#016 – How to Get More 5 Star Reviews For Your Law Firm
A recent study focusing on legal services reported that around 84% would not hire a lawyer who had less than a four-star review average. Gaining future clients and maintaining your law firm’s quality reputation depends on a steady flow of happy online reviews, but how can you make this happen? Here are 5 ways to increase the flow of 5-star reviews for your law firm.
Some of the resources I visited about in today’s episode include the following:
Note: Link to websites may include affiliate links, in which I would receive a small fee or reward for the referral. However, please know I only provide referrals for companies and services I either use myself or believe in strongly.
Hello! Today we are going to talk about how to get more five star reviews for your law firm. This is a big deal. And it’s a big deal for a lot of reasons.
And some of them you may know and some of them you may not know. But the truth is that market research and personal experience, frankly, has told us that online reviews matter. They really matter.
And a recent study that focused on legal services, in particular, reported that 84% of people would not hire a lawyer who had less than a four star review average. That’s crazy.!!!!
So only 8% of the respondents said that online reviews didn’t matter to them when seeking a lawyer. So this is a big deal for law firms for all companies, but specifically for law firms.
Many attorneys struggle to acquire positive reviews from even their content clients, their happy clients, and the few rare disgruntled clients will as we all know, eagerly leave negative reviews. So gaining future clients and maintaining your law firms quality reputation online depends on a steady flow of happy online reviews.
But how can you make this happen? How can you get more five star reviews for your law firm in an ethical and illegal way, because there are ways to get reviews for your law firm that are illegal and unethical. We don’t want to mess with those. We want to really talk about the ways to get five star reviews for your law firm in a quality and organic way.
And here are five ways that you can do that. Now it may seem obvious, but before you can accumulate a universe of five star reviews, you really do have to have satisfied clients. Besides your skills and awesome personality and hard work. There are a lot of components that are going to influence client satisfaction.
In this podcast, I’m not going to be able to help you become a better lawyer to get that client satisfaction, you’re gonna have to do that part, okay. But if you want to keep the quality reviews coming after you’ve done all of the hard work and accomplished a lot of value for your clients, you are in the right place.
The first way you can get more five star reviews for your law firm is to be accessible and responsive to your clients all the time. To a lawyer you do a client might just be one more case, but to a client, their linear legal situation they’re stressed out legal situation may feel like life and death. So when your client contacts you, it is essential that they feel that they can typically reach you immediately or within a reasonable period of time. If you miss phone calls, you need to get back to them as soon as possible. This is kind of law firm one on one stuff. But really, if you try to get back to clients within 24 hours or less, that really does help their satisfaction rate regarding you as a law firm, you need to follow up consistently with key information about their case, we all know cases can take months, years sometimes to resolve.
So you need to just make sure to follow up consistently. You need to take turns making contact with your client. That means they shouldn’t always have to chase you. They shouldn’t always have to be the one to contact you first, regarding their case, the status what’s going on. So just make sure to be accessible and responsive.
Under this same point is to connect personally with all of your clients and that needs to happen. Really from day one, you should be treating your clients with dignity, respect, compassion, empathy. And you should be professional, but not cold, you should always try to connect with your client on a personal level and take a very courteous and professional interest in their personal and work life, it will help you understand them and connect with them. And they will feel indebted to you not only for your services, but also the emotional connection that you made with them during what may be a difficult time for them.
Under this first section, I also want to say that you need to update your law firms website. So this is a way for you to be connecting with clients, either that are your current clients now or potential clients, and every law firm should have a professional, well-designed website, and it should be a priority.
Continuing to water that website and allowing it to grow through consistent content is extremely important as well. And taking advantage of the increasing amount of digital tools that are available to replace paperwork on your website can help clients access you easier as well. Younger clients really appreciate the ability to give you documents hand you information online rather than driving to your office or submitting paper forms. So all of that is just a way for you to connect with clients and make them happy in the first place so they will want to leave you a five star review.
The second way to earn more five star reviews for your law firm is to profile yourself on lawyer review sites. Online reviews can really mean as much to potential clients as a personal referral, there is a ton of evidence to show that. So in order to gain reliability and establish a really good reputation for your law firm and for you as a lawyer online, it really helps to secure a positive, well-traveled profile in places where people are shopping for lawyers.
Here are some of those places:
Google My Business. If you do not have a Google My Business Page, immediately after this podcast. Go get your Google My Business space started. I have a blog post on my website laquelle calm under the blog section. And I actually created a podcast earlier regarding Google My Business. So listen to it!!! Because Google, my business is free real estate on the internet for you to promote your law firm. And it is critical because it allows Google the Google bots to synthesize the information from your Google My Business Page, to your reviews to your website, creating again, this jigsaw puzzle of your search engine optimization, your SEO. So having a great Google My Business Page makes your law firm look bonafide, it makes it look legit and trustworthy. So you can reach future clients about your services, your hours your contact information. And obviously this is a place where your satisfied clients can leave a review.
