John DiJulius | Customer Experience Blog


THE CARTER MARIO EXPERIENCE
Carter Mario Injury Lawyers

Carter Mario Injury Lawyers

Carter Mario Injury Lawyers, with four offices throughout the state of Connecticut, has an average annual growth of at least 20 percent over the past five years. However, sales were not always strong. In 2002, the law firm was stagnant largely due to low service aptitude. That is when Carter Mario, CEO and President, a person who is passionate about service, decided to buy out his partners in the law firm. “Our service culture had to change in order for us to differentiate from the rest of the pack and to survive,” says Mario. “We adopted a service culture that has enabled us to become one of the fastest growing law firms in the state. Most law firms still do not understand the service nature of our business and really do not understand that people have a choice. We have identified all of the traditional problems within our profession from a service perspective and have successfully branded ourselves as a firm who cares for our clients.”

One of the single biggest complaints in the legal industry from clients is poor communication between clients and lawyers. “We made this the number one priority in our office: Client contact. We guarantee we will return the client’s call the same day or lunch is on us. It is a non-negotiable part of everyone’s job here,” says Mario.

Many organizations attend my Secret Service workshops and have had great success at going back and implementing their own Secret Service systems. However, not many have been as successful and committed as Carter Mario. After returning from attending a Secret Service workshop, the management team at Carter Mario instituted a procedure for capturing information about each client in a format that allows everyone access. They were able to customize the software they use, which was made for attorneys, by adding a “Secret Service Tab.” This tab contains vital customer intelligence, such as preferred refreshment, client’s eye color, birth date, spouse and other family members’ names, children’s ages, hobbies, past vacations, even pet’s name.

The use of personal information literally blows clients away. They use the Secret Service tab to execute what Carter Mario calls “drive-bys,” where a staff member makes a seemingly spontaneous visit with a client who is in the office, just to say hello and say something personal, which is retrieved from the client’s Secret Service tab. Mario says, “By knowing names of their spouse, kids, hobbies, and any other personal nugget, it helps build our client equity. We do this with everyone we come in contact with: claims adjusters, opposing attorneys, judges, court reporters, everyone.” It is not uncommon for a Carter Mario employee to leave the building and go to the deli to get their client their favorite drink. “We have continuously received great responses from our clients, and a collateral benefit has been that our staff members doing the drive-bys really enjoy the responses they’ve received, and it pumps them up,” says Mario.

Carter Mario has a long list of “non-negotiable” standards. Here are a few more examples:

  • We are available 24/7
  • All clients get a call back same day or lunch is on Carter
  • At 8:45 am every day they conduct a “morning huddle” to communicate with staff on the priorities of the day as well as sharing “customer intelligence” on any clients who are visiting the office that day.
  • Front desk is never left unattended.
  • Any staff member to come within five feet of a client is to smile, look at the client in the eye, and say hello.
  • Clients are offered Carter Mario umbrellas during poor weather.
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3 Comments

This is great stuff. Thanks for sharing your “secrets”.

Comment by New York Traffic Lawyer

Outstanding ideas! Thank you for sharing and for inspiring me to take a similar action in our office. I believe that having an exceptional experience will create relationships that will include referrals.

Comment by Kathleen

It’s great to see other professionals taking the customer service route. Often we professionals rely solely on our expertise to bring people in the front doors. A focus on service is a stark differentiator.

Mike
The Seeing Eye Blog

Comment by eidauk




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