Reviews are often overlooked by law firms busy with the day to day demands of clients, court dates and deadlines. However, reviews on Google, and sites which compare legal services like LawTap, are often the first point of contact for new clients who don’t come by way of referral. Due to their personal nature, reviews can act much like a referral for new clients vetting your firm. Insights has compiled this list of 4 tips to help law firms use reviews to attract new clients, and how law firms are already using reviews to win new business.
Reviews are referrals for the Netflix age
According to recent survey in Inc.com, 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a referral from a friend. In fact, reviews are a leading metric for many people assessing services or products, with 91% of people either reading reviews regularly or occasionally. A further 68% said they form an opinion after reading between one and six online reviews.
The upshot for firms? Reviews are major factor when clients select legal services, so asking for positive reviews should be a priority for all lawyers. Heading off potential negative reviews should also become part of a law firm’s business development activity. This can be done by simply being honest; if you know a client might be less than satisfied with your work, own it and ask for feedback. Giving a client the opportunity to be heard is the best way to avoid a negative review appearing elsewhere, especially as reviews can be difficult to remove from some platforms like Google.
Time when you ask – and specify the work involved
The best time to ask for a review is immediately after you have delivered a positive outcome for a client. Wait too long and you risk the client being too busy, or worse, having your good work marred by some other development which may be beyond your control.
For Jessica Mills of Yarrabilba Legal, a local law firm in South Brisbane, the ideal time to ask for a Google review as after successfully challenging a speeding ticket for a client.
It paid off; Zane Grey, the client, was extremely appreciative, calling Jessica a ‘life saver’, and noting how affordable and helpful she had been.
Name names – and respond
Bringing in new business is essential to ensuring you ascend through the ranks of a law firm. If you have done good work for a client, ask them to name you personally in the review. This can serve as a clear, tangible example of the value you have brought to the firm during performance reviews.
When Kristi Towns of Towns Conveyancing Services was personally named in a positive Google review, she took the time to respond. It’s a small gesture, but a meaningful one – for new clients, it gives the firm a face and a sense of personal connection.
Make it easy
Once a potential client has been persuaded by positive reviews, make it easy for them to book an appointment with you. Jessica Mills of Yarrabilba Legal takes bookings through a law firm Service Portal which reflects her available times for a phone call or meeting. Offering online appointment booking ensures a lawyer can lock in new business even if they are busy in court or completing work for other clients.
“Yarrabilba Legal offers mobile, tech-driven and affordable legal services throughout Queensland,” said Jessica. According to Jessica, online appointment booking is integral to being able to keep costs low for clients; indeed, the affordable nature of Jessica’s legal services is a recurring theme of her reviews from clients.
This story is part of the College of Law’s Four Simple Marketing Tips for Law Firms series.
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