Like consumer brands, industry professionals signal to their clients that they care and prioritize improving their service when they respond to online reviews. They show how they value feedback, which may have a positive impact on their search visibility and ranking. It is then crucial to consider this online reputation management (ORM) tactic and its incentives, since many potential clients are checking information online before contacting a professional. In particular, legal professionals can participate in shaping their online reputation by responding to lawyer reviews.
The American Bar Association suggested that prospective clients turn to Google to search for lawyers they heard about through word-of-mouth referrals. If you want them to find you, leveraging platforms dedicated to attorney reviews is one of the most effective ways to achieve visibility.
Avvo is one such platform. A website that lets clients find top-rated lawyers by location or practice area, Avvo attracts more than 8 million visitors each month. These mostly high-income, well-educated users rely on Avvo lawyer reviews to find someone they can trust for their current legal trouble or future legal needs.
But how do you benefit from being a part of a listing that comprises 97 percent of all licensed attorneys in the country? Avvo prides itself on credible reviews, and responding to your reviews on Avvo can help you gain more trust from existing and potential clients.
In this article, we discuss how to respond to reviews on the platform, both positive and negative, so that you end up in the company of those who have enviable Avvo attorney ratings. We cover:
• The advantages of being listed on Avvo
• How important online reviews are to legal professionals
• How to respond to reviews on Avvo (including how to respond to negative reviews)
• The real deal with Avvo.com reviews
The Advantages and Benefits of Being on Avvo
Before we delve into the best practices for maximizing Avvo reviews, we should devote some time to understand why they matter at all to your law firm reputation management. You already know that the platform draws quality users. A Quantcast survey described typical Avvo users as:
• U.S. residents
• 18 to 49 years old
• Over 60 percent earning $60,000 per year (2009 figures)
Avvo serves as an online marketplace to connect clients and lawyers. It cultivates trust by providing clients with access to attorney profiles, the chance to validate or evaluate candidates and the ability to find the right person to work with. But what’s in it for legal professionals like yourself?
• Solo practitioners and law firms rake in around $8 billion in revenue annually through Avvo. Also, “Avvo is unique because the individual attorneys and the law firms have separate accounts and unique reviews,” said Tim Clarke, Rize Reviews’ senior reputation manager.
• As of publication date, it is ranked 9,673 in global internet engagement on Alexa.com, which is higher than most of its competitors.
• A whopping 87 percent of its traffic comes from search, which means its links show up on the likes of Google or Bing and get clicked on by customers who are expecting to find something useful on the site. Half of the total traffic have urgent legal issues, which can result in a new client and immediate work for you, granted you have a convincing Avvo lawyer rating!
• Site visitors can type your name via the Avvo attorney search tool or see your name on a list of top-rated lawyers by place or practice area. So, for example, a prospective client is looking for someone who can potentially represent them in legal matters or seek advice from. That could be you, and you’re just a few keystrokes away from garnering this new lead.
But before any of that happens, you need to claim your profile on the platform if you haven’t yet. Take note that your profile has a default lawyer rating Avvo assigns based on existing online data points. Then, you need to earn enough positive Avvo.com reviews to achieve the exceptional lawyer rating Avvo uses to position professionals in front of matched prospects. After all, online reviews play a significant role in getting you noticed.
How Important Are Online Reviews?
Avvo attorney reviews and online reviews, in general, are an integral business development tool. On Avvo.com, reviews and ratings affect how you attract the attention of prospective clients.
Responding to reviews shows that you are engaged with your clients. This is impactful both when the feedback from your clients is positive or when it is negative,” said Courtney Quigley, Rize Reviews’ reputation consultant. According to experts, knowing how to respond to bad reviews is a habit lawyers and law firms should cultivate. Quigley added: “In responding to negative feedback, you are showing your potential clients who are reading reviews that, even when your clients aren’t happy with the ultimate outcome, you will still do what it takes to make their experience a positive one at the end of the day.”
Yet, like any professional, you’re likely too busy to give reviews, let alone your Avvo lawyer reviews, a thought. We know it’s a tall order for you to manage your online reputation while handling your cases and running your firm’s daily operations. But there is no scenario in which you should disregard Avvo attorney ratings and lawyer reviews. You need both to grow your practice. Here’s why:
Reviews Build Goodwill
Your prospective clients are put at ease when they read positive reviews about your legal practice, which is incredibly valuable as most of them are in some sort of distress about their legal battles. Providing them with trust signals will help you establish an optimal lawyer-client relationship. Clients who research their prospective lawyer or evaluate their current lawyer through Avvo reviews tend to hire for the long term or want the best experience.
