Positive testimonials and online reviews about a law firm significantly improve the number of inquiries the firm receives. It’s a proven tactic to ensure a firm stands out among the competition. According to multiple sources, 70% of clients are willing to go to an attorney’s office in a less convenient location if they have better reviews than a closer legal professional. Also, 65% found reviews to be moderately or extremely influential in their decision.
Building a portfolio of reviews is a vital marketing strategy and requires an ongoing commitment to collecting new reviews. 2020 statistics for GatherUp show the majority of buyers expect any business to have a minimum of ten reviews. Most importantly, they confirmed that the timeliness of reviews is not to be overlooked. Businesses with more than nine reviews posted within the past 90 days earn 52% more than average and those with more than 25 earn 108% more than average.
Here are six ways to work review collection into a bankruptcy law firm’s marketing strategy.
1. It all starts with the client experience
The first step is to ensure every client’s experience is as streamlined as possible. Be it in-person, on the phone, via email or text, every contact with a client is an opportunity to make a good impression. The best way to do this is to set up standard operating procedures, SOP, for as much client interaction as possible. Ensure the phone is answered the same way every time, and all staff is well trained to speak with clients in their designated role.
For solo practitioners, automating procedures like appointment setting and email will ensure things are easy for clients. It also means face-to-face time will be valuable and free from administrative issues.
2. Include review requests in follow-ups
Upon the conclusion of every case, ask clients both verbally and via email to share their thoughts about their bankruptcy experience. An automated email with links to review sites including Google, Facebook, Yelp, and AVVO, makes things easy for clients. In general, 7 of 10 people will leave a review if asked.
3. Guide their review with positive questions
Leaving review topics completely open-ended can be risky and often leads to vague comments. Include simple questions in a testimonial request email to guide the process. Change the questions as needed to prompt a review on a specific topic. Here are some good questions to encourage positive reviews.
What was your situation before you contacted our firm?
What results did you get from your case resolution?
What did you like most about working with our law firm?
Would you recommend our firm to others? If so, why?
4. Keep your review sites up to date
Business profiles on important review sites including Facebook, Yelp, and AVVO should be fully set up and well maintained. Make sure they are informative and don’t leave empty sections. During the search process, potential clients see these sites as an extension of an attorney’s website and ultimately the firm’s commitment to their clients.
5. Follow up
If a particularly important client has not left a review after an initial email, consider a quick individual email to ask them again. This personal touch may inspire them to write something. It may be easier for them to reply to a one-on-one email rather than go to an online review site, so invite them to do just that. These stand-alone reviews can be posted to a website or used within a marketing campaign.
For a more informal addition to the review collection process, the next time a client gives in-person/phone compliments or thanks, ask if they can provide the same feedback in an email or online review.
6. Responding to negative reviews
Negative reviews always require a response. According to Google, responding to reviews can boost local SEO. They encourage businesses to “interact with customers by responding to reviews that they leave about your business. Responding to reviews shows that you value your customers and the feedback that they leave about your business.”
In responding, stay calm and professional. It may not be possible to change that person’s mind, but a professional response reflects well on a firm’s client service.
Building profiles on review sites and consistently collecting testimonials can be a rewarding experience. It will not only encourage more potential clients but is an excellent morale boost for any firm. The more comprehensive a firms marketing structure, the easier it will be to collect reviews and see the results and growth they bring. To learn more about building email campaigns, automating follow-ups, maintaining social media review sites, and more, please fill out the form below.
We'd love to hear from you about your experience getting and using reviews in your marketing. Which platforms do you use? How do you ask clients to review you? How have you handled a negative review? Please share in the comment section below.