The Importance of Client Reviews and the Most Effective Way to Get Them
In law school, the last thing that you were likely thinking about was how to market yourself as an attorney. Instead, you probably assumed that by doing good work and providing effective legal counsel, as well as by establishing or working for a reputable firm, clients would come to you. But the days of word-of-mouth marketing are all but are gone; today, more people than ever before are turning to online information as a resource that influences their purchasing decisions of various types, including who to hire for legal representation.
If your law firm is still relying on out-of-date means of client retention and acquisition, you’re missing out on a big opportunity to reach more people. At Sundown Legal Marketing, our legal marketing team can help you to understand the importance of client reviews and the most effective way to start cultivating reviews today.
Why Are Client Reviews So Important?
When it comes to understanding why client reviews are so important, the following statistics say it all:
- 91 percent of people regularly read or occasionally read online reviews. But more important than this, 84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as they trust a personal This essentially means that your firm not only needs reviews, but needs positive reviews.
- Those who are in need of a lawyer aren’t just going to ask around to find one; instead, 75 percent of consumers seeking an attorney will use online resources to identify who they plan to hire. Again, by not having online information about your firm, including online client reviews, you could practically be sending clients to your competitors.
- Not only are ¾ of people who need a lawyer using online resources to look for one, but nearly ⅔ of people say that online reviews greatly influenced their decision in selecting an attorney.
The bottom line: people are using the internet to learn more about a business before making a purchasing decision – this includes those who are in need of legal services. By failing to provide information to potential clients about your business in a variety of forms, including client reviews, you’re missing an opportunity to connect with a potential client in a valuable way; this opportunity will likely be snatched up by other attorneys in your field.
The Most Effective Ways to Get Client Reviews
Now that you understand just how important client reviews are for your legal practice, the next consideration is how to start building a collection of client reviews on your website.
Lawyers often fail to get reviews for a variety of reasons, starting with the fact that they don’t maintain the right spaces for clients to leave reviews (i.e. Facebook, Google, etc.). Second, lawyers often fail to ask clients for reviews, which is a critical step in the process of actually getting reviews. Third, if a lawyer does ask a client for a review, they often go about it in the wrong way. To get more reviews, consider the following:
- Choose the right platforms. The first thing that your law firm needs to do is ensure that the right platforms for client reviews are in place. Facebook and Google are both great options – Facebook has more than one billion active users, and consumers say that Google reviews is their favorite source for online reviews. In addition to Google and Facebook, also consider using Avvo, which is a review site specifically for lawyers.
- Start asking for reviews. It’s not just about having the right platforms in place; you’ll need to actually ask your former clients for reviews. This can be daunting and even feel uncomfortable, but there is a way to do it appropriately and effectively.
How to Ask Clients for Reviews
As you start to ask clients for reviews, there are a few key things to keep in mind for maximum effectiveness.
- Make sure your reviews are current by asking clients to leave you a review as soon as possible after representation has been completed.
- Ask for reviews from clients who had a positive experience – the goal is to have positive reviews reflected on your website and the various review platforms.
- Make it personal by asking for a review in person or by picking up the phone and calling them. Simply sending a generic email to a client you’ve been working with isn’t nearly as effective as personalizing it. If the client agrees to leave you a review, then you can immediately follow up with an email containing the relevant links to review sites.
Know How to Make Reviews Work for You
Finally, once reviews start coming in, you’ll need to know how to make these reviews work for you. Make sure that positive reviews are shared on your website in an area that is easy for prospective clients to find. Show recent reviews first.
Another tip for making reviews more effective is to respond to former clients’ reviews, both positive and negative. Be honest, empathetic, and use a negative review as an opportunity to admit fault when appropriate and highlight how much you care about your clients.
Work with a Professional Digital Marketing Team Today
At Sundown Legal Marketing, we are experts at helping law firms like yours improve their online presence and start attracting more clients. Not only are we skilled digital marketers, but we also understand the unique rules and regulations that you face as a lawyer, including client confidentiality rules and the consequences of fake reviews. To learn more about how we can help your firm, reach out to our legal marketing team by phone at (800) 649-1764 or online today.
How to Get Reviews from Clients
Getting reviews isn’t something you can sit back and trust people will do. You have to actively have a review-requesting plan in place, and train their staff – from managing partners down to their receptionists – in the best ways to ask satisfied clients for reviews.
Here are a few suggestions:
In Case-Closing Letters
Do your clients send a final letter to their clients with their settlement checks or copies of final judgment documents? Include specific instructions on how to leave their firm a review within these letters.
If your client sends copies of these letters via email, include direct links to their review profiles to make it easy.
Part of the problem with getting clients to leave reviews is them knowing how to. Remove those barriers by texting a link to their business’s Google profile. Here’s how.
The most powerful way to ask for a review is in person where your client can say, “I appreciated working with you. It would really help more people who need my help find me if you would leave a review online.”
Follow up this conversation with a texted link.