With 2023 just around the corner, now is a great time to assess your law firm’s current digital marketing strategy to identify what’s working well and set goals for the new year. While the holiday season can be an especially hectic time for smaller law firms, it’s a good idea to set aside some time to assess your client reviews and develop effective reputation management strategies for the months ahead. From responding to positive client reviews to handling less-than-stellar feedback with grace and poise, this post will provide some tips for furthering your law practice’s reputation and increasing your visibility, prominence, and trustworthiness in 2023. If you’re looking to grow your practice and attract new clients in the new year, read on for some effective strategies to help you accomplish these goals.
Encourage Clients to Leave You a Review
There’s no way around it—asking a client to write you a review can be awkward. Making the request in person may feel unnatural or overly “sales-y,” so you may simply avoid doing it altogether. Unfortunately, most people do not bother to write a review about a product or service unless they’ve had a negative experience. As you look ahead to 2023, assess your current approach to requesting client reviews. Have you implemented digital tools to help you streamline and automate this process? Your law firm can use several programs and services to simplify this process and make it easy for clients to write and post reviews. You can set these tools to send a text or email to clients, and they can rate their experience in a matter of minutes. Taking some time to make this process as smooth and efficient as possible will increase the likelihood that your clients will write you favorable reviews, making your firm more searchable, visible, and established over time.
Responding to Positive Reviews
Many legal professionals believe that glowing client reviews speak for themselves. However, you can respond to these reviews to make your firm appear even more responsive and genuinely invested in the client experience. Acknowledging a favorable review with a simple “Thank you” or similar words of appreciation shows that you care about serving your clients, and those who read your reviews to determine whether to enlist your legal services will notice how engaged you are with your former clients. Additionally, search engine algorithms will notice your active presence on these review sites and use this information to rank your site more favorably among the search results pages.
Dealing With Suspicious or Fake Reviews
Sometimes, a review will appear on your site that seems off-topic or suspicious, as if it were written by a bot. For the most part, Google sides with the reviewer and allows them to post their authentic experiences to ensure site visitors have access to the full spectrum of client feedback. However, you may flag and report reviews that seem fake, off-topic, or offensive. Google will look into the matter and remove the suspicious post if it determines that it is spam or inappropriate. However, you should remember that Google will not remove reviews just because they are negative or depict your firm in a negative light.
Navigating Negative Client Reviews With Grace
No one likes seeing a negative review from a dissatisfied client. It’s natural to feel frustrated or defensive when you read an unfavorable review, but it’s essential to take some time to craft an effective and professional response. Your first instinct may be to fire off a reply that attacks their point of view, but this almost always makes things worse for you. Take some breaths and remind yourself that this is simply one person’s experience. In most cases, a person writing a negative review simply wants to feel heard and acknowledged. First, consider contacting the reviewer privately to discuss the review. They may just want to share their concerns with you, so carving out the time to listen attentively to their feedback may go a long way in resolving the issue. The reviewer may even reconsider their position and revise their comments once they feel like you’ve taken their concerns seriously. If the negative review remains, consider how to respond to it with professionalism so those reading the reviews will view you in a favorable light. For instance, a response that expresses your sympathy for their dissatisfaction, invites them to discuss the matter privately, and reiterates your firm’s commitment to prioritizing the client experience will go a long way in showing potential clients that you genuinely care about client concerns. Remember, your responses to reviews are not just for the individual reviewers but for the general public as well.
Call the LegalRev team today at (800) 893-2590 to discuss your digital marketing goals for the upcoming year.