AVRillo say winning awards like the LFS make a big difference to new customers
The Law Firm Services (LFS) Awards take place on 14th September 2016 and conveyancers across the country are busy preparing their entries. We asked Tony Piccirillo, Founding Partner at AVRillo, how best to go about impressing the judges.
Which awards did AVRillo win at LFS in 2015, Tony?
“We won Small Conveyancing Firm of the Year and were highly commended in the Website, Marketing and Social Media Conveyancing Firm category too. It was the first time we’d entered LFS – well, it was only last year we started putting ourselves up for awards – and we were a little unsure of what to expect. My brother and co-founding partner Angelo and I went along to the ceremony at the MK Stadium in Milton Keynes and were thrilled to win two awards in our first year.”
What makes an LFS Award so covetable?
“LFS Awards are prestigious as winners are chosen by their peers. And everybody in the conveyancing industry knows them and understands the importance of them. Since we won, we have had exceptional staff contacting us with regards to joining AVRillo – and they have picked us because we’ve won two LFSs.”
You won some other awards last year too?
“Yes, we won nine awards in total so it’s all good – it builds our profile and gets our name out there. I was lucky enough to be chosen as the best individual conveyancer at the Sunday Times Awards. That’s two years in a row now so I was surprised. We also won the Gold in the Best Small Conveyancer Award there. Then we were picked as the best overall conveyancing company too – it was amazing.
“On top of that, at the Negotiator Awards we won silver as best overall supplier and at the Modern Law Awards we won Gold in the Commitment to Client Care and Outstanding Commitment to Training categories.
“Then we entered the WOW awards which celebrate outstanding customer service among a whole range of professions – so that’s everything from conveyancing to universities and hospitals. And we won the Silver Putting Customers First award which meant a lot to us. The awards are all about giving customers a ‘wow’ moment and, even though moving house is stressful, that’s what we try to do.”
What does winning all these awards mean to you and Angelo?
“We work really hard to make our staff happy – this started off as a family business and, even though there are over 40 of us at AVRillo now, we always try and retain that ethos. If we have good staff the firm will improve and the clients’ experience will improve too. So that’s always been a main focus for us but to have that recognised externally is important. It’s a pat on the back for us all.”
How do you celebrate?
“The Sunday Times Awards had live afternoon and evening streaming so everybody stayed behind in the office to see whether we’d won. And when we did – and Tony and I got up on stage – they all celebrated and partied. It was like the Oscars, apparently. But we’re quite a fun office in general and we have been known to open a bottle of champagne at 11am to celebrate an award!”
Are your acceptance speeches Oscar-worthy?
“I’m not sure about that – we didn’t write our speeches beforehand but obviously we had a general idea of what we’d say. The most important thing is always to thank our staff because they’re the reason we’re up on that stage.”
Do your customers respond to the fact you’ve won awards?
“Yes, it’s a big selling point – we list our awards on our website and on every email we send out. It distinguishes us from the rest. Any company can say they’re good but we have an external authority corroborating that.”
Are you entering LFS this year?
“Yes, we are – and we hope to take some of our staff along to the ceremony too. It’s a great night and it’s an opportunity to chat to people from the search companies. And I always enjoy meeting our peers – it’s refreshing to chat through problems and solutions with other conveyancers.”
So what’s next to impress the judges, Tony?
“The main thing is continuing with that focus on our staff training and feeding that through to our clients. We have morning meetings where questions can be asked and issues raised and we also use them for training programmes. This morning, for example, we talked about time management. Lawyers tend to be stressed but effective time management alleviates that.
“At the moment we have a trainer in the office. We’d been sending staff on personal development and external management courses and then we thought – let’s actually invite someone in. And this trainer is really good – he’s creating a buzz in the office, which is brilliant.”
For more information about the LFS Awards and to get your tickets for this year’s events, log on to www.lfsconference.co.uk
Tony and AVRillo are at www.avrillo.co.uk