I did something unusual the other day. I accidentally left my cell phone at home. Since I use my cell phone as my primary number, this created a little bit of a dilemma. I called my wife and had her leave a message stating that I could only be reached at our primary office number (land line).
When I got home, there were fifteen missed calls. I don't know whether that is the average number of calls I get in a day. We had a major ice storm in our town and most everything was closed down. I suspect that this number was on the low side.
The interesting thing was the comment from Jenny at the end of the day. She had to field all of the calls that would normally come directly to me. She commented at how little she was able to get done while fielding all of the calls would have otherwise come to my cell phone.
I don't necessarily answer every call that comes through on my cell. I do screen my calls. I also don't let calls interrupt me when I am in the middle of something. Voice-mail is a great tool of communication. In many instances it is better for my clients to leave me a message with some information about their problem prior to me calling them back. That way I can grab the right documents or get the information that the client needs.
I wonder how much time is wasted in law firms on the inefficiency of call routing. In many law firms, the phone call goes to the receptionist and then to the secretary even when the caller wants the attorney on the line. Setting aside the fact that you are absolutely wasting your clients time by making them talk to two meaningless people on their journey to your line. What a waste of internal resources for law firms. If you want to increase the productivity of your staff, take them out of the endless loop of inactivity. The number one wasted activity, in my book, is routing callers through a maze of support staff.
Today's lesson is clear. Jenny is able to get far more done in a day because she doesn't have to deal with answering and forwarding calls to me.