Since the start of the pandemic, the way we work and access information has changed drastically, and people have become increasingly reliant on online research, social media recommendations, and particularly online reviews to make key decisions. Increasingly, law firms are investing in seeking feedback from their clients in the form of online reviews.
So, just how important are online reviews, how can you go about getting them, and what happens if you get negative reviews?
Client reviews are trusted as much as personal recommendations
Recent figures from The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) suggest that 89% of consumers check online reviews and a whopping 85% trust reviews as much as personal recommendations. Most people look at TripAdvisor reviews before booking a hotel, or at customer reviews when buying something on Amazon. The same principle is now being applied when purchasing legal services. Reputation and recommendations are key to decide which firm to engage with. Seeking third-party/independent endorsements really can seal the deal – it can also prove invaluable in helping to improve and refine your service offering and shape your marketing communications.
What are the options
There are lots of options out there for sourcing reviews from your customers. The volume of reviews you ask for, as well as what budget you have will determine which solution will be best for you. Here are a few review sites for law firms.
Asking for google reviews is a simple and free way to build your bank of reviews – you just need a Google My Business account (you no longer need a google email address for this) in order for it to work. If you have reviews which you believe are not genuine you can apply to have them removed – but beware this is a lengthy process and could take months. Google Reviews will help to boost your SEO and web presence.
Feedback Survey Tools
Delighted and Survey Monkey are other free tools which you can use if you are looking for cost effectiveness – with upgrade options available if you want more functionality. The key to sending feedback surveys is to make them short, concise and easy to complete so that you’ll get a high return. Tools like delighted are particularly good for asking for feedback from long standing clients – they can be a “temperature -check” to ensure you’re still working well together, although shouldn’t replace regular client review meetings.
Net Promoter Score tools
Tools such as Satmetrix or Qualtrics measures client experience and predict business growth rather than focusing specifically on client testimonials, but it does provide insights from clients that inform the actions that will help you to build a strong ‘customer experience’ programme.
If you have some budget to spend and have a decent volume of transactions you may want to consider Review Solicitors or Trust Pilot. Review Solicitors as you may guess, is specific to the legal industry and can integrate with case management systems to make the process of closing matters and asking for reviews a seamless process. Trust pilot is not specific to the legal industry but is universally recognised as a quality standard. Both will boost your profile in search results and allow you to port across reviews gained on other platforms / obtained manually.
What if I get a negative review?
Figures from Review Solicitors suggest that around 30% of those asked for a review will respond. And that 30% are more than likely to be those who are either really pleased with the service you’ve given them, or those who have a grievance they’d like to air! So what happens if you get negative reviews – will this hurt your reputation and credibility and is there anything you can do about them?
First of all, if you have 100% of your reviews giving you a 5-star rating, this may well not seem 100% genuine – after all, you can’t please all of the people all of the time, right? Responding to reviews, both positive and negative, shows that you care and that you are keen to rectify any mistakes and improve service delivery. If dealt with in a professional and courteous way, reviews can showcase your commitment to excellent customer service. Of course, if the review does not appear to be genuine or contains false information you can apply to have it removed or suspended (it depends who you use to get your reviews ).
However you chose to capture reviews it’s clear that the benefits for your profile, service offering and reputation are clear. Feedback will not only help you to attract new clients, it will help to shape your marketing messaging – this is what we know you’re looking for and this is how we deliver on that”. Using reviews and case studies in your marketing messages is a powerful endorsement for any firm.
So, now you can see the benefit of seeking reviews, you’ll need to decide on an approach which best suits the kind of work you do and the volume of transactions you deal with. If you’d like advice on how you can source reviews/ ask for feedback or would simply like to know how you can maximise the feedback you get across your marketing channels, please do get in touch with the team at Consortium.
If you would like advice on how you can source reviews/ask for feedback, or if you would simply like to know how you can use the feedback across your marketing channels, please do get in touch with Lara or call us on 01903 530787.