Reviews are one of the deciding factors in consumer research. How can your law firm benefit from a reputation management strategy? We explore the various possibilities and give actionable tips for your law firm’s success.
In today’s article, we’ll cover reviews and reputation as part of a law firm’s digital marketing. Let’s start with a fact: reputations matter in every step of a consumer’s journey. Surveys for the legal consumer show that clients consider an attorney’s reputation as one of the top factors before hiring an attorney. Did you know that almost 90% of the consumers consider reviews as significant as an in-person recommendation and that the average consumer reads 10 reviews before trusting a company? Experts point out that both positive and negative reviews matter as on the one hand they speak for success while on the other hand, they show how a law firm treats its clients.
Let’s start with first-party reviews. What are they, and how can you use them for your legal digital marketing?
- First-party reviews are a form of direct feedback from the client to your law firm.
- You can collect them in different forms, and you can use them for your website or other owned media. Your clients can fill out a form that you provide them with; you can interview them on camera or over the phone.
- They are also a valuable tool for internal assessment and quality tracking. You can improve various areas of your client’s journey, from the intake process to the case-related updates.
Tip: First-party reviews can be a strong pillar for any legal website. If possible, try putting a face to the review, either with a snapshot next to the text, or even better as a video review. This way, you would add a hint of personalization to your website, adding value to the customer experience.
What are third-party reviews?
- Third-party reviews differ from first-party, as you aren’t directly collecting them. The client is solely responsible for leaving an unbiased review on other media, not owned by the involved company.
- Various customer review sites are significant for law firms, such as Google My Business, Facebook Reviews,Avvo, and Yelp, to mention just a few.
- It’s key to generate third-party results, but remember that you can’t post reviews about your own business, this might lead to negative consequences.
Let’s dive a bit deeper, what are the best practices for reviews?
- Ask your clients for reviews and do it at times that they’re satisfied with your legal services and willing to share their positive experience. If you are a personal injury attorney, you could, for example, mention it before handing the check. We can’t stress enough the importance of reviews for your legal marketing strategy.
- Stay connected with your clients. A review is as good as the response it gets. Positive reviews are proof of success, every satisfied client gets you one step closer to the next one. On the other hand, negative results, no matter how unfortunate they are, will eventually surface. It’s critical to stay on top of them and reply in a timely and effective manner. It’s a way to show that you care and that you treat your clients with empathy and respect. If multiple team members are taking care of your law firm’s review strategy, make sure that they’re all on the same page, and follow the same structured guidelines.
- This point is equally valuable for both first-party and third-party reviews. It’s critical to include the legal service you provided. For example, if you are an immigration Attorney and represent a client in a removal defense case, make sure that the service is described in the review. It’s seamless for first-party reviews because you take care of them, but you might need to educate your clients for accurate and effective third-party reviews. Why do we insist on that? We already explained the fundamentals of Reviews for law firms, but it becomes even more evident in local search. A detailed, relevant review for your law firm will show up on the local pack results, improving your chances to convert.
- Law firms are often multicultural, and the cases they handle are no different. Are you a bilingual law firm handling cases in English and Spanish? Your reviews must point that out. Encourage Hispanics to leave their reviews in Spanish and then reply and engage with them in Spanish. It’s part of the culture, and you can gain your well-deserved trust that way. In previous articles, we’ve explained the importance of US Hispanics for law firms, and reputation management is an additional chance to capture this opportunity.
- Pay close attention and monitor reviews on all major third-party sites. We tend to talk more about Google My Business, as the internet giant is the most dominant force, but people are researching across all platforms (for example Facebook, Avvo, Yelp). Your law firm needs a holistic approach to reputation management, including strategies for niche review sites.
- You must be proud of your hard-earned, positive reviews, so make sure you make them visible. Use GMB posts to show off your success, create a dedicated page on your website, and make sure to share them on Social Networks. You can also use Google’s Video Builder to create short videos showcasing your law firm’s reviews.
It’s time for our key takeaways.
- Make sure that you have a review generation strategy in place.
- Monitor and reply to all reviews, positive and negative. It’s equally important, and it shows that you care for your clients, and you treat them equally.
- Add the appropriate legal service to the review it’s important for multiple reasons, including local search results.
- Speak in your client’s language. If your law firm handles Hispanic clients, make sure that you generate reviews in Spanish, and respond in Spanish. We, at Nanato Media, are the bilingual legal digital experts, don’t hesitate to contact us in case you need assistance.