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Effective Strategies to Gain More Online Reviews

Online reputation management for law firms has been in the spotlight over the last couple of years and many law firms are going to great lengths to boost their online reputations.
It is clear that the public loves to read the opinions and experiences of past clients before taking the plunge to commit to a particular law firm. Even if a potential client hears about your firm offline, chances are they will still go online to do their “homework.”

What Does Not Work Well
Doing Nothing and/or Being Oblivious
Reviews do not typically show up on their own. You must at least ask your clients to consider it, and often need to reiterate it to them during multiple stages along the way. At the very least, you should always be aware of what is being said about your firm and actively respond to your firm’s reviews. You should always thank clients for positive feedback and attempt to remedy any negative review received. Not being involved or ignoring comments could negatively impact your reputation. By always responding to comments and reviews you will be in a better position to control the narrative about your firm.

Getting to it When Time Permits
If your law firm is struggling to gain more online reviews, you need to take a closer look at your current strategy. Focusing on reviews “as time permits” is one of the most common issues we see when there are a lack of reviews. If you can make time for it, and make it a top priority of the firm, you will likely see the results you seek.
Perhaps your only method to gain reviews is to send an email to your previous satisfied clients once a month, requesting their feedback. Unfortunately this method often receives little response and cultivates a very small volume of published online reviews for firms each year.

What Does Work Well
Have a Dedicated Employee Focused on Reviews
If budget is an issue, make reviews a primary focus for one of your current employees. Delegating the responsibility to request reviews and follow up with satisfied clients is a great strategy for gaining more reviews. You could even consider incentivizing that person with a small bonus for each review they are able to collect. Having seen this method in action, a law firm has the potential to increase their reviews significantly in a small amount of time.

Online Review Software Management Systems
Implementing an online review software system such as BirdEye is another method for gaining more reviews. A system like BirdEye can take the guesswork out of the reviews process by continually following up with clients through email and text. BirdEye makes leaving reviews very easy by providing clients a link. If your firm is closing a high volume of cases a month, Podium might be a good option for you. Podium is another online review software system, though it has a higher price tag than some others. Podium builds their application programming interface (API) code into your case-management software, so anytime a case closes in your system, the client receives a text and an email. Podium also works well for international law firms, making it possible to text review requests to international phone numbers.

Other Important Tips
In order for your law firm to continue to gain online reviews you must have an online presence. Make sure your firm is listed on applicable review sites and spend time building and maintaining your online presence. Some important tips to remember when working to get more online reviews:

  • It is vital not to wait too long to request a review. As time passes, the enthusiasm of your satisfied client may slip away.
  • Make your strategy a priority. Even the best intentions fall flat without dedication to your review-gaining plan.
  • Don’t create work for your client. Make the review process as simple as possible. Provide clear instructions, links and encouragement.
  • Don’t panic in the face of a negative review. As you continue to grow positive reviews, a negative one won’t hinder you. Besides, having fifty 5-star reviews is a little unnatural and can appear suspicious.
  • Always be sure that your techniques for collecting online reviews are in accordance with state and local bar guidelines, laws, and requirements of various review platforms.

Gaining online reviews can positively impact your marketing efforts and is essential for the growth of your firm. We hope these tips will equip you and your firm to make generating client reviews a part of your firm’s daily agenda.

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