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Aug 9 2013

10 Ways to Keep Civil Process Service Clients Happy

As anyone who is involved with civil process service knows, the concept of serving papers is a simple one, but the business of it can be pretty complicated, especially if it handles civil process service nationwide. Here are 10 ways Firefly Legal stays successful and keeps their civil process service clients happy.

1. Know & Abide by Civil Process Rules & Regulations 

Not much is worse for a client than to send documents out for service and not have the server abide by the state’s regulations.  Not abiding by rules can jeoparidize not only the service, but the clients’ case, as well. At Firefly, our Civil Process Supervisor, Randy Mucha, is always on top of civil process rules and regulations, which vary by state and can change. He is a member of the executive board on ILAPPS, the Illinois Association of Professional Process Servers. He stays up to speed with what’s going on in civil process service in Illinois, as well as in all of the other states we service. Beyond that, Randy makes sure that our civil process servers, and any vendors we work with, are aware of the regulations and  that they abide by them.

2. No Cutting Corners

In this business, ethical, honest process servers are highly important. We don’t cut corners, and we don’t promise the world. Our servers take detailed notes that get included on the affidavit. They make multiple attempts if they’re not able to reach the defendant. Our civil process servers are diligent, hardworking, honest, and professional. We don’t tolerate rude behavior, and we don’t tolerate sloppy service. For us, it has to not just meet the minimum standards, but the service we provide has to be top notch.

3. Regular Self-Reporting

It’s easy to say that our servers are top notch, but it’s another thing to prove it. Firefly conducts regular self-reporting to make sure that everything we do is up to par. We keep track of serve times, non-serves, and a number of in-office quality controls. Beyond our own reporting, we also provide our clients performance reports. It’s important to us that our clients know we’re listening, and we’re paying attention.

4. Firefly Respects & Listens to Clients 

At Firefly, we see our clients as business partners. We’re on their side. When they need something done, we’re happy to do it. When last minute changes are imposed by our clients’ clients, we take action right away to get on board and to make our clients’ jobs easier. Recently, one of our largest clients told us “Thanks for getting this in place- for the record, I’m pretty sure you were the last of our vendors to hear about this, and the first to deliver a testable product. I really appreciate your prompt attention!” Whether it’s a change our IT department needs to complete, or a regulation change that must be communicated to our servers, we adapt with urgency.

5. We Don’t Rush Our Clients

When a potential client is considering using us, we understand that it’s a big decision. There are a lot of logistical changes that have to be made, and we know that’s not an easy switch. Instead of rushing our potential clients, we allow them to breathe. We try to be easy to work with and flexible. When the time does come that they want to switch to us, we make sure to carefully listen to their needs and implement them accordingly. We don’t rush through the on-boarding process, instead, we take the time to work through all of the questions. When we start processing work, things go much more smoothly.

6.  Open Communication

When our clients have questions on the status of service or need an update for their client, we make sure that we don’t leave them in the dark. Once we receive documents, we provide our clients with a confirmation. They know we’re ready to work on them. We also provide our clients multiple ways to get in touch with us: email (, phone (877-963-3534, option 2), and even with live chat on our website. Additionally, we offer a secure online website in which clients with a login can access their files.

7. Updated Technology

You need to email us documents? No problem. Firefly is up to date on the latest technology. You won’t hear us tell you no. Additionally, our servers are equipped with our own civil process service app. We were one of the first to come out with this technology, and we’ve stayed on top of it. Additionally, we offer our clients a secure online website to use to check the status of their files, print invoices, and download affidavits.  Our IT team can also build a bridge to make sure documents are transmitted seamlessly.

8. We Go the Extra Mile

At Firefly, our servers and court filers make sure that they are doing their job above and beyond what they’re paid to do- because they want to. We have a family atmosphere, which we talked about in our last blog post. Our court filers can pick up on a schedule that our clients dictate, not the other way around. Our filers offer to help, wait or whatever they can do to make things easier for our clients. Our servers are available when our clients need rush services. Our servers are prepared if they’re needed in court, and we follow up to make sure that they’ve done well. We work hard, and we’re proud of it.

9. We Admit When We’re Wrong

We’re human. Though we would love to tell our clients that we’re never going to make a mistake, we know that’s just not true. We try to stay on top of things so we can intervene before mistakes happen, but sometimes they do. When that happens, we own up to our mistakes and learn from them. Any time something doesn’t go as planned, we look at it as a learning experience where we can gain something positive from the experience. We’ve found our clients appreciate our accountability. We don’t engage in the blame game, and we make sure our clients’ needs are met- bottom line.

