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The Verdict is In: Go Back to the Marketing Basics

February 15, 2018

How one Bond Morochian testifies to great customer service at jury duty

On a cold day in January, amidst the big freezy here in New Orleans, I sifted through my mail and there it was - bold, loud and clear: Jury Summons. At the time, the only thing I dreaded more in my mailbox was my Entergy bill after a month of below-freezing temperatures. It had been four or five years since I served jury duty at Orleans Parish Criminal District Court, but I still couldn’t help but give a big eye roll, loud sigh, and have a FML moment. But I dutifully went online, filled out my profile, and waited for my day in court.

Turns out my first day of duty was February 1 - the heart of the Mardi Gras season. Another big eye roll. Why me? Though I was grateful to see that what had been a month-long requirement years ago had dwindled down to a two-week obligation. I learned a lot the last time I served so I arrived early, signed in, and with computer and coffee in tow, I searched for a chair closest to an electrical outlet. Bitter, resentful, and annoyed, i thought, "Alright, let’s do this."

Our orientation began with a warm welcome by Deputy Chief Judge Laurie A. White. As I listened to her explain the process for the next two weeks, I couldn’t help but think how she demonstrated a marketing lesson in strong customer service. She addressed the group of disgruntled potential jurors, and it felt like she genuinely identified with us. She made us laugh and reassured us that our comfort was a top priority. She listed the amenities this large jury lounge had to offer. Free coffee every day. A fridge available to store our lunch. Stocked vending machines. Smoke break and Wi-Fi? No problem. She answered all of our questions, and we were ready to go. For the next few hours, I prayed my name wouldn’t be announced for a jury pool, but my annoyance had surprisingly subsided.Thanks to Judge White.

Around 11:00 a.m., the counter struck 0, indicating no additional courts needed a jury. A staff member bid us goodbye for the day with a closing witty remark of, “I know you guys don’t want to leave.” As we filed out, I smiled and thought that this might not be so bad.

For the next two weeks, I parked in a jury lot and made my way to the Courthouse. Every day, I was greeted by the most pleasant woman with a welcoming voice. “Good morning,” she said enthusiastically. Who would have thought going through a metal detector could be so sweet? Once in the jury lounge, I handed a staffer my badge to scan, which she then returned with a big “Thank you, Ms. Bond!” New friends gathered around the kitchen, sipping coffee and chatting while court staff would periodically give us an update, “They’re trying hard up there to get you out of here.”

On my final day of service, we were each given a Certificate of Appreciation and a fond farewell as we sprinted out of the lounge to Mardi Gras festivities ahead. As I reflect on my time during jury duty, as marketers, I’m confident that the Bond Moroch team could “sell” this civic duty to even the biggest curmudgeon. But while we can lead a horse to water, we can’t make him drink as they say. Well, hats off to the staff at the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court. I may not proactively volunteer for jury duty in the future (yes, you can volunteer), I will tout the Court staff’s surprising solid customer service that certainly made the experience way better than expected. Sometimes the best marketing is as simple as a smile.

Jennifer Bond is a Partner at Bond Moroch.