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Product Review: Smith.ai – Virtual Receptionist & Intake Services Powered by Machine Intelligence to Enhance Your Caller’s Experience

By June 12, 2018 No Comments

Smith.ai offers a new take on virtual receptionist services by combining the power of artificial intelligence (“AI”) with the strengths of a traditional call answering service.

Hours that mirror your working activity.

From the hours of 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM ET (6:00 AM to 6:00 PM PT) forward your law firm’s calls to stay focused on the tasks you must do during the day, while Smith.ai’s U.S.-based live receptionists handles your inbound and outbound calls.

Artificial intelligence – What makes Smith.ai different

In addition to routing the calls to a skilled team of virtual receptionists well versed in the unique needs of attorneys, Smith.ai’s proprietary system uses call data and smart integrations to enhance the productivity of its receptionists, along with the usefulness and efficiency of its service overall. It’s system can:

  • Detect whether a caller is a new or previous caller (so a returning client is greeted by name)
  • Block spam and unsolicited sales calls from over 20 million known spammers
  • Block wrong numbers and unwanted callers on the individual account level
  • Send live transfer requests via SMS and Slack
  • Trigger automatic call-backs by receptionists after web form leads are submitted
  • Instantly send call notes via email, SMS, or Slack
  • Direct-transfer numbers that have been “whitelisted”
  • Accept status changes via SMS (e.g., text “Do Not Disturb” when you arrive at court)

There are many benefits to Smith.ai’s AI-powered features, for example:

  • Detecting an existing caller means a personalized experience as soon as the call is picked up – it’s “Hi, Mr. Goodman” not “Hi, thanks for calling ABC law firm.”
  • Call handling is adjusted on the fly, so an impromptu lunch isn’t interrupted by call transfer requests.
  • Automated workflows happen when contact info and call notes are passed instantly to your CRM and calendar.
  • Web leads are captured instantly when receptionists are prompted to call back those who complete “contact us” forms.

Timely Text Message & Slack Notifications

Be alerted in nearly real-time with a text message (or Slack message) summary of the call immediately following its completion. To keep you working, and still apprised of activity without the need to check your email.

Lead Qualification & Intake

Many live answering services only answer and transfer calls, and take messages. Some may book appointments. But few, like Smith.ai, offer full lead qualification, client intake, payment processing, and appointment booking services that connect directly with your existing systems so all your records are in sync. Smith.ai works with most major legal CRMs and practice management software, including Clio, Lexicata, Infusionsoft, Rocket Matter, PracticePanther, and Filevine. They also integrate with many popular calendaring programs, like Calendly, Acuity, Appointy, ScheduleOnce, and Schedulista. Various integrations can also be achieved with custom workflows using Zapier.

Smith.ai receptionists can even help you monetize your “bad” leads by following your directions to refer potential clients to other attorneys you recommend in other practice areas or locations.

Per-Call Pricing

A distinct difference between Smith.ai and other solutions is their per-call pricing model. You purchase a “block of calls” for a base price, which includes 1 to 5 live transfer numbers(the phone numbers that can receive transferred calls from the receptionists). Then, add on services based on what you’d like done on the calls, or integrations with the software you use. It’s completely customizable. Plus, you’ll never pay for spam, sales or telemarketing calls, wrong numbers, or numbers you “whitelist” to bypass the receptionists and ring you directly. If you go over your monthly allotted calls, you’ll pay the same per-call rate, so there’s no penalty for overage. In addition to more predictable monthly bills, another major benefit of per-call pricing over per-minute pricing is that it’s much easier to track the ROI on marketing campaigns. If your receptionists are speaking with leads and taking in new clients, you can track the cost per call, whether it converted, and then identify your cost per lead and cost per new client, factoring in marketing costs that made the phone ring in the first place.

Optional Add-On Services

Because Smith.ai’s service is meant to keep interruptions and unexpected calls off your calendar their base service includes answering, transfer, and returning calls, taking messages, and basic lead qualification. From there, you have the option to “add-on” services for a small cost per call. Allowing you to customize your Smith.ai service package to do only what you need, with the option to change your arrangement from month to month. Add-on services include:

  • CRM Integration – Have call notes added to your CRM, practice management software, or system of choice.
  • Slack Notifications – Get notified via Slack when a caller qualifies for a live phone transfer, and accept or reject with the click of a button.
  • Appointment Booking – The team will schedule call-backs, in-person meetings, consultations, and more.
  • Accept Payments – Provide your Law Pay, Trial Pay, or PayPal page to the Smith.ai team to process caller payments and follow up with clients holding overdue balances
  • Complex Call Routing – Want your receptionists to ring you and your team based on different schedules? Prefer them to ring your team sequentially or all at once? You can set unique rules for each number, time of day, extension, and more.

In Summary

For law firms looking for the experience of an in-house receptionist at a small fraction of the price, Smith.ai is extremely flexible and affordable. Whether you have low call volume or receive 500 calls per month, their human-assisted, AI-powered service will help you reduce distractions, use your time wisely, and capture more of your leads.

LexTech Review readers get $50 off Smith.ai with code LEXTECH. This can be combined with Smith.ai’s 30-day/10-call free trial for a total savings of $110! Visit Smith.ai to get started with your free trial now  no credit card required.
Chelsey Lambert

Chelsey Lambert

Chelsey Lambert is a Legal Technology Specialist, published Author and CLE Speaker. As a former Practice Management Advisor for the Chicago Bar Association, and Vice President of Marketing for a leading case management provider she has seen our industry from many angles. Today, she works with vendors to bring their products or emerging technologies into the marketplace. And, teaches legal technology courses to lawyers all over the country sharing different ways technology can benefit their law firm. As Founder of Lex Tech Review and Lex Tech Media Group she welcomes the opportunity to chat!

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