The quality of your Boston virtual office goes much deeper than just an address. Follow this article to discover why your Boston virtual office matters to them.
Two key reasons why solo attorneys use a virtual office in a city like Boston are: to have a professional address in the city and to have a flexible office available for meetings.
Essentially, solo lawyers choose a Boston virtual office in order to make a good impression on their clients. However, sometimes it can be difficult for lawyers to get into the mindset of their ideal client and really understand what they expect. It’s not always easy for lawyers to experience a situation completely through their client’s eyes.
Here is an example of the process a client might go through when searching for an attorney and why your Boston virtual office will matter to them.
Looking for a lawyer
From a client’s perspective, if they need a lawyer for any reason, then they will want the best. But how do you determine who’s the best?
Perhaps a close friend referred an attorney, which makes the search a little easier. However, people don’t make decisions based solely on recommendations so they will undoubtedly do some research on this attorney.
So they type his or her name into Google and see what comes up in the search results. The firm website looks impressive and their social media presence looks credible. Additionally, they see that the attorney has an office in Boston, which means they must be successful.
Everything looks great so far, so the next they set up a consultation. This is where the real test begins.
Evaluating the receptionist
Before meeting the attorney, your potential clients are going to meet the receptionist. This simple step will have a huge impact on your client’s experience. There are several qualities of a good receptionist that most people will be looking for (consciously or subconsciously) after walking in.
Did the receptionist make them feel acknowledged? Were they greeted with warmth and a smile? Were they able to answer questions confidently and appear competent?
It’s highly likely that your potential clients don’t know that you use a virtual office so they’ll probably assume the staff are your employees. Thus, you should expect these employees to provide the same type of helpful and responsive service that any lawyer would require for their firm. If the receptionist at your virtual office can make a great impression and help the potential client feel at ease, then it will be much easier to retain that client.
Evaluating the office quality
From the moment they walk into your office, your potential client is going to be forming an opinion of you, trying to determine whether your level of professionalism and competency aligns with their expectations. As humans, we judge new people the second we meet them. And that judgment can be amplified for lawyers because you’re going to be helping people through often difficult and very personal matters.
The potential client might analyze everything from the way you dress to the way you speak to decide if they want to hire you. But on top of this, they are going to be looking at the office/conference room that they are sitting in. Think about it, if you went to a doctors office that was dirty and gross, then you probably wouldn’t want them to treat you. The same principle applies to lawyers and their offices. The office needs to make a good impression.
They will notice if the walls look like they haven’t been painted in a while or if the furniture looks cheap. No one wants to hire an attorney who’s giving them advice from a folding table and lawn chair.
Does the office say something about the attorney’s competency?
People have certain expectations about an attorney’s appearance and what their office environment will be like.
They probably expect a lawyer’s office to be, well, lawyerly. Something that is befitting of the seriousness of the legal matter that they are coming to discuss with you. A proper law office has certain features that other offices simply do not have.
An open concept office suite with beer taps, concrete floors and glass walls may work for some industries; however, if someone comes to you to talk about their contentious child custody case, then they probably don’t want the entire office will hear/see their conversation.
Using a virtual office space that doesn’t look or feel like a law office may signal to clients that you don’t take your practice seriously and, therefore, will not appreciate the seriousness of their case.
You have to remember, the client experience isn’t only about returning emails on time and doing good work. You have to manage expectations constantly on several fronts!
As an attorney, your address, the office staff and the way your office looks could make or break a client’s decision to hire you. Your Boston virtual office should not only represent who you are as an attorney but meet your potential clients’ perception of you as well.