As an attorney, it’s no secret that maintaining a steady stream of clients is essential for the health and longevity of your law practice. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done for many small- to midsize law firms. Word-of-mouth recommendations only go so far, and tackling your digital marketing strategy head-on can be intimidating. By channeling your focus into streamlining the process for your clients to leave you reviews, you can take a significant step in boosting client engagement. Amassing positive client reviews encourages search engines to start ranking you higher among the search results pages, and potential clients in your area will begin to view you as a trustworthy source of legal services. Here are some simple ways to make the review-writing process more accessible and efficient for you and your clients.
Client Reviews Matter
By now, you probably already know that client reviews matter—but why do they matter? People are increasingly relying on online reviews to determine whether they should move forward with a specific service or purchase a particular product. Essentially, online reviews carry as much weight as a personal recommendation from a trusted friend or family member. People tend to favor services with more reviews—one or two do not provide a sufficient or comprehensive picture of the client experience. Additionally, search engine algorithms pay attention to law firms receiving a steady stream of client reviews, ranking their websites higher among the search results pages. Just like people, the search engines view businesses with many positive reviews as trustworthy and amplify their websites and contact information to those searching for legal services in the area.
Assess Your Current Process for Eliciting Client Reviews
The first step in making your law firm more visible to search engines and potential clients is assessing your current approach to garnering client reviews. Some small law firms have not taken the time to establish a set method, while others may feel like their current process is too awkward and cumbersome. It may not feel natural to ask your clients to write you a review, and you find yourself putting off this task. Before you start creating a more natural and straightforward process for requesting client reviews, take some time to identify your current strategy, if any. Make a list of what aspects are sustainable and what areas need improvement.
Consider the Client Perspective
The key to establishing an effective process for clients to write reviews is to put yourself in their shoes. Think about when your clients will be most likely to write you a review, and consider any obstacles that would prevent them from doing so. For most people, time is a primary concern. Making the request in person without a follow-up email or text can diminish the likelihood of the client following through. When you take some time to assess potential barriers to clients completing the review process, you can implement a strategy that minimizes these obstacles and makes the review process even more streamlined and straightforward.
Rely on Digital Tools to Simplify the Review Request Process
It’s helpful to think of the client review request process as a journey. Law firms that have amassed an impressive number of positive reviews report that they approach each client review request from several angles. First, they find places in a conversation with a satisfied client to mention how much they would appreciate the client writing them a review. If the client seems willing to do so, the attorney will tell them to be on the lookout for a follow-up text or email with a link to the review platform. Several automated tools can assist you with this portion of the review process, as you can design a text or email that allows clients to click once and arrive at the site, give you a rating, and leave a comment—all within a matter of minutes. While every client you ask to review your firm may not follow through with this request, those who click on the email or text will appreciate how simple the review process can be.
Actively Monitor Your Online Views Regularly
Remember, requesting an online review is not the end of the journey. It’s essential that you monitor your reviews to ensure that clients are following through and that their comments present an accurate picture of your legal services. If you receive a negative review, do not panic. Resist the urge to fire off a response and take some time to craft a diplomatic response to their concerns. Acknowledging their dissatisfaction and inviting them to contact you privately to discuss the situation usually leads to a resolution, as the client may simply want to feel heard and validated. You should also respond to positive reviews with a simple message of gratitude. People reading the reviews will see that you value client feedback and respond positively to your genuine investment in the client experience.
If you are looking for ways to streamline your law firm’s client review request process, call LegalRev today at (800) 893-2590.