could access in real time. Plus, just like his VA, they would send him one itemized invoice each month. Having a virtual receptionist was truly easy peasy. Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer from Southwest Michigan. Contact us to learn how a virtual receptionist can professionally answer your calls, take messages, schedule meetings, and serve your clients 24/7.