When your clients describe your law firm, what do you hope they will say? It’s important that your vision of your law practice aligns with the public’s perception of your firm. For instance, if you want to come across as a law firm that puts your clients’ needs first and makes them feel valued, what strategies have you put in place to accomplish this goal? Do your clients truly feel appreciated and valued? As you develop and adjust your law firm’s digital marketing strategy, it’s important to focus on reputation management—steps you can take to build a solid public image, cultivate trust and authority, and become your area’s go-to firm for their legal needs. Implementing effective reputation management strategies can help you grow your law practice steadily and sustainably. Let’s take a look at some ways to get started.
Harnessing the Power of Social Proof
In the field of psychology, the term “social proof” refers to a theory (popularized by psychologist Robert Cialdini) in which a person who is uncertain in a situation or when facing a decision will look to others and imitate their behavior. Essentially, if you are unsure how to behave in an unfamiliar situation, you can look to those around you to determine how to react. As highly social beings, we model our behavior after others, trusting them even when we do not know them personally. So, how can law firms use the social proof theory for marketing their law firms? Many informal studies have found that over 80 percent of consumers use word-of-mouth recommendations (from friends, family members, or online reviews) to decide whether to purchase a good or service. By cultivating positive online reviews from former clients and displaying client testimonials on your website, you can inspire more potential clients to contact you because they trust what others have said about the quality of your legal services.
Using Client Testimonials to Your Advantage
With so many law firms in your area offering similar services, you will need to identify strategies for setting your law practice apart from the rest. An effective website anticipates and responds to what your potential clients want to hear—including testimonials from former clients can be a highly effective way to cultivate trust and inspire site visitors to contact you. Below are a few elements of a strong and engaging testimonial to maximize the chances of site visitors taking the next step and scheduling a consultation with your firm.
Details and Specifics
A quality testimonial goes beyond general sentiments and includes specific details. For example, a testimonial that simply states, “I had a good experience with this law firm,” feels much more generic and impersonal than a testimonial describing how the attorney listened to their concerns and went above and beyond to ensure the client’s satisfaction.
Pictures and Identifying Information
Your firm’s reputation appears more genuine if you can include photos of your clients and their names (with their permission, of course) accompanying their testimonials. Site visitors will see that actual people have enjoyed working with you, and they will be more likely to follow in their footsteps. The more that site visitors can see the people behind the testimonials, the more trust they will put in your law firm.
Requesting and Responding to Client Reviews
Another essential reputation management strategy is monitoring what your clients say about your law practice. Check-in regularly with review sites to identify any recently-posted reviews and develop a plan for responding to these comments, whether they are positive or negative.
Acknowledge Positive Client Reviews
It’s easy to assume that positive reviews speak for themselves. However, taking the time to respond to each review shows your genuine concern for your clients’ experiences with your firm. Your response does not need to be long and detailed—a sentence or two that shows gratitude for their kind words and reaffirms your law firm’s commitment to providing your clients with high-quality services will go a long way in making a favorable impression on those who visit the review site.
Respond Respectfully to Negative Reviews
Crafting a respectful response to a negative review is a bit of an art. Most people who receive a negative review want to respond immediately, firing off a defensive statement that calls out the inaccuracy of the review or tries to undermine the credibility of the reviewer. Unfortunately, these knee-jerk reactions often create larger issues. Instead, take some time to compose yourself and craft a response that expresses disappointment in hearing about the client’s negative experience and invite the reviewer to speak privately with you about the issue. In many cases, the client just wants to feel heard; a follow-up phone call may resolve the issue entirely. Remember, your response to negative reviews is for both the reviewer and potential clients who use these sites to decide whether to enlist your services.
Discuss your law firm’s digital marketing strategy today when you call LegalRev at (800) 893-2590.