Q: Tell me a bit about your firm.
We are a boutique law firm that represents mostly individuals and entities that buy and sell real estate, as well as banks that lend money for real estate. We represent a lot of institutional lenders, both small, regional lenders and national banks. We represent local developers as well as banks that are based in New York and other states that lend money to clients here in Massachusetts. We are a 16-attorney firm with a total of 34 employees, including paralegals and others.
Q: Before you implemented HeyWire Business, what were the communications challenges you faced internally and externally?
One of the challenges that businesses like ours face is that e-mail has become so prevalent, so well-used, that the problem is ' you get so many emails that the things that are crucial, critical or time sensitive don't necessarily fit into the 'box' of the e-mail world. I may step away and come back from a meeting and find I have a couple hundred e-mails I have to filter through. There's also the challenge of voicemails ' many of which are long and detailed. Texting is also important to clients and important contacts ' we use texting as a way to get them their short message quicker than with e-mail. But one of the challenges was how do you prioritize messages to and from clients. A lot of them are business partners, brokers and lenders who use their cellphones on a regular basis and use their cell phones to text. One of the interesting concepts we got to was, how can we give clients one number rather than multiple numbers, and not have to ask my staff to give their personal cell phone numbers to people, while putting me in a position to still be able to monitor what's being transmitted for compliance reasons.
Q: But previously your primary means of communications was through e-mail?
Telephone, fax and e-mail. But I realized the HeyWire solution could be an excellent one for businesses, where you could have a desktop platform for clients and do work off your computer rather than your phone keyboard. And let's face it ' a text takes ten seconds, while listening to and responding to a voicemail can take ten minutes. The productivity increase is incredible.
Q: How did you implement HeyWire and was it difficult to do so?
It was very easy'HeyWire basically came in and did a quick tutorial to my staff on how to use it, sent out a link and it was pretty straightforward to access from to desktops. For me, it's just one of the tabs that opens when I log in to my computer ' it's there right when I log on, and I put in my credentials and I'm ready to use it.
Q: Did it take your employees awhile to get used to it?
We have a pretty tech-savvy workforce, so no, we didn't have any issues with them learning how to use it. It's a pretty straightforward app. Most of my staff uses text already'so there were no problems. It was very easy to deploy.
Q: And what about your clients?
Initially, some of them were kind of surprised to be getting a text from what they considered a landline number. Once they got used to it, it's on their (mobile) device and the thread is there, they embraced it. Fortunately for us, our client base considers us to be ahead of the curve on technology so as a result, I don't think they were surprised, but intrigued by the concept of having one number to connect with us by phone or by text.
Q: Are there any other ways that HeyWire has benefitted your firm?
Obviously there are tremendous productivity increases ' we can be responsive much more quickly than through more traditional means of communication. The great thing about smartphones is that there are so many apps now ' using HeyWire, for example, I can send them a link with directions to a meeting and it opens right up in Google Maps. Obviously, I could do that by e-mail too, but it is pretty special to be able to do that via text messaging.
You can follow Kosta on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/kligris