The Online Review Economy: From Personal Referrals to Client Reviews

People do business with people they trust.

 

Is obtaining client reviews worth our time?

As an attorney, you value “word-of-mouth” recommendations and referrals. If a potential client needs a divorce attorney and you specialize in tax law, you’ll send them to a firm you’re proud to endorse. This generates goodwill on either end, and hopefully your colleagues will return the favor when the opportunity arises, but you can’t count on it.

Online reviews are a much more effective source of generating leads. Reviews are simply more accessible to your vast target market, and they regularly produce a steady flow of inquiries to your door step. Potential clients conduct targeted Internet searches and focus on the reviews that contain information relevant to their own situation and needs. They can anonymously read and evaluate reviews posted by previous clients, as well as your response to those reviews. This process allows potential clients to relate the reviewers’ experiences to their own specific pain points and find context that helps them decide which attorney they’d like to speak with.

Do visitors trust online reviews more than their own contacts?

Overall, yes. It is a well established fact that consumers read reviews before they make a selection or purchase. Reading reviews is why so many shoppers stop by Amazon, even if they plan to make their purchases elsewhere.

Review platforms understand that their own reputation and their industry as a whole is at stake if anonymous or obviