When a prospective client is looking for a lawyer to provide representation, one of the number one things they’re going to look at in making the decision of which lawyer to hire is reviews. A lawyer with a bad reputation and a history of bad reviews is going to struggle to find new clients.
Unfortunately, it’s not always easy for lawyers to acquire good reviews because of the nature of their business. Some clients have unrealistic expectations and leave negative reviews that unfairly describe their services.
As a lawyer, you need to realize the importance of online reviews and reputation management if you want to bring in as much business as possible.
In order to properly manage your reputation as a lawyer, you should know how reviews are important, how to ask for reviews, how to respond to reviews.
How Reviews Impact Your Law Firm
When prospective clients are looking for an attorney, they generally do not have much to go on in terms of choosing who to hire. They don’t know how to evaluate one law firm in comparison to another, so they need some source of information on how a law firm will perform.
Generally, the only way they can get this information is either by word of mouth or by reading reviews online.
While the primary reason why lawyer reviews are important is because of reputation management, another reason it’s important is because it can impact a law firm’s online marketing campaign.
Not having any reviews will generally mean that you’re not going to come up very high in search engine rankings. Having negative reviews posted about your firm online can also bring your law firm website down in search engine rankings.
One thing you might want to make note of in analyzing the important of lawyer reviews is that, in most cases, the overall star ranking of your review is often more important than any written comments past clients leave in their reviews.
A lot of people will take a very quick look at reviews and not put the time into it to actually read them, so they will just get an overall impression of a law firm from the star rating.
This is something to keep in mind because it means that a past client can do you a huge favor by just taking a small amount of time to click on the stars of a particular review site to give you a star rating that will factor into your average.
In other words, a past client can benefit your law firm significantly without even having to take the time to write out a specific review.
How to Get More Positive Reviews for Your Practice
You need to maximize the amount of positive reviews your law firm has through both your interactions with your clients as taking advantage of a good review management tool for lawyers.
The following are three important tips to keep in mind about how to get better reviews for lawyers:
- Ask clients for reviews when they are most happy with your services
- Consider asking via email and sending a link to a review site to make things easy
- Show care for clients’ feelings by asking if they have any concerns and correcting issues if possible
How to Respond to Both Positive and Negative Reviews
Responding to reviews properly is almost as important as the reviews themselves when it comes to managing your reputation. Ideally, you hope to get mostly positive reviews.
And just because you have a positive review doesn’t mean you don’t need to take the time to respond. You should respond to a positive review by saying thank you. If you can leave a response on the review site, you may even want to type a message thanking the individual on the review site page.
Of course, responding to negative reviews is more difficult and unpleasant than responding to positive reviews.
However, a response to a negative review can in many cases repair the damage done to your reputation by explaining what happened and offering to fix any issues in the eyes of the public.
If you have a negative review, you can start with an apology for the client’s dissatisfaction. Following that, state your view without trying to start a debate and do what you can to correct the issue.
In any case, simply responding to a negative review on a review site shows that you’re attentive and that you care about all of your clients satisfaction and how they feel about the service you provided them.
Who knows, maybe you can learn something from each negative review to improve something on your end.
If you’re a lawyer seeking help managing your online reputation or acquiring more positive reviews, learn more about our lawyer reputation management services and sign up for a two week trial.