Client reviews can make a world of difference in your business. Word of mouth advertising is literally and figuratively priceless. You can’t pay for the kind of impact a good word from someone else can have on a person’s decision to hire you. Law firm reviews, especially online reviews, are an extremely valuable law firm marketing tool, but few professionals know how to get them, or what to do with them once they’ve gotten them. Let’s get started sorting this whole review thing out, shall we?
There are basically 5 ways to get reviews for online marketing purposes:
Connect with a phone call
Call your client and ask them to answer a few simple survey type questions that you then put together to create the review.
Send an email
Send a follow-up email, thanking your client for their business and asking them for feedback on their experience.
Utilize your website
Place a form on your website where clients are able to submit reviews. Leverage your social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Clients can post, tweet, or “endorse” their satisfaction with your services.
Provide a printed form
These can be postcards you enclose with follow up correspondence, or have handy in your office.
Record a video
Create a short 90 second to 2 minute video of a satisfied client. This can be done in your office or conference room.
The savvy marketer will incorporate more than one way of soliciting reviews, to optimize client preference. The young clients may prefer email, or online, while the older generation still likes to write things down. Phone calls are the least popular with clients, as they see them as another form of “telemarketing” but with some clients, it may be the only way you can pin them down. Videos can be a bit intimidating at first, but some clients may actually prefer to just “talk it out” than type or write.
Capitalize on Your Law Firm Reviews
There are several online review sites available, but they all seem to have their limitations. Yelp!, for example, has SPAM filters that treat infrequent guests’ reviews rather harshly. Google and Yahoo only work for those with Google and Yahoo accounts. (And there are more people who still don’t have those accounts than those who do.) The BBB has gotten a bad rep for “buying” reviews, and taking “hush money” to make bad reviews go away. Angie’s List is only effective for certain types of businesses and law practices really aren’t one of them. So, what do you do with those glowing reviews?
- Blog them – Set aside a blog post on a regular schedule, say monthly, specifically for your latest reviews. The search engines love rich content, and a review post is ready-made rich content.
- Post them – Set up a YouTube channel for your videos. Transcribe phone,email, and hand written reviews to Facebook. Short “good job” reviews can go to Twitter.
- Feature them – Set up a sidebar on your website and rotate reviews through it so that clients and potential clients can see them easily but unobtrusively.
A Few Words of Advice
- Ask for reviews. Let clients know you would appreciate a kind word about the job you’ve done for them. Let them know it will help you help others like them. People like to help people who have done something for them.
- Don’t wait too long, but don’t jump right away. A day or two, a week at the most, should pass before you ask a client about giving a review, especially if you use phone, email, or video captures.
- Make it as easy as possible on the client. Include a link to your review form in every email. Make it part of your email signature, if you wish. Use a survey style review form, so clients can simply fill in a few blanks if they prefer not leave a written comment. Add a link in your navigation bar to your review form. Keep video reviews as casual and nonchalant as possible, just two friends chatting, to keep nervousness at bay.
- Acknowledge reviews. Thank clients who leave reviews. Respond to social media posts. An autoresponder email attached to your online review form, or a thank you card for video subjects is a nice, professional touch. Don’t offer incentives or rewards for reviews, but do let clients who take the time to give you a review know that you appreciate their efforts.
Requesting and publishing online reviews are a great way to boost your law firm’s visibility on the web and bring in more prospects. Ready to amplify your online presence even more? Download our free report “8 Rules for Effective Online Marketing: Getting Your Law Firm to the Top of the Search Engines.”