The next place is www.Avvo.com and it designates a rating to every practicing lawyer. This covers 97% of attorneys in the United States. So this probably means you and this rating is not simply just based on client satisfaction, but it’s also on how transparent every attorney has been when divulging their profile to this platform. So as unfair as it may seem, this website works and is the top site for attorney and law firm reviews you cannot ignore this space, and maintaining a full decisive profile here can really help you gain more of a solid standing with potential clients potential clients are looking here. So it’s important that you maintain this area.
Facebook, you can’t ignore Facebook either. And establishing your law firm’s Facebook page is critical. It’s easy, and it’s free too. So since so many people are already using Facebook, it offers a logical place for clients to leave a review for you when they’ve been happy with your services. Also another way Facebook can be used as you can take Your reviews from other places such as Google reviews, and copy and paste them into your Facebook as a post to sort of promote yourself in that way and show on Facebook, your reviews in other places. yelp is a very popular site. For many local businesses. It’s also completely free. It’s very user-friendly for consumers. And it’s a spot where just like Google My Business, you can share photos and details about your law practice the Hours of operation. And it’s a popular venue for consumers to also leave a review for your law firm.
Lawyers.com is a premium ranking website for all businesses in the legal realm. It offers a direct link for future clients to be able to contact you. And it is important to create a thorough profile on here as well, because a lot of clients will come here as well.
Nolo.com – this is a website that gives a variety of marketing options. After you finish your basic profile, you can actually publish articles here.
And actually, I’ll just say this as well, you can publish articles on Google My Business right now as well. And there’s a character limit, don’t quote me on this. But at the time of this recording, I think it’s 800 words. So it’s not incredibly lengthy to 3000 word post. But you can publish articles there as well, on no low you can also buy ads, and it’s just another place for clients to leave you reviews. So this is the second way to get more five star reviews for your law firm is to create profiles on lawyer review sites that are really incredible and offer the real estate for clients to leave positive reviews for you.
The third way to get more five-star reviews for your law firm is to make it really easy for clients to leave you a review. So it may seem unfair that you have dozens and dozens of happy clients because we all know you’re like the best lawyer ever on the planet. But it’s usually the unhappy customers that leave their feedback, right? Am I right on that? It is important that therefore to make it effortless for your satisfied law firm clients to write a review for your law firm.
So here are three ways to make this super easy. The first way is just to ask them, make it a priority to ask every client to leave their positive feedback, letting them know how vital their feedback is to your business. You know, I do this myself on Legal Marketing Lounge right at the end of every podcast. And I guess right now here in the middle, I’m saying hey, can you please leave me a review on iTunes that helps the algorithm find me and gets me to be able to help more small and solo law firms increase their online digital marketing strategies. So I just ask. So you should make it a priority as well to ask every client to leave positive feedback.
There are a few ways you can do this, you can ask them in person, you can ask them in an email a follow up email after their case is over. And frankly, you may need to remind them that’s the second point under this, you will be more likely to gain a review for your law firm. If you offer clients more than one reminder, an opportunity to do so you can display a link in your email signature.
A lot of lawyers are doing this now, along with a little plug just to let clients know how valuable their positive feedback is, how valuable their referrals are, all of those things. Also, you can have an automated email go out that gives repeated nudges every few months to write a review, it won’t seem too overbearing. If it’s just done maybe once a quarter until someone actually does leave a review. You can shorten these emails also by including a little link, this is the way you can do it through Google My Business.
If you go into your Google My Business Page, there is a way to look up exactly where your short link is for your Google my reviews. So you’re going to go into your Google My Business, you’re going to go into that and it’s going to say get more reviews. And when you click on that there’s a little link right there. If you drop that link into an email what happens happens when your client clicks that link is that the entire google my business review section pops up as a pop up almost and they can just click the five star and leave a review and be done it takes less than a minute so it makes it really easy for them to leave a review!
The next way – the fourth way – you can get more five star reviews for your law firm is to be consistent. This is a theme of mine in almost every bit of advice I give law firms throughout all of their digital marketing strategy – just be consistent.
Although google algorithms are sort of mysterious and frankly unverifiable in many cases, many google sources hint that consistent client ratings and reviews count and they are factored into the google ranking strategy so you want to be gathering steady reviews for your law firm because consistency matters.
