What Sets Miles Mediation Apart?
By Jamie Miles
One aspect that sets Miles apart from other mediation firms is the Team Concept.
Recently, John Miles answered few questions on how this team concept works and how it benefits clientele.
Q: Miles Mediation started in 2000. When did you add the team concept?
A: About 5 years ago.
Q: What’s the appeal? Why does a team concept help me as a customer?
A: When scheduling a mediation, most people have a mediator they like. But if you like them, other people do to and want to schedule with them. And we can’t make more days in a month.
So I decided to try and provide options that meet customers’ needs. For example at the Chinese restaurant, I always order Mongolian Beef. But if they didn’t have Mongolian Beef on the menu, I’ll try something else and see if I liked it. That way a very picky eater like me learned to enjoy other dishes.
Team Leaders are paid a percentage of what their team earns. Therefore they are motivated to add good mediators to their teams and train these mediators to be effective. The team approach keeps new mediators happy because they get an opportunity for more mediations. Team Leaders are happy because they benefit financially if their team produces and customers like having a choice of quality mediators.
Q: How did you get the team approach started?
A: The first team leaders were Joe Murphey and David Nutter. I assigned their team members trying to match personalities with Joe and David. Another factor was the type of mediations they did. David’s team had more business-to-business mediators and Joe’s team specialized more in personal injury. Though certainly neither team is mutually exclusive. I tried to mesh personality and style.
The leaders train their teams with specific techniques and advice. Team leaders invest in the mediators working with them and want them to succeed because they will get a percentage of the fee.
Q: How does it work?
A. Eighty percent of booking is online. On the website, you can meet our teams and read about each mediator. The team schedules are aligned together. That way there will be enough team members available for clients to choose on a specific date. There will always be a good mediator for you on a date that works.
The newer team members are at a lower rate than the leaders. This hopefully is an incentive to try someone different. The members will qualify to be team leaders as their skills develop.
For example, the newest team leader is Greg Parent. Greg had never led a mediation before joining Miles as a member of Joe Murphey’s team. He shadowed Murphey learning the craft and Joe introduced him to clients. Now as team leader, Greg has formed his own team and is one of the most popular mediators.
When asking Greg his thoughts on the team approach he was theoretical.
“To me, the team approach is tantamount to dining in a fine restaurant. Whether I’m welcoming clients into the office or showing someone how to use the coffee machine, it’s of paramount importance that I work hard to make certain everyone in our office feels comfortable, regardless of whether they are in my particular mediation or not.
With team approach, Parent as the mediator always asks, “How can I help you today?”