Sometimes life is a crap shoot. You pay your money, you take your chances. People don’t want to have to face this when they are seeking a professional of any type, to assist them where their own efforts have gained them nothing or actively harmed their situation. Everyone has heard of the social media site Yelp, but few professionals have any idea about what online reviews can do either to you, or for you. When it comes to hiring an attorney, people turn increasingly to the Internet. The National Law Review reports some interesting statistics about how people are finding an attorney.
- 74 percent of people looking for a lawyer begin their search online, but contact the office by telephone.
- 96 percent of people seeking legal advice will use a search engine like Google.
- 71 percent think it is important to have a local attorney.
All of these factors play in to the popularity of review sites such as Yelp, or Google reviews, but also the online lawyer specific rating sites like Avvo.com, Superlawyers.com, and others. It might even surprise you how many people make yelp their first stop when they’re looking for an attorney and how much that first impression really matters. 70 percent said that better reviews would make them willing to meet with an attorney outside of their local area if they had better reviews than a local attorney. While one bad review will not make or break your firm, and with the full understanding that there are some people who will not be happy no matter what you do, the best way to get those good reviews is-
- Provide your clients with a very high level of personalized service.
- Ask them to rate and review the service that they received from you and your firm.
All the advertising budget in the world cannot buy the goodwill of client and a genuine, positive, and enthusiastic review. When it comes to hiring a professional, people trust the experiences of other people just like them. They also understand which reviews are helpful, which are not, and for certain clients with a highly tuned BS filter, which should not be given any credence at all. They don’t have a JD, they don’t have an MD, so they have to rely on their peer group in order to navigate systems that require professional degrees.
If your current online review status is not as glowing as you might wish it to be, you may wish to take some of the more articulate and specific reviews to heart, and respond not with boilerplate, but genuine response that does not break confidentiality. And if you lack much in the way of online reviews and reputation, it will pay to start working with a marketing professional to build a successful online presence that shows your firm at its very best. Combining a website, SEO, social media, email marketing, and content marketing can help you to grow your client base and reputation.