 10. We Stand By Our Service

We’ve been in the business since 1996, and we wouldn’t be in it if we weren’t passionate about what we do. We care about our clients. We know that we’re carrying out due process. We’re about honesty, integrity, fairness and good old fashioned hard work. And we stand by it. If our clients are ever unhappy with our service, we evaluate the situation and see where things went wrong. We welcome open lines of communication. If we made a mistake, we admit it, fix it, and make sure our clients leave the situation satisfied with the outcome. If that means giving them their money back or trying the serve again at no charge, we do it. We’re not afraid to stand by our service.

These are the ways we keep our clients happy. What feedback have you heard from clients? Let’s talk about it. Comment here or let us know on Twitter or Facebook. We’re listening!

May 23 2013

Trend Watch: Social Media Gains Momentum as Legitimate Source

Social media: it allows people to connect and communicate online, on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In among others. Where does it belong in the legal world?

Today, many people live their lives on social media. It easily provides a snapshot of their life. It tells their story, and for many, it’s a part of who they are. It’s very public and yet very personal. So, as social media permeates much of our lives, our news, and our way of life, why should we continue to eliminate this powerful source of communication as a viable means to communicate legal information, to be involved in the legal process, and be part of the legal industry?  Read on to find out about some recent examples of how social media is beginning to invade the legal industry.

After the terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon in April, the Boston PD jumped on to Twitter, informing the public, and in a sense, controlling the conversation. Without joining the conversation, they couldn’t have any iota of input- it was going to happen with or without them. They chose to be involved. Twitter isn’t just for kids anymore. It turned out to be an excellent form of communication and it allowed for real-time updates about the situation as it unfolded. It was definitely appropriate, worthwhile, and it served as an excellent example of how social media can be positive, even during a terrible time, and even for a police department.

Recently, the Chicago Tribune reported that Illinois introduced legislation that would offer stiffer penalties for individuals convicted of using social media to organize flash mob attacks. Social media is in the law books. While the safety of this law is what’s at heart, the public has questioned whether or not this is allowing the government to be too intrusive, as it also allows law enforcement to have access  to location data from Internet Service Providers without a subpoena or a warrant. With social media, privacy is an incredibly fine line that gets blurred, especially from the government. What is personal, what is public? Does this law go too far?

Social media is something that is happening all around us; a phenomenon that is now a part of our culture. But where do we draw the line? As a member of the process serving industry, (and as an individual in marketing) I can honestly say that though I am a big fan of social media, it just can’t replace personal process service. Recall that we identified just reasons why service via social media might not be the best option for superior service by highlighting the challenges that could arise from civil process service via social media. Check out the link in case you missed it.

Again- it’s about choosing where social media is appropriate. The only problem with that is the public can’t seem to unanimously agree. To many in the civil process service field, social media could never replace civil process service the way that we know it. Though clearly, some attorneys are a fan as they are working to introduce it into legislation, and already have in states such as Texas and  Utah. However, that is not to say social media can’t be of any assistance in our industry; many firms that also do skip tracing will use social media to try and locate individuals. Process servers use social media to exchange ideas, to get updates on the industry as legislation is always changing. So, though we don’t want it to take over what we do, it’s intrusion into our industry isn’t wholly unwelcome.

Social media can also serve as a legitimate medium for legal notices in other arenas; for example, legal notices that would otherwise be published in newspapers could potentially be found on Facebook. An example of this appeared on April 2, 2013, the SEC announced that social media is OK for company announcements, so long as investors are alerted. Forbes highlighted in the May 15th article, “The Impact of the SEC’s Social Media Pronouncement” that the impact of this announcement is remarkable, though some companies, such as GE, “would continue to rely on news releases to communicate material information.” And though they may rely on news releases, it doesn’t mean that they won’t include social media as a viable platform to disseminate information. This is a situation where social media can no longer be excluded, yet it definitely can’t replace the current media.

No matter which way you turn, social media is in the process serving industry, in the legal industry, and in the general public. More and more instances are going to come up where social media’s legitimacy is questioned- whether or not it should be legislated, utilized, or even considered a valid source. It’s definitely a trend that commands attention as it is gaining serious momentum.

These were just a few examples; where else have you encountered social media in the legal world and how do you feel about it? Join us on Twitter @fireflylegal to discuss.

process servers and social media