For better or worse, online reviews matter to today’s consumers. It doesn’t matter if they are shopping for a cocktail dress, an electric razor, a new book to read, or if they are looking for a new hairstylist, doctor, or an attorney. What other people say about the products or services they use holds a lot of weight. In fact, 90 percent of consumers base their buying decisions on the information they find in reviews, and 72 percent trust online reviews as much as they would trust a personal friend’s recommendation.
Of course, any service or product with an average 3-star review or less typically doesn’t get a second glance. The more you can focus on consistent processes for good feedback, the more likely you are to succeed.
While legal services are their own professional niche, this industry is not immune to the pros or cons of online reviews. As such, it’s in your law firm’s best interest to focus on attracting more positive online reviews. Positive online comments not only influence prospective clients’ decisions but can also improve local SEO rankings, placing your law firm at the top of the search results for individuals searching for legal help in your area. But how exactly should you go about attracting positive reviews?
Ask for Them
It might seem like a simple solution, but don’t be afraid to ask your clients to put in a good word for you online. Explain why it’s important and how it can help others get the legal help they need. There’s a reason they chose your law firm and a reason they have stayed with you. Ask them to take just a couple of minutes of their time to convey their experiences.
Automate the Process
By automating asking for reviews, you can ensure you consistently ask for reviews, save time, and make it easier for your clients to leave you one. For example, you can set up an email drip campaign that reaches out to clients after a matter concludes. In the email, provide the exact links to where they can leave reviews. Once they read the email, all they must do is click on the links and type. You won’t have to remember to ask for the review, and the client will have a visual cue that takes them right where they need to go to leave the review. It can’t get much simpler than that.
Without much detail, capturing your clients’ attention and having your request result in an excellent review is hard. Details make the request catch the reader’s eye and can provide information about where to leave a review or why it’s important to leave a review. A vague “please review us” is unlikely to be very effective with most clients. Instead, be more specific with something like:
- “Google reviews are critical for new clients to find our firm.”
- “We’d really appreciate your feedback on Avvo.”
Encourage General Reviews
Much of the information you are exposed to as an attorney is confidential, personal, or privileged. As a result, some of your clients might feel nervous or intimidated by leaving a review because they don’t want to disclose any private information. To help quell their fears, encourage general reviews. For example, they can discuss how you handled the case in terms of preparation, communication, compassion, and your expertise. Maybe there were parts of their experience they were highly impressed with that they could mention without divulging any personal details. At a minimum, a review that has only five-stars without additional text still holds weight.
Continue to Provide Excellent Customer Service
You know you are doing something right if you already have good reviews. Keep up the excellent work, and strive to do even better. Clients who have a positive experience often want to share that experience with others. By making the process easy and reassuring them that they don’t need to share the specifics of their case, you pave the way for more positive reviews.