Now that you have a goal for the number of reviews to get, let’s talk about how you are going to start building a review culture in your firm.
First, a quick warning. The review sites know that they provide an important service to consumers and help influence decisions around what businesses to visit. Because of this, many review sites take which reviews show up on their system very seriously.
They want to make sure they protect their review platform from spammy, fake reviews and at the same time make sure that real reviews are available to the public. Further, they want to make sure that someone was actually a client or visitor of the business and not just someone who heard it was good.
This is a very hard problem for them to solve.
Their focus on solving that problem and some of the things they build into their algorithm causes the most friction with law firms (and their marketing agencies). This is because their algorithm that is built to highlight the best reviews and try to get rid of the spam has often led to real reviews being ignored and removed from the sites.
Over the years businesses have tried a lot of things to help consumers leave them reviews. From kiosk stations at their business, sending out gift certificates for leaving a review, and more. Those first two examples are already banned by most review sites. What the review sites want is honest, authentic, and non-requested reviews from consumers about businesses.
This may work fine for restaurants and other high traffic businesses, but for more professional businesses like law firms, doctors, accountants, etc. many people don’t think to leave a review unless they are looking to complain and need a place to vent their frustration.
Therefore, we are going to have to remind clients that they can leave a review for law firms too.
To jumpstart the process, we recommend thinking about your 15-20 best clients from the past couple of years. Reach out to each one and tell them something like this:
I am working on my law firm’s online presence and marketing and have found that online reviews are a great way for satisfied clients to help our law firm help more people in the area. Because you were a great client to work with and someone who received a great outcome with the help of our law firm, I was hoping you could leave us an online review.
Most people will say yes, but often don’t know how. For this first list of 15-20 reviewers, make it simple.
- Ask if they have ever left reviews on Yelp? If so, ask how many, if they have left more than 3 reviews, then ask them to review you on Yelp and send them your Yelp business page URL.
- If they are not a Yelp user, Ask if they have a Gmail or Google apps account. If they do send them the link to your Google My Business page where they can leave a review.
- If they do not have a Gmail account, ask if they have a Facebook account. If they do send them a link to your Facebook page
- If they do not have any of the above, send them to your Avvo profile, there, they can leave an anonymous review if they wish.
Once they know where to leave a review, the next issue is most people don’t really know what to say, especially if they don’t want to talk about their case. Therefore, remind each client that you would prefer that they didn’t discuss any specifics about the case, but would like them to talk more about what it was like to work with your law firm.
If your paralegal, administrative assistant, or an associate spent more time with some of the clients you identified, have them call the client instead of you.
One of the best reviews you can get is about how great the people are at the firm and then referencing a staff member by name that they should seek out.
That’s it for today. Tomorrow we will give you time to continue your follow up to clients. Then on Day 26, we will talk about creating an email you can send clients at the end of the case/matter and talk about some of the professional ethics issues we have seen around online reviews.