Reviews, Reviews, Reviews!
Consumers are making more and more of their decisions based on reviews found on the internet. This article will make it as easy as possible for your clients to leave you an on line review. Before I let you in on the secrets, spend a few minutes on checking out yourself and your competition. First, google your firm name and add “reviews” afterward. Whether you have any reviews or not, many of the same sites will pop up. These include Avvo.com, Yelp.com, BBB.org, YellowPages.com, Martindale.com. Most importantly are Google reviews. Now, do a broad search for your legal specialty, like “personal injury lawyer reviews” and see what comes up. Notice the firms with reviews? So do prospective clients.
Additionally, Google is placing greater weight on reviews when determining organic search results. Take a look in your everyday searches and see what results come up. More and more of the top results feature numerous reviews. The good news is that reviews are easy to get and firms are just starting to catch on to this, so now is the time to get ahead of the curve.
How to get Reviews?
This the easiest part. Ask! Any time someone is happy with you, ask them, “would you mind taking a minute and leaving me an on-line review if I send you the link?” And it shouldn’t just be you who asks clients for a review. Often it is our staff who has day to day interaction with the client. If the client loves your paralegal or secretary, have them ask the client for the review. I have gone so far as to give my staff $50 for each on-line review they can get. Keep in mind, this is not paying for the review, this is the encouragement to your staff to ask. If you could get 10 reviews for $500, it would be well worth the investment.
Who to Ask?
Do give some thought to who you ask to leave a review. The only thing worse than no reviews are bad reviews. Only invite those clients who will leave you five star reviews. You know who these clients are. Should not ask every client, nor even most of them. Ask the clients who have a great impression of you. They will be the ones to write the most glowing reviews.
When to Ask?
What rule is there that you only ask when the case is over? Any time you do something good and the client is pleased is a good time to ask for a review. In fact, during the course of the case may be the time they are most happy with you and the end result may not be the best time to ask. So, any time a client is pleased with you, ask them for a review.
How to Get the Reviews
This is the hardest part. My office has been asking for on line reviews, albeit sporadically, for some time. Simply asking someone to give you an on line review will yield less than 10% results. People are just too busy and just don’t care enough to take the time to find a site, find your firm and write a review. So, you have to spoon feed it to them.
You need to go to your firm entry on these review sites, find the “write a review” page and copy the URL to provide to your clients. That way, you can send an e-mail which says, “click here to write a review” and it takes them directly to the review page for your firm. Do that for the main rating directories listed above and you will see your reviews increase.
Google Reviews are Most Important
For those who have kept reading, here’s the big secret. Google does not make it easy to get a URL to their review page. And, google reviews are worth more than all the other reviews combined. Here’s how you do it.
First, you do need a Google Business page. It’s easy to go if you haven’t already done so. Click here to set up your Google Business Page. Once your Google Business page is established, go ahead and try to figure out how to get a direct link to your review section. I couldn’t do it. So, I found someone much smarter than me. The good folks at Supple.com have created a program to do it for you. Simply click here and search your firm name. This is an Australian site, so keep this in mind. But as soon as you find your site, select it, and the web site programming creates the custom URL to take you directly to your review page. Go ahead and try it, it works great. One drawback about google reviews is that you do need to be signed into a google account, like Gmail, but most people do have some google account.
Here’s something to make it even fancier. When you have the site you want your client to leave the review, search that site for “google reviews” or “yelp reviews” and select images. All these great icons pop up. Right click and copy the image you like and paste it into an email. Add some text thanking the client for taking the time to click the icon and leaving you a eview. The final step, once you have pasted the image into the e-mail is to right click the image and select “hyperlink.” In the bar which says Address, paste the direct link (from Supple.com) to the review page. That way, as soon as the client clicks the icon, it immediately takes you to the review page.
Ok, enough on reviews. Here’s how it all comes together:
You can repeat the same process with images from the other rating web sites. So take a few minutes to set this up and start asking clients for reviews. It only takes a short time and it will pay great dividends.