So how do you do this? One of the best ways is to go back to what I just said a moment ago which is to create and develop a bit of a strategy regarding asking all of your clients to leave you a review, and then reminding them! Have a schedule to remind them another way that you can get five star reviews for your law firm is to talk to your colleagues and to talk to people that you work with to leave you a five star review for your law firm. These are people who perhaps you worked with in other law firms or you did a keynote speech for or you worked with on a particular project. All of these people can also leave five star reviews for your law firm, so find a consistent way to ask not only your previous clients but your colleagues and your peers to leave a five star review for your law firm as well.
The last way to get more five star reviews for your law firm
is to use online review services. I know we’re getting into paid stuff here but it is important that I at least address this issue. Most of the strategy that I always provide law firms centers on organic strategy that works on creating content or reviews or your online footprint in a either free or organic way.
However, using online review services can really help. These are paid services that can sort of streamline the review process for your law firm. These companies provide serious advantages when it comes to maintaining and managing your online reputation so some of these review management tools include : birdeye, podium, grade.us, and review trackers. What these companies do is monitor all of the sites that I was talking about before along with many others to make sure that you are not getting spammed in some of your reviews or that any negative review is being flagged and handled appropriately either through them or letting you know that you got a negative review so that you can handle it.
I just like to take a minute here to take a detour regarding negative reviews It happens the sometimes people leave negative reviews even if they never hired you as a law firm. Maybe they’re just upset with the fact that you have a chatbot and you don’t have a real person on your website or maybe they didn’t like the way that the person answered the phone when they called your law firm and they leave you an ugly or negative review.
You have every right to ask google or any of these other companies to remove that review if the person is not an actual customer of your law firm I will tell you that it takes time and it takes effort to get those reviews removed. You can hire a company to help you do that as well.
If you make the decision to write back and respond to someone who has left you a negative review, I would just gently say that you should do that with caution. First of all you should always maintain a respectful and professional tone. If someone was not a client of yours you can say that in your review and then ask to move the conversation offline by saying something like … hey I appreciate that you had a challenging experience, I would love to visit with you more about this here’s my phone number…. so that the conversation doesn’t continue to degrade in your review section.
Depending on what platform we’re talking about, they may have the ability to then respond to your response. And then it becomes this terrible back and forth. He said, she said, so I would encourage you to think carefully, whether or not you want to respond to a review. And if you do, how you want to respond to that.
I will say also, as a footnote here, that some bar marketing standards have now said that law firms should take caution with responding to reviews online and that it may rise to the level of advertising. It’s just something that you might want to be aware of regarding your own areas, specific bar marketing guidelines.
But that said, using these online review services, they do have different prices in different packages. But at the end of the day, they will monitor all of the different websites that your law firm is on to make sure that the negative reviews are identified so that you can handle them appropriately.
So this is how to get more five-star reviews. In summary, first of all, be an awesome lawyer. Just kidding. But no, really just be accessible, responsive Connect personally, make sure your website is up to date, and maybe even has some type of tools that people can submit things electronically. Just be there for your clients. The second thing is to profile yourself on not just Google My Business, but on several different lawyer review sites. The third thing is to make these law firm reviews, easy for your clients to fill out for you. Give them tools to make it easy for them to leave you a review, just like the link I was visiting about earlier from Google My Business.
The fourth way to get more five star reviews is to just be consistent. Ask repeatedly to your clients who have not left you a positive review yet, that you know you had a good interaction with, you know, people just get busy, they just forget or they think that they’ll get around to it later. And they just don’t. So it’s not that they don’t want to leave you review, it’s just that they think that they’ll get around to it. And then they don’t you know, that happens to all of us. The last way to get more five star reviews is to make sure that you consider using an online review service, or at least monitor your law firms, reviews and all of these places yourselves so that you can remove those reviews that are not five stars, or that are not from your actual clients, or are not applicable to your law firm. Again, these reviews, gaining quality reviews for your law firm can inform potential clients about how great you are as a lawyer, we all know you’re great.
So these reviews just help potential clients see that previous clients are really happy with the work that you have done, it can boost your online rankings, it can set you apart from your competitors. So it’s very important to make it simple and smooth for every client to leave a five star review by offering them more than one opportunity to do so. Some other ways to think about this are just asked at your final in person meeting or in your final wrap up emails, above all offer stellar client service because that really makes it more likely for your clients to leave a five star review.
And if you are interested in developing a strong overall SEO strategy, along with your five-star reviews, you can always call Law Quill! We can help you with that. And I hope that this podcast helped you learn a few little tricks about how to get more five-star reviews for your law firm.
We all know you’re a great lawyer. So we just need to make sure that you tell the world about that and have your happy, satisfied clients also tell the world for you.
And now because I’m going to be taking some of my own advice here, I’m asking you to please leave me a review on iTunes along with a little note there because that will help my rankings on iTunes. of course as always please subscribe to the podcast so you can always know when the next episode comes out have a great day and I can’t wait to see you next time in the Legal Marketing Lounge!