Reputation means everything to businesses. This is especially true for those in the legal industry, which heavily relies on word-of-mouth referrals to attract clients.
Litigation and other legal processes can be highly emotional and costly – naturally, clients want to work with someone they can trust, somebody with demonstrated credibility and a proven track record. According to a study by Legal Current, 88 percent of consumers consider a firm’s reputation as an essential hiring factor. In the digital age, reputation is mostly powered by online reviews, which prospects use to determine a law firm’s trustworthiness.
For this reason, lawyer reputation management is needed for any law firm to gain the trust of clients and become the go-to practice in town.
In this blog, we uncover the benefits of reputation management for lawyers and best practices you can follow.
Benefits of Lawyer Reputation Management
As we said, online reviews are essential to reputation management. A survey by Family Lawyer Magazine found out that 83 percent of people check lawyer reviews as their first step to finding legal representation.
The following are the top benefits of lawyer reputation management with a focus on collecting online reviews:
Builds Brand Image
Proactive online reputation management allows law firms to maintain a positive and credible brand image. This is important because high brand quality reduces the uncertainty surrounding law services, giving your firm a competitive advantage in the market.
In addition, 81 percent of consumers need to trust a law firm to do business with them, so gaining customer trust through a solid brand image is vital for your practice.
Improves Search Engine Visibility
The importance of online reviews does not end in building customer trust. Reviews are also an essential element of your search engine reputation management strategy.
According to Moz, law firm client reviews are considered the fifth-most significant factor in determining search rankings.
Brand reputation management, enforced by credible online reviews, has the potential to increase your firm’s income. A study by Harvard Business School discovered that a one-star improvement on a business’s rating increased its revenue by five to nine percent.
In addition, according to Broadly, 70 percent of people looking for a lawyer are willing to travel further to hire legal counsel with better reputations.
Brand Reputation Management Best Practices for Law Firms
There is a right approach to online reputation management (ORM). All lawyers must follow ORM best practices to get the most value out of their strategy.
The following methods enable you to acquire law firm client reviews effectively to strengthen your firm’s credibility and attract more potential clients.
Proactively Collect Reviews
The best way to generate reviews for lawyers is to ask for them. BrightLocal reports 76 percent of consumers who are asked to leave reviews do so. This statistic shows that people are willing to write reviews for services they are satisfied with, but the majority need a little push before taking action.
How To Ask a Customer for a Review
There are many tips on how to ask a customer for a review, but these are the best methods for lawyers:
- Reach out to former clients – Ask for law firm reviews from clients who are satisfied with your service. The ideal time is after you provide an agreeable resolution to their case.
- Set up an automatic review collection system – You can set up an automated system that asks clients whether they are happy with their experience. If they choose yes, they will be automatically forwarded to a review site with a request to leave a review. However, building an automatic brand reputation management system may require advanced technical knowledge.
Tip: It’s best to hire reputation management consultants to do this for you. These experts have the necessary reputation management tool to automate your review gathering and monitoring processes. They have extensive knowledge on how to ask a customer for a review that generates favorable outcomes for your firm.
- Focus on one review site – Keep the review acquisition process as simple as possible. There are multiple review sites available, so narrow your clients’ options down to one. Focusing your collection on one place makes the process easy for both you and your clients. We recommend Google as a good place to start.
Lawyers need to be aware of everything related to their practice. Constant online monitoring reveals what is being said about your brand, thus allowing you to create effective strategies that avoid potential pitfalls.
However, review monitoring takes up a lot of time. You can assign a staff member to regularly check the internet for conversations surrounding your practice or employ online reputation management companies to take on this task.
Acknowledge Every Review
A simple response can do wonders for your brand image. Remember that online reviews are public, and by engaging in conversations, you are showcasing your ability to empathize with your potential clients.
How To Thank a Customer for a Review
Most law firms make the mistake of not responding to a positive review from their clients. However, not responding can make your customers feel unheard and undervalued.
When unsure of how to thank a customer for a review, it’s a good practice to personalize your responses as much as possible. For example, address your client by name.
How To Respond to a Customer Review
When you start gaining reviews for lawyers, getting negative feedback is inevitable, and the worst thing you can do is ignore it.
Responding to law firm reviews also affects your search rankings. Google has confirmed businesses that acknowledge testimonials have better search engine visibility than those that don’t interact with their customers. This makes review responses invaluable in search engine reputation management.
So if a dissatisfied client airs out their frustration through negative testimonials, here are some tips on how to respond to a customer review appropriately.
- Apologize – Never deny a complaint even if you think it’s unfounded. Acknowledge the issue and apologize for their dissatisfaction.
- Keep your response short – Keeping your response short lessens the chances of the situation escalating.
- Move the conversation offline – Encourage the reviewer to contact you privately to resolve the issue.
Acquire Reputation Management Services
Collecting and managing law firm client reviews require effort. Review monitoring often takes up time that most law practitioners don’t have. The good news is hiring reputation management services fixes this issue.
Leaving your ORM strategies in the hands of professionals is the best thing you can do for your firm. These experts are aware of the importance of online reviews in establishing your credibility. In addition, they have the latest in reputation management tool solutions to streamline the review generation and monitoring processes.
You never have to wonder how to respond to a customer review since they can do that for you. Managers from online reputation management companies know how to thank a customer for a review and appropriately respond to negative feedback to rebuild customer trust.
Law firms rely on reviews for lawyers to build a positive reputation online. So your practice simply can’t ignore the importance of online reviews in attracting new clients and increasing a firm’s revenue. Although review collection and monitoring require extensive work, the results are 100 percent worth it. With the right strategies in place, you are on your way to becoming the go-to law firm in town.
If you are searching for reputation management consultants, then consider Rize Reviews. We offer a done-for-you service that generates positive and credible reviews to attract more individuals that need law services. Launch an effective review generation strategy and leverage our reputation management tool to stay on top of online conversations surrounding your law practice.
Contact Rize today by calling 866-325-0303 or filling out this form.