With all the stories we hear of identity theft and security breaches these days, it can be tough to build trust with prospective customers online. One of the best ways to do it is with social proof and testimonials. People want to know that others just like them have had a positive experience using a product or service before making a purchase. In fact, according to a ZenDesk survey, almost 90% of people reported that they have been influenced by online customer reviews when making a purchasing decision. For this reason, it pays (literally) to get as many good law firm reviews as possible on major websites like Google, Facebook, Yelp, and Avvo. In this post, we’ll provide some helpful tips about how to get more law firm reviews online so you can capitalize on this growing trend.
Positive Law Firm Reviews Will Help Build Your Brand
Your brand is not defined by what you say in your marketing messages, or what you want people to think about you. It’s defined by the experience customers have working with your business, and what they say about it.
Many lawyers hate the idea of having their clients review them, but client reviews are an extremely effective way to develop your brand online, so it’s time to embrace the trend.
Positive brand interactions will help drive consumer confidence, referrals, and repeat customers, while negative brand interactions will do just the opposite.
For this reason, it’s important to not only focus on providing great customer service to all your clients, but also to encourage them to share their positive experiences with others.
By getting your satisfied clients to publish positive reviews online, you can establish credibility for your firm and develop trust with new potential clients, which is probably the single most important factor people look for when hiring a lawyer.
How to Get More Law Firm Reviews Online
Below is an overview of the steps you should take to start getting more positive law firm reviews online.
Create Profiles on Popular Review Websites
You can’t build up your law firm reviews unless you have a presence on the major review sites. The most important law firm review websites are listed below. You should sign up for all of them to maximize your success.
Avvo is an extremely popular website for consumers looking for legal services. They receive well over 10 million highly targeted visitors per month.
You may not agree with Avvo’s questionable marketing tactics, but you would be foolish not to have a presence on such a major lawyer directory website these days.
Even if you didn’t sign up for Avvo, you probably already have an Avvo profile that was compiled from the State Bar directory. You can claim this profile for free and start updating it to improve your Avvo rating.
If someone Googles your name, there is a good chance that your Avvo profile will show up near the top of the search results. It’s really important that you have an updated profile with positive reviews, or this person might have second thoughts about hiring you.
Avvo has a built in feature that enables you to send an email blast to contacts in your network to request reviews. This can be an easy way to jumpstart the process of building up your online law firm reviews.
Google, as you probably know, is by far the most common place people go to search for lawyers online. Having a presence on Google is essential toward your online marketing efforts.
In recent years, Google has made a concerted effort to offer more tools for small and medium businesses, particularly with their Google My Business product.
My Business allows you to create a business listing for free and update it with your contact information, address, content, offers, and reviews.
Building up reviews on your Google listing will not only help your law firm show up higher in search results, but also reinforce your credibility and trustworthiness when people find you. It’s one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to improve your local SEO and attract potential clients.
Just about everyone spends time on Facebook every single day, as they have over 1.32 billion daily active users. Along with Google, Facebook is one of the largest and best channels for online marketing.
Facebook isn’t necessarily the first place people turn to search for a lawyer, but because Facebook has such massive web traffic, your law firm Facebook page is likely to show up on the first page of any Google search for your name.
Just like with Avvo, you should make sure your law firm Facebook page looks professional and gives people an indication that you are reliable and trustworthy. Having as many positive reviews from past clients as possible is the best way to do it.
Learn more about Facebook marketing strategies in our post about Facebook marketing tips for lawyers.
Yelp is one of the best tools for local business discovery, and it has millions of people using it every day. While it doesn’t specifically target lawyers or law firms, it does have a lot of useful features that you can add to your online marketing arsenal.
Many of the more advanced Yelp features may require you to be a paying advertiser, but claiming your Yelp page is free. You should also add photos and fill out your complete profile to make it look professional.
Of these four review sites, Yelp is probably the least important for lawyers overall, but you should still use it and try to build up some good reviews. The more exposure you can get online, the better.
Check out our Yelp marketing guide for law firms for more information.
Make It Easy for Clients to Review You
The average client probably won’t go out of their way to leave you a review, unless of course they had a negative experience. This is why it’s important to make it as easy as possible for them.
You should put links to all of your review profiles in as many places as possible, wherever clients will be likely to see them. Some good places to have these links include:
- Your website
- Your email signature
- Your email newsletters
Include some text to let clients know that you value their business, and that reviews are an important way for you to get feedback so you can constantly strive to improve.
Deliver Amazing Service to Clients
You shouldn’t just do it for the reviews of course, but the more effort you can put into truly going above and beyond to satisfy your clients, the more positive law firm reviews you will get.
Here are some suggestions to improve your law firm customer service:
- Use a virtual receptionist to answer every call
- Nobody likes hearing an automated recording or a voicemail on the other end of the line. A virtual receptionist will help you provide a more personal touch, while saving you time and the cost of hiring a full time receptionist. See these virtual receptionist reviews for our recommended options.
- Be a better listener
- Clients just want somebody to vent to sometimes. Even though you might feel like you are wasting your time by listening, giving them the attention they need can go a long way toward earning their trust and building a strong relationship. Leaving a glowing review is the least they can do for you in return.
- Use technology to make processes effortless
- Clients have to complete a number of tasks and processes when working with you, like filling out forms, signing documents, making payments, and sending you files. Offering online intake forms, e-signatures, and online payment processing is a great idea for today’s tech savvy clients who expect everything to be quick and easy.
- Don’t charge for every call and email
- Nothing leaves a bad taste in a client’s mouth like finding out they got billed for a five sentence email. Yes, lawyers often get paid by the hour and this is technically billable time. But clients expect more value these days, and longterm, you’ll be paid back for this lost time by developing a thriving practice with satisfied clients.
Ask for Reviews in the Right Way and at the Right Time
The best way to get more online law firm reviews is simply to ask for them. Just be sure to do it tastefully and at the right moment.
Here are some final tips about how to ask for client reviews directly without coming across as spammy or annoying:
Make Reviews Part of Your Process
Implement a process for asking for reviews, such as always sending out a thank you email when you finish working on a client’s matter that asks them for their honest feedback.
If you did your job, they should have nothing but nice things to say.
Also, be sure that all your staff members understand the importance of getting positive reviews so that they can look for opportunities to ask as well during their daily communications with clients.
Look for Cues of Satisfaction
The best time to ask someone for a review is when they are clearly satisfied with your service. Keep an eye out for these opportunities, and seize them when possible.
For example, if a client sends you a thank you email or shows appreciation or gratitude in any way, this is a perfect opportunity to nudge them toward giving you a review.
Just let them know that it would mean a lot to you if they left a review, and that you really value their feedback.
Offer A Small Incentive
You might even consider giving a small incentive for people to leave a review, just to make it really worth their while.
For example, you could do a monthly drawing and give away a $25 gift card. Any client who leaves a review will be entered into the drawing automatically. This will not only incentivize them to leave a review, but the winner will feel even more satisfied about their overall experience working with your law firm.
It’s a small price to pay for an online marketing asset which will last a lifetime.