Think about your favorite restaurant. What do you like most about it? Maybe the food is fresh and delicious, or the staff is friendly and accommodating. But what if you can only guess how good the food is, or if the staff is friendly? You’d probably hesitate to visit that restaurant again.
The same goes for your law practice or any other business. If potential clients can’t get a sense of what it’s like to work with you from online reviews, they may hesitate to hire you. Here are six reasons why online reviews are so important for your law firm or law office business.
The Benefits of Online Reviews for Law Firms
Why are online reviews so important for your law firm business? People are always swayed by good testimonials and references, and the internet has made it easier than ever to find customer feedback.
Potential clients read online reviews before making a purchasing decision – 87% regularly read reviews before deciding to do business with a business. Only 48% will do business with a business that has less than a 4-star rating, and 79% trust online reviews as much as word-of-mouth recommendations.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why online reviews can help boost your law firm’s fortunes.
Trust is an important element that people look for when looking to hire a lawyer or law firm. More often than not, those looking for a law firm are experiencing high levels of anxiety. They want reassurance that the firm they hire will handle their legal matters efficiently and, most importantly, win. Effectiveness and transparency in communication are also highly valued qualities that potential clients look for in a law firm.
Credibility is important for any law firm, and one way to build it is by having positive reviews online. If you have several reviews praising your law firm, this will make potential clients more likely to contact you as they will trust your law firm more compared to a law firm that does not have many reviews.
It’s important for people to feel confident in their choice of lawyer, and good reviews are one way to show that you have a good reputation. This is the first reason why online reviews are so important for your law firm business.
Testimonials from satisfied customers are a powerful way to convince potential clients that your law firm is the right choice. If potential clients see that you have five-star reviews, they will prefer you over competing law firms.
Getting a lot of stars is great, but at first it’s quite difficult to see how this can help your firm’s revenue. One study found that just a one-star increase in your reviews on Amazon can result in about a 10% increase in conversions, and this is not to be underestimated.
The more feedback you can get from past clients, the more likely you are to encourage others to work with you. The second reason why online reviews are so important for your business.
Reviews not only help improve your SEO ranking, but also put your law firm at the top of search results when people search for prospective lawyers. Most people look at online customer reviews from sites like Better Business Bureau, Google My Business, and Yelp.
However, each site has its own way of indexing content, so remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to managing your online presence.
Customer reviews are one of the best ways to increase your law firm’s visibility online. The more positive reviews you have, the higher your position on the index page of review websites. This increased visibility makes potential clients more likely to find and contact your law firm, leading to increased revenue through lead conversion.
Identifying Opportunities for Growth
If you want your business to grow, you need to listen to your customers. By observing their positive and negative experiences online, you can get a better understanding of what they really want. If one or two reviews mention a particular issue, it’s probably not a big deal. However, if the same issue comes up repeatedly, you know there’s definitely something wrong that needs to be fixed.
You can improve your business by using customer experience as a guide. Every review is an opportunity to learn and get better.
Strengthens Relationships with Clients
While many believe that only negative reviews need to be responded to, positive reviews provide an opportunity to build relationships with existing clients. Showing that you care about your clients not only reinforces the great experience they’ve had in the past, but also allows you to identify which areas of your business excel and where there may be room for improvement.
By responding to law firm reviews with personalized replies, your practice will appear more human and relatable. Remember that the reviewer has dedicated their time to writing about their experience, so you should give them the same time and respect. Also, being open to feedback is commendable and encourages others to consider your law firm.
These are 6 reasons why online reviews are so important for your business.
How to Handle Client Reviews
If you’re a lawyer, you most likely don’t want to solicit online reviews because negative feedback can potentially damage your reputation.
While it’s natural to want to delete or cover up anything that demonizes your law firm, it’s not always the best solution. If a review contains false information, it may constitute defamation – but is legal action really worth it?
Take a deep breath and follow these tips!
Respond to All Reviews Professionally and Promptly
An inappropriate or unprofessional response to a negative customer review online can make your business look worse than the review itself. If you come across as defensive, aggressive, or rude in your response, it will do more damage to your law firm than the first bad review.
Conversely, not responding at all is also detrimental; it sends the message that you don’t value your clients’ experience and that you don’t value client communication. In fact, 20% of customers who leave reviews expect a reply within 24 hours.
It’s important to remain calm and maintain a professional demeanor when you handle negative reviews. Arguing with clients through comment threads is not recommended. Instead, you should encourage dissatisfied clients to contact you directly so that you can continue the conversation privately.
Apologize for their negative experience and let them know that you are willing to work towards finding a more positive resolution. It’s important to respect your client’s privacy, so avoid revealing anything specific about their case in a public forum.
Dealing with Negative Reviews
Negative online reviews can come as a surprise to many law firms who are negligent in monitoring their digital presence – negative reviews are difficult to remove; however we do have a service for removing such negative reviews that you may want to consider here “How to Remove Negative Reviews of People”.
The Streisand effect is something to keep in mind before taking legal action against someone for a negative review. The review will probably attract more attention than the original criticism, and you need to be absolutely sure that the publicity will not negatively impact your law firm’s reputation.
While it is an unpleasant task, responding to negative criticism in a professional manner can mitigate some of the defamation. Moreover, flooding the internet with good reviews from satisfied clients will help overcome most criticisms.
Some people argue that law firms should ignore negative online reviews, to avoid giving them more attention. This may be a good idea if the negative review is just a one-star rating with no explanation. If there is no real information in the review, it will be outweighed by the sheer number of clients giving positive reviews that the law firm is asking for.
Encourage more Positive Reviews
While you can’t remove bad online reviews, you can reduce their impact by downplaying them by a small amount. Once you have provided a professional response to negative feedback, try to sweep it under the rug by collecting more customer reviews and varied opinions. This is best done by encouraging an influx of new reviews.
Most people will ignore the few negative reviews your law firm gets if the majority of reviewers say they had a positive experience. So go ahead and ask your satisfied clients to leave reviews.
If you want positive reviews, just ask your satisfied clients via email. Chances are they will happily oblige and leave a positive review or two online – which requires very little effort on your part. Often, previous clients who had a positive experience with you will be happy to tell others about it.
Creating a review landing page on your website makes it easy for customers to write more reviews about your business, thus boosting your online reputation.
It’s worth mentioning that some popular review sites, such as Yelp, have policies that prohibit businesses from asking customers to write reviews. Make sure you know the law before asking clients to write reviews on any site.
Testimonials are one of the most powerful tools in a law firm’s digital marketing arsenal-but only when done right. If you want to generate leads and showcase your law firm’s capabilities, be sure to use testimonials on your website, in your email campaigns, and across your social media platforms.
Here at Reputation, we have years of experience dealing with law firms and providing solutions to help improve their online presence. If you want a dedicated team of professionals and SEO specialists to handle your digital marketing needs, contact us and schedule a conversation today.