According to BrightLocal, as many as 79% of consumers say that they trust online reviews as much as they would a personal recommendation. And more than 54% of consumers who shop online will read at least four reviews before choosing a service provider or product according to Bizrate Insights.
This means that if your law firm is not taking the time to formulate, implement, and work with a sound client review getting strategy, it could suffer dramatically. The market for law firms, particularly online, is competitive. If your law firm is not getting and responding to client reviews, you are missing out on a considerable portion of your target audience.
It is not a surprise to most lawyers how devastating a bad review can be for their law firm. In fact, BrightLocal reports that even just one negative review can cost your law firm as many as 30 new clients. For this reason, you are likely already monitoring your Google My Business, credential profiles, and social media platforms for even the slightest negative review.
Responding to negative reviews can help prospective clients see your perspective of the situation and could help you address client retention concerns if you are able to resolve their alleged poor experience.
Most importantly, these responses can go a long way in showing your audience that you care, are prompt, and professional. Be sure to report any negative reviews that are spammy or are not from legitimate reviewers so they can be removed and do minimal damage to your law firm’s reputation online.
But do not forget how important it is to have a strong review-getting process in place as well. Otherwise, there won’t be positive or negative reviews to respond to. Reviews are essential in helping your law firm’s potential clients determine whether they want to work with you or the competition.
Search Engine Journal has even reported that as many as 70% of clients searching for a law firm will choose one that is in a less convenient location if that law firm has stronger positive reviews than one closer to them. For this reason, not having reviews coming in could be costing you a considerable number of clients to your top competitors.
One of the most common mistakes law firms make in their client review getting process is throwing their efforts at too many different platforms. You do not need to focus your energy, attention, or investment on platforms that are not going to bring you clients.
For example, if none of your clients are coming from Avvo, do not waste your time asking your clients to leave you a review there. Instead, ask them to leave a review on your Facebook page or Google My Business listing if that is where your clients are finding you.
This will also make it easier for you to get your clients to actually leave reviews. The simpler and easier it is for them, the more likely they are to take the time to leave a review. Asking them to leave reviews on each and every one of your platforms is not likely to be successful. Instead, focus on one or two of your top profiles and be consistent with your efforts there.
Despite the fact that you are busy with clients and in court, you need to make time for getting reviews. That much is clear. One of the best ways to accomplish this goal is by automating your review process wherever you can. There are a number of different ways you can set up automation, but you will want to have a system in place that keeps track of which clients and peers have already reviewed your law firm and which ones have not.
Once a month you could send out an email to all of the cases you resolved that explains how important and valuable a review from your client would be to your firm, for example. Another option could be to send texts to former clients and ask them to leave a review. By keeping track of who has and has not completed your requests to leave a review, you can tailor your email marketing strategy to this stage of their experience with your law firm.
You may also want to consider using automation to detect negative reviews. You know the damage of a negative review, and with automation, you may be able to respond directly to the reviewer and rectify the situation before their negative review is ever made public on your law firm profiles.
Automation for your review getting process will make it considerably easier on both you and your clients to leave and respond to both positive and negative reviews.