Reviews Help You Achieve Business Goals
Avvo attorney ratings and reviews offer a timesaving opportunity for gathering information about your law firm. Users can check out your data and know if you’re both aligned. Make sure your aggregated Avvo attorney reviews are in a strong position with review responses to demonstrate client-lawyer interactions, as this type of client feedback can generate leads or sales. If this doesn’t automatically yield revenue, it can at least funnel prospects to your site or compel them to call you.
Reviews Improve Search Ranking and Visibility
Lawyer reviews serve as a ranking factor, but not all online reviews are considered equal. It’s not surprising that client feedback quality is a dealbreaker. For instance, Google advises against fake reviews. From the user perspective, it’s also much more helpful to read comments that provide enough answers without being too complicated (and driving away readers).
The caliber of your preferred review platforms also affects your performance on the search engine results pages (SERPs). Registering and garnering votes of confidence on general review sites like Google, Facebook and Yelp are a given. But when choosing a niche platform, take note of critical factors like the total reviews generated per month, total users registered and if there’s a policy that promotes authentic reviews. Avvo ticks all the boxes. Its community encourages transparency and, with that, the reporting of Avvo fake reviews.
How to Respond to Reviews on Avvo
We can’t reiterate enough how vital it is to know how to respond to negative reviews and to prioritize learning how to respond to positive reviews. Either way, you need to bear in mind the following guidelines when you’re replying to your Avvo attorney reviews:
• Timeliness. If possible, reply within 24 hours. Prompt response helps build trust, allows access to real-time customer feedback and even changes an existing negative review.
• Authenticity. Keep it brief. But reply to all, even bad, reviews.
• Compassion. Apply the classic lesson of putting yourself in the client’s shoes.
• Professionalism. Maintain a calm and understanding tone. Avoid arguing with the client because this sends a negative impression, which can have an impact on your Avvo lawyer rating.
• Eyes on the prize. Always strive for a resolution.
Most of the advice above answers how to respond to positive reviews. One thing to add is thanking the reviewer for their kind words.
How to Respond to Negative Reviews
Here are some recommendations and reminders on to how to respond to bad reviews on Avvo:
• Don’t Be Defensive. Avvo lawyer reviews may sometimes point out a flaw or question your service. Keep an open mind and don’t attack the client.
• Apologize. Instead of saying you made a big mistake, apologize and aim to correct the situation.
• Keep It Private. Don’t divulge the client’s personal details.
• Take It offline. If the conversation is continuing, ask the client if you could move the conversation offline.
Bonus: In the case of encountering Avvo fake reviews, what can you do? Say, someone is putting your firm in a bad light, and you’re sure you’ve never met them or worked with them before. The platform advises initiating a dispute process. The false feedback will be removed while Avvo investigates, which includes verifying if the reviewer was indeed a real client of yours, and be reposted with changes depending on the findings.
The Real Deal With Avvo.com Reviews
In this blog we have discussed how online reviews can be one of the best referrals for your firm and how responding to them sends a strong message to your prospects that you value your clients. We have also touched on how to respond to bad reviews and how to respond to positive reviews. With each day of not following these guidelines, the opportunity cost grows: You could be bolstering your performance on SERPs and Avvo attorney search performance now.
But it’s also true that maintaining a timely, calm and professional response system on top of everything else you do won’t be possible without the risk of reducing the quality of your overall service. That is, it’s reasonable to expect that you may not be able to give your Avvo lawyer rating and reviews the full management focus it requires.
As a professional, you’re in the best place to recognize when you require help from someone who knows what they’re doing. These days, you can tap into the expertise of a partner to oversee all your Avvo attorney search efforts. No matter the level of involvement you prefer, a team of review specialists provides more than just assistance. Thus, it’s just as vital to find someone reputable to handle the repair of your Avvo fake reviews, the communication with past clients and the enhancement of the lawyer rating Avvo assigns to your profile by default. Such activities ensure your Avvo lawyer rating is up-to-date.
Rize Reviews comprises online reputation management professionals you can rely on to accomplish the most challenging tasks that come with maintaining a conversion-driven Avvo lawyer rating.
Tim Clarke, Rize Reviews’ Senior Reputation Manager, said “We work with dozens of law firms and individual attorneys that generate Avvo reviews through Rize email and SMS campaigns. They also respond to Avvo reviews by using Rize review monitoring emails and our dashboard. This saves them time and effort as it eliminates the manual step of checking Avvo for new reviews on a regular basis.”
Our legal reputation management services also let you put your best foot forward by aggregating your most outstanding reviews on your website via the Rize widget. Talk to us about how you can leverage our free 30-day trial.