Back to Blog

Fri December 11 2020, 2:37 // Posted by Matthew Fong

Smith.ai’s virtual receptionist service can benefit your law firm.

Corvum values quality service and is proud to support legal practitioners in their field. This also includes other companies who care about the legal field that are reliable and dependable by attorneys. We have the privilege of being affiliated partners with Smith.ai, whose services supplement the hard work legal professionals do. Learn more about Smith.ai, its mission, and how virtual receptionists can support your legal practice!

Briefly describe Smith.ai’s services.

Smith.ai enables businesses of all sizes to capture and convert leads with 24/7 outsourced virtual receptionists and staffed live chat. Smith.ai’s receptionists provide 24/7 call and chat answering services during business hours, after-hours, out of office, and for temporary coverage to ensure businesses are always available to their leads and clients. And they don’t just answer and transfer calls; our receptionists take real work off your plate when they: 

What is Smith.ai’s origin story?

Smith.ai was founded in 2015 by Aaron Lee and Justin Maxwell with the mission of helping business owners succeed. 

Justin’s mother owned a graphic design studio, and witnessed first-hand the overhead of running the business dominated the daily schedule. 

Aaron, Co-Founder of RedBeacon and later CTO of Home Depot, spent time with thousands of professionals across industries hearing the same story: it’s hard to be excellent at what you do if you don’t always have time to do it.

What inspired the choice of company name?

The name Smith has been associated with experts in their respective craft. These experts ranged from blacksmiths, who forged goods from iron or steel, to wordsmiths, who used written words to communicate ideas and tell stories. Today’s “smiths” are lawyers and accountants, among other professionals, using their specialized skills to better serve their clients. Smith.ai was founded to support these experts, providing quality answering services enabling them to focus on their expertise.

Smith.ai’s 24/7 outsourced virtual receptionists support law firms of all sizes with:

What separates Smith.ai from other companies in the field?

Our service charges clients per-call and/or per-chat, not per-minute like many in our space. Bills are more predictable; businesses are never charged for unwanted conversations and it’s easier to calculate ROI.

Smith.ai also utilizes more technology, constantly developing a high-tech platform that our agents use to answer calls and chats more intelligently. Smith.ai integrates with many CRMs and Zapier, and offers features like language translation and conflict checkers to assist law firms. We create technology to do everything it can and let our receptionists do what it can’t: assist your leads and clients with empathy, warmth, and professionalism.

Do clients have to purchase a new number for your services?

Clients can port their existing number to Smith.ai (landline, mobile, or cell number) from their carrier at no extra cost. Or, if they need a new number, we’ll provide one for free.

We also offer customized blocking based on client requests. There is no limit to the number of callers that can be blocked. Lists of numbers can be uploaded in bulk via CSV.

Image of woman receptionist smiling while on call using a black headset with her left hand touching the left side of the headset.

How does Smith.ai handle spam calls?

Smith.ai uses artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically block over 20 million known spammers so these calls never reach our receptionists. If a spam call gets through our filter, receptionists flag and block it as a spam call — we never charge for them. Automated spam blocking is enabled by default for all accounts.

If a call comes in that is mismarked as a relevant call, you can click a link in the call summary to block the caller and you won’t be charged for the call. We truly want to help your business — which means never charging for the calls you didn’t want anyway.

What can clients expect when signing up for a free trial?

Clients signing up for a free trial of our virtual receptionist service can expect the following:

  1. After creating your account, we will onboard your business, generate a phone number, and then you can start sending your calls to our receptionists.
    • No credit card information is required for the free trial
  2. At the end of 14 days, or 20 calls — whichever comes first — we’ll recommend a plan based on how many calls you had during the trial and you can sign up to continue having your calls answered. 

Clients signing up for a free trial of our live chat service can expect the following:

  1. After creating your account, we will onboard your business. When your chat widget is installed on your website (we’re more than happy to help with installation), we will start answering your web chats. You can also use your account for SMS and Facebook message answering.
  2. At the end of 14 days, or 20 chats — whichever comes first — we’ll recommend a plan based on how many chats you had during the trial and you can sign up to continue having your chats answered.

Can you share a recent success story from one of your customers?

A small West Coast-based law firm had great success with both our AI-enabled chatbot and live chat service. Starting June 2019, they had the chatbot available on every page of their website before transitioning to live chat service in May 2020. 

While using the chatbot on their website from June 2019 through May 2020, they captured over 200 leads and converted 10% into new clients, grossing over $60,000 in revenue. When they shifted to our live chat service, they added the live chat widget on select pages of their business website. From May 2020 onward, they captured over 100 leads and converted 15% into new clients while grossing over $75,000 in revenue. 

Another success story from one of our clients is Chicago-based law firm Nyman IP. Nyman IP was looking to add the professional yet inviting presence of a live receptionist to their business to create memorable first impressions with leads and clients. So naturally, they turned to Smith.ai’s virtual receptionist service to make it happen! 

Here is what Founding Member Scott Nyman had to say about us:

“I’ve used their services since 2015 and don’t know how I could live without them now. A live person answers each call with the greeting I select, hands the call over to me with an introduction, and prepares a summary of each call sent by email… I have an IP boutique practice, so my new leads call with pretty much patent, trademark, or copyright needs. The Smith receptionists are better at classifying some lead’s IP needs than the lead themselves. Smith.ai also screens out solicitors or anyone else I don’t want to take calls from. It’s all so customized that it feels as if I have a dedicated receptionist. The prices are super affordable, too. Highly recommended!”

The adoption of legal technology is going to continue to grow, both as a result of the recent pandemic and industry changes. The pandemic has pushed businesses to work remotely and for solo practitioners and small firms, this can be challenging. This new reality means attorneys will have to rely more on various technological solutions to grow their business. Software solutions like CRMs, marketing automation, and scheduling will continue to increase in demand as businesses try to better manage their leads and clients remotely.

One recent industry change relates to the way leads and clients communicate with businesses. They are no longer just calling into your business: Many consumers now prefer to chat online, send businesses text messages (seriously), and engage on social media.  Attorneys need to adjust quickly to this trend as the general public demands it. Now, more than ever, being responsive is essential for growth. The first business to respond to a potential client usually wins that business. It’s important for businesses to be responsive on all communication channels including phone, web, SMS, and on social media platforms.

Hiring a dedicated tech-savvy in-house receptionist, working in an office or remotely, can be out of budget for solo practitioners and small firms.We can expect more of these businesses to consider affordable alternatives by outsourcing their answering services to experienced virtual receptionists that can collaborate with new technology.

Who is one of Smith.AI’s heroes and why?

Sonia Lakhany is a longtime Smith.ai client, a brand ambassador, and our hero. She has been on the forefront of using technology to streamline her practice so she can focus on her expertise. Furthermore, as she learned new tricks for offloading the firm work that doesn’t require a lawyer, she has spent countless hours teaching other lawyers what she knows. Because she has been a true believer in our mission, she has recommended us to many businesses, allowing us to quickly grow over the past few years. We are grateful to have brand ambassadors like Sonia!

Do you have any special offers or discounts you want to share?

New clients can sign up for Smith.ai Virtual Receptionist and/or Live Chat services using the promo code CORVUM and receive $100 OFF their first month. Smith.ai’s services seamlessly integrate with law firms already using Corvum. Our receptionists will qualify leads, perform client intake, schedule appointments, conduct conflict checks with leads, accept payments, and everything else needed to help your law firm operate and grow.