Monday, June 18, 2018
It is no mystery that electronics have shaped our world and technology is only exponentially changing. New updates, versions, and devices are invading our lives whether we accept them or not. Process service is not immune to change, but if servers can adapt, they can guide their businesses to success.
Many courts already require e-filing so make sure that you are offering this service. Even if lawyers or individuals can electronically file documents themselves, process servers can provide a superior product by offering research and ensuring the paperwork is correct. If it is easier for someone to hire you versus e-file paperwork themselves, you can guarantee business. Take the time to become an e-filing pro in your area so that you are not left behind the curve.
Don’t expect your customers to find you; put effort into advertising your business directly where your customers are. That means industry networks, process server associations, courthouses, and bar associations. You can take it one step further and offer your services directly to the local courts, or see if they have an affiliate or referral program. To get started, research courthouse and state bar associations, process server associations, and industry networks like ServeNow.
For more personal marketing, research law firms in your area and reach out. While they may already have a process server on retainer, it’s worth a quick introductory email to offer your services and prove why you are the best option in town.
A savvy process server won’t just maintain the status quo. In order to make sure that you remain successful, research new technology that can aid accurately serving papers. There are multiple platforms that can make your day-to-day business operations easier, and help you serve. Just because something is working, doesn’t mean it can’t be better. Look into process serving software, upgrade your email to Gmail, and consider easier ways to accept credit cards.
Additionally, it’s important to recognize new technology that people are using every day that can change process serving. Doorbells like Ring and security cameras impact process servers, so take note how that changes your go-to routine, and how it may fit into applicable laws.
If you aren’t taking advantage of existing technology, you risk falling further behind and never catching up to process servers who embraced new ways to serve papers. GPS not only helps get you to the right address to serve papers, but it can help verify to the courts and your client that the papers are served to the right location. GPS makes your jobs easier while also improving success rates.
Electronic service of process is growing in popularity, so take the time to research applicable laws in your state, and keep that tool in your back pocket. You may have to get court approval to serve documents electronically (through social media, email, etc.) but having the knowledge and skill set to do so will help keep your business thriving.
Body cameras are a useful piece of technology that help protect process servers or provide evidence of service. In Denver, a process server provided clear evidence through his body camera that not only did he had the correct individual to serve, but that his claim of violent threat was true when a man pulled a gun on him while attempting to serve papers. Process servers everywhere should consider body cameras when serving routine paperwork should they come across a similar situation, or need proof of service.
The future of process serving should also include better safety measures, so utilizing technology like Erin’s List is a smart option for process servers. Erin’s List allows servers to report dangerous incidences in order to inform and protect future servers who may visit the same location.
Even if you aren’t “techy,” it’s still vital to recognize where technology is going and how the future of process serving fits within these new tools and trends. Being aware of new technology gives you an edge because you will be able to readily apply new techniques should the technology become relevant to the legal industry. If you are left wondering what a new technology is after it’s become mainstream in process serving, you are already behind. Therefore, don’t immediately dismiss tech news or “buzzwords” you hear – do some research to see if it’s applicable to your business.
One example of legal technology trends is the Blockchain. Blockchain is an unmodifiable online digital ledger; Blockchain keeps track of transactions. Initially, it may seem like a tool strictly for online currency like Bitcoin, but a proof of concept Blockchain and process serving tool is on the horizon. This application program interface (API) tool would keep a digital ledger of successful service of process recorded in ServeManager to a blockchain, with the potential to become a new, digital affidavit.
Don’t dismiss “un-servable” papers – use them as a way to find new processes, services, and technology to effectuate service. Invest in research and new ways to serve to help your company thrive and be at the cutting edge should process serving change with new digital advancements.
The future of process serving is changing with new laws and digital capabilities. The process server who researches, embraces, and implements new strategies to cope with the changing legal support landscape will gain new clients and maintain business in a challenging industry.
What is some technology that you’ve come across while serving? How have you changed your techniques to stay relevant?