By now, most law firms recognize the importance of cultivating online reviews from clients. Not only do reviews boost search engine optimization (SEO) performance and increase your website’s ranking position among the search results pages, but they allow potential clients to learn about your services from the client’s perspective. Whether you are just starting to focus on requesting and responding to online reviews or your law practice has a strong and effective client review process in place, it’s helpful to know how to respond strategically to the client reviews you receive. Make it a habit to respond to every review, even the positive ones. The words and tone you use in your response affect how viewers and your local community perceive your law practice, so it’s critical that you put thought and intention into every response you post. This post will explore the importance of responding ethically and strategically to client reviews to help you grow your law practice and increase your firm’s reputation as trustworthy and authoritative.
Client Reviews are an Integral Part of Your Marketing Strategy
Amassing a robust amount of client reviews benefits your law firm in multiple ways. First, your client reviews serve as personal recommendations to potential clients. People are increasingly relying on customer reviews to help them determine whether to purchase a product or select a service. In fact, most consumers consider online reviews (even those from strangers online) to carry as much value and weight as recommendations from trusted friends and family members. The number of client reviews also matters—people view law firms with multiple client reviews more favorably than law firms with only one or two reviews.
Another benefit of accruing client reviews is how this practice enhances SEO performance. Search engine algorithms like Google use a business’s reviews to determine its trustworthiness. Essentially, the more favorable the reviews your law practice has, the higher the search engine algorithm will rank you—boosting your position among the search results pages. However, search engine algorithms are wary of overly fake reviews, so be sure your reviews are from actual clients (not bots or AI-generated).
Responding to Positive Client Reviews
Some law practices may be surprised to hear that responding to all reviews, even the positive ones, is considered best practice. We may assume that glowing reviews speak for themselves; however, taking the time to acknowledge a positive review does wonders for your law firm’s reputation. Below are some of the main reasons why responding to flattering reviews should be a top priority.
Acknowledging Your Client’s Experience
First, responding to a kind review from a client is simply the polite thing to do. When someone pays you a compliment, you should thank them for this gesture. The same goes for responding to an online review—take the time to acknowledge your client’s effort. The client who wrote the review will appreciate knowing that you saw their words, and they may be more likely to enlist your services in the future because they feel valued.
Showing Potential Clients You Care About Their Needs
When someone is searching for legal services in your area, they may look at reviews of your law practice to get a sense of what to expect when working with you. When they see a favorable review and then read your polite response, their perception of your law firm will likely be positive. They will view your law firm as genuinely invested in serving your clients and caring about their experiences.
Crafting Ethical Responses to Negative Client Reviews
While no one likes receiving a negative review, nearly all businesses experience them at some point. It’s helpful to recognize that the review itself does not matter as much as how you respond to it. Firing off an angry and defensive response will do little to improve the situation, and it may even make matters worse. Here are some strategies for how to craft ethical responses to unfavorable client reviews.
Take Time to Write Your Response
Your first impulse may be to fire off a response as soon as possible. However, it’s worth taking some time to “cool off” and view the situation more objectively before working on a response. Think about what is motivating the client’s negative review—in most cases, this individual just wants to feel seen, heard, and acknowledged. Crafting a response that thanks the client for voicing their concerns and invites them to discuss the matter in greater detail offline can diffuse the situation and show those who visit your review site that you care about making things right.
Be Careful to Maintain Confidentiality
As an attorney, you are obligated to maintain client confidentiality, even when responding to reviews. You may be tempted to explain the client’s negative review by revealing personal information about their case, but doing so not only looks unprofessional but may violate ethical guidelines or rules. Be sure that your response does not include any confidential or personal information about the client. Instead, focus on acknowledging their concerns and encouraging them to speak about their experiences with you offline.
Give LegalRev a call today at (800) 893-2590 to discuss your law firm’s digital marketing goals.