Good reviews can lead to future business, bad reviews can lead to a slow painful death. Actively pursuing client reviews can be a risky proposition. It’s almost impossible to know what a client, or worse yet someone with an axe to grind, might say with the perceived anonymity that social media provides.
Many lawyers feel it’s beneath them to “ask” for a review. Many believe that if they do good work, get positive results, clients will come. Believe me, I understand the frustration with client reviews. The practice of law can be a thankless business and even if you get a good result for your client, they can usually find something to complain about.
This lack of certainty would suggest that client reviews should be avoided, but the opposite is true. Recent changes in Google’s ranking algorithm demands client reviews and are an absolute necessity if you hope to rank well. So, if client reviews are a must, what’s the best way to go about getting them?
Creating a repeatable process is the key to not only securing reviews, but putting your firm in the best position to get a positive review.
Here are a few tips to make sure you get good reviews:
- Set expectations – setting expectations is important in any relationship, but is an absolute necessity in the attorney/client relationship. It is extremely important that a client knows, from the beginning, what to expect during every stage of their matter. Setting expectations early on and adjusting those expectations as a time passes, can prevent a client from being disappointed with the outcome of their case.
- Be transparent – Be open and honest with your client. Discuss all aspects of a client’s case with them, positive and negative.
- Communicate – One of the biggest complaints that law firm clients have concerns a lack of communication from their attorney. Constant and consistent feedback strengthens an attorney/client relationship. Also, client communication is a firm responsibility, so make sure that every member of your staff shares in the responsibility of keeping clients informed.
- Create great client experiences – Involve every member of your firm in the client experience. Provide your clients with the kind of service you would expect if you hired your firm.
- Ask for reviews – One sure way to secure a positive review is to maintain control of the review process. Most people enjoy talking about a positive experience, so let them. Also, asking a client for a review suggests that you value their opinion. Add client review responsibilities to staff job descriptions. Collecting reviews needs to become a part of your firm’s culture.
- Create a simple way for clients to create a review – E-mail clients a link to post a review on Google or Yelp, create an auto-responder e-mail with a built-in Google review form or utilize an iPad loaded with a special review app, so a client can provide you with a review while they are still in your office. Whether you use these or some other means, dedicate the time to create a method, or methods, for a client to easily author a review.
If you need any help with any of these items, specifically your online marketing, give Sundown Legal Marketing a call at (800) 649-1764.