It’s no secret that law firms rely on clients. Building and maintaining a steady stream of new clients is an essential part of running a successful law practice. In today’s increasingly digital world, law firms must implement a comprehensive marketing strategy in order to remain competitive. Gone are the days when advertising your legal services on a billboard or in a local newspaper was sufficient to encourage potential clients to contact your office. Instead, your law firm needs to have a client-centered website that appeals to site visitors and adheres to the most current search engine optimization (SEO) best practices. One of the most effective ways to attract new clients and improve your website’s ranking among the search results pages is to invest in a robust and impactful strategy for requesting and responding to client reviews. Many small to mid-sized law firms wonder how they can streamline the somewhat awkward process of asking clients to write online reviews and harness the power of their existing reviews to become more visible to those looking for legal services in their area. This post will explore some of the most common issues law firms encounter when requesting, monitoring, and responding to reviews from clients. With little focus and effort, your law firm can leverage client feedback to inspire public trust and engage with more clients in the near future.
Making the Request as Natural and Accessible as Possible
There’s no way around it—asking a client to write a review can be awkward and uncomfortable. Many attorneys feel that this request is too “sales-y,” and they may avoid this task altogether. Unfortunately, failing to gather online client feedback can plateau or even negatively impact your marketing efforts. Without client reviews, search engine algorithms like Google will not view your law practice as trustworthy because no one has taken the time to attest to or validate your services. Below are some tips for soliciting client feedback as smoothly and effectively as possible.
Keep the Request Simple
There’s no need to overcomplicate the request for client reviews. All you need to do is make the request with respect and professionalism while avoiding language that seems too pushy. For instance, as you wrap up a positive and productive conversation with a client, consider saying something like, “We value your feedback, and we would appreciate it if you could write us a review.” People want to know that their feedback matters, so remind them that their review will help your firm continue to deliver high-quality services to future clients.
Provide Clear Guidelines
Once you’ve made the request, you will want to make sure the client knows how to follow through actually writing the online review. Instead of leaving them with a vague idea of where and how to leave their feedback, consider establishing a system for streamlining this process and making it as quick and easy as possible. For example, you can send a follow-up email or text message that provides the link to the review page. The more steps you can eliminate, the more likely your clients will be to follow through with your feedback request.
Avoid Gimmicks or Incentives
Some businesses, including law firms, think that offering discounts or free services to clients to write positive reviews is a sound strategy to acquire a higher number of client reviews. Unfortunately, exchanging services or products for glowing feedback often violates ethical guidelines, which jeopardizes the authenticity of the reviews themselves. Clients must feel comfortable providing honest and unbiased feedback instead of feeling pressured to write an overly positive review because such actions are rewarded in some way.
Monitoring and Responding to Client Reviews
Asking your clients to leave your firm online reviews is just one component of an effective digital marketing strategy. As the reviews start to pile up, it’s essential that you keep an eye out for any issues or complaints that may damage your professional reputation. Let’s explore some potential issues that may arise and how your law firm can address and resolve these obstacles with greater ease.
Handling Negative Client Reviews With Grace
No business wants to receive a negative review. However, even the most client-centered and caring law firms may find themselves on the receiving end of a client complaint posted on a review site. Before you fire off a response, which will likely come across as overly defensive or even aggressive, take some time to cool off and consider what’s motivating the reviewer to post a negative comment. Most people who leave negative feedback just want to feel heard and acknowledged, so invite the reviewer to share their concerns with you offline. Not only will the poster feel seen and valued by your invitation to share your thoughts in greater detail, but other people who see how gracefully you have handled this matter will view you in a more positive light—increasing the likelihood that they will enlist your legal services.
Maintaining an Active Presence to Show Your Firm Cares
Although most businesses understand the importance of addressing negative reviews, it’s just as essential to acknowledge every review as it is posted. You do not have to provide a lengthy comment; instead, a simple “Thank you for taking the time to share your experience” will indicate your law firm’s genuine concern for providing client-centered and high-quality legal services. Potential clients who land on your review sites will appreciate your active presence and see your thoughtful responses as clear indications of your commitment to delivering exceptional services.
If your law firm’s goal is to engage with more clients and grow your practice, talk to the LegalRev team today about how we can help. Call us at (800) 893-2590 or schedule a quick meeting here to discuss your vision and marketing goals.