Communicate. It’s Not Hard

When I speak at conferences to my colleagues, I tell them one of the best things you can do is pick up your phone when it rings. While this is true, this goes hand-in-hand with communication.
Sure that seems obvious. When I first moved to Kansas City from Columbia Missouri in 2011, I hit the streets to build my client lives. As far as local clients, I was starting over. That can be fun as well as a bit of a challenge.
in another blog post coming up, I will discuss how to get your foot in the door. But, as difficult as it is for me to do, when I meet a prospective client I try to shut my mouth and listen to what they have to say. One of the most prevalent complaints lawyers and paralegals have a process servers his lack of communication.  
They tell me that it’s hard to get a return phone call from a process server. I know right. This seems unusual coming from an attorney. And I mean that with a lot of love because attorneys pay my bills.
But, one of the main complaints I hear, is that it’s hard to get a hold of a process server for status of a report or returning an affidavit. I know, I get these phone calls or emails from law offices asking for information and it’s not always my fault. But it is my office.
If one of my process servers are not doing their job, it’s up to me not only to fix the problem but also suck it up and apologize.
Today, I had another processor and company contact me because the affidavit had not been returned within four days. I tell all my folks are target is two days or less since they have to go to a notary. Admittedly, this whole Covid thing has making getting a notary at times a challenge.  
So in the process server contacted me today about the affidavit, I told them that our process server has been having difficulty because the notary at the bank was only there a short time during the day and only by appointment.
Still, four days is too long. I apologized. I told them it’s my responsibility.
When I humbled myself and took responsibility, the tone changed. They thanked me and told me they appreciated me.
I am immediately emailed my server. Within minutes, I don’t only had the affidavit back but I had it forwarded to my client. I didn’t make them feel bad for something that was our responsibility. 
We had an out-of-state process serving company contact us when we could go today to do a job for them. I told them I would send them the pre-payment link. After sending automated reminders since last Friday, I thought it might be best to pick up the phone.  
It wasn’t a huge deal because we had not served pending the payment, but I wanted to know how to proceed.
I called the process server client.. The person who answered the phone says he probably mailed the check, but why dont I call him.  I said (as politely as I could) ma'am, I'm calling his office now.  Could you please relay the message as to where we are on this?
I couldn’t believe that it wasn’t enough that I called the office. If the person I needed to talk to was an in, I expected them to take a message and just have them call me or email me. Instead, they wanted me to contact another person. Point in fact, at this point, this is the only phone number and email I had for their company. 
I was polite but it just left me disappointed. I’m thinking, if they weren’t responsive to me, they probably aren’t responsive to clients. 
We use the dickens out of our process service database. When we get a new job in, after it’s in it in the database we enter a email notification in the database to tell the client it has been assigned to our server. I think it makes them feel good to know that it’s out the door.  
I also have a saying in our office, if it’s not documented in our app it didn’t happen. It’s not good enough for our server to email or text me and let me know what’s happening on the job. I paid good money for the app so I expect them to put it in the app so both me and the client see it at the same time.  
Granted, sometimes they need my guidance as to the kind of information the client might be looking for and I appreciate that. But then I encourage them to put it in the app so the client gets notification and it’s also documented for anybody in the office that opens that job.
So, as I told some colleagues on a Facebook forum today, if you want more business and you want to take it away from your competitors, market the fact that you communicate. But then really do it!
I guarantee that if my fellow process servers follow this credo, their business will grow.


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