Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Bail Bonds Customer Service

Greetings All!  Occasionally, we come across an article, posting, story, etc. that just seems to echo our thoughts.  Here's a blog post from someone near and dear to our hearts that we just had to share.  This was written by fellow Bondsman and Father in Law to our founder; Al Perna.  Al's perspective on the Bail industry(and on life in general); is one of ignoring the cover to check out the book within.

"Ask anyone what a bail bond agent does and they are likely to say that he “gets people out of jail”. Others may say that he sometimes gets people out of jail and puts them back in jail like that guy on TV.
During the past month, it has become clear to me that Bail Bonds is a customer service business. A good bail bond agent provides a service…to several different customers. Let me explain.
At least 8 times in the past month, I have received a call from a person who has learned that he had a warrant for his arrest and wanted to take care of it. All 8 cases played out in the same manner, so I will use one as an example to make my point.
A young man called me and told me that he learned that he had a warrant for his arrest and wanted to find out how to take care of it. A deputy sheriff had called him and told him that there was a warrant and he needed to turn himself in at the jail. He wanted to find out if there was a better way to handle the situation.
Most people believe that an arrest warrant is the first step in going to jail. I tend to think of it as the first step in getting before the court. The warrant commands law enforcement to seize the person and bring him before the court. So, it’s more about going to court. Going to jail is incidental. A big incidental.
In speaking with the young man, I obtained his personal information and was able to confirm that there was an arrest warrant for a property crime and that the court had set a bond of $2000. I told him the best way that I know to handle the matter. I know of a particular facility that is best and handling “walk-thru” bonds. We would meet there, he would be “booked”, I would post the bond and he would be assigned a date to return to court. Yes, he would be “going to jail” but he would not have to stay there until court. The bond would allow him to be free of custody until and appear in court as directed. This could all be accomplished in about two hours.
We did accomplish this just as I did with the other seven people who called me. Indeed, word had spread and I am receiving more calls from people who heard about it from a friend or attorney and we are taking care of their warrants.
It’s obvious that the person with the warrant is a customer and the service that I provide is post the bond. However, there are several other, less obvious, customers.
The first is law enforcement. People are contacting me and I am arranging to bring them to law enforcement instead of law enforcement going out and looking for them.
The second customer is the jail. I know when the jails are busiest and when they are not. I schedule the “arrest” for times when the jail is the slowest so that we are in and out faster. This benefits the jail as it spreads out the work load.
The third customer is the court. The court has ordered that the defendant be brought in to answer to the charges. I help arrange the meeting.
The fourth customer is the victim of the crime. The victim deserves to have his day in court. The only way that happens is if the defendant shows up. I make that arrangement, as well.
Finally, law enforcement may be a customer again. If the defendant fails to appear, the court will issue another arrest warrant as well as a forfeiture notice. I must seize the person and bring him before the court or I must personally pay the full amount of the bail. You can bet that I’m going to do my best to find the person so that I don’t have to pay.
So, Bail Bonds is clearly a customer service business. If only more people understood this."

Oftentimes; in the course of our work as Bail Bondsmen, we wear many hats and must be adept at switching roles quickly.  For example: numerous times per day, we will immediately switch from speaking with a defendant and their loved ones; who may need us to assume more of a counseling role than anything else, to speaking with Judges, Court Clerks, Attorneys, Law Enforcement, Jail Personnel, etc.; who typically are "just about the facts", to back to the counselor role in assisting the defendant and their loved ones.

As Al's blog post demonstrates; while our generic role is Customer Service, who that customer is goes far beyond the cover and is what comprises the book.

Bond Squad Bail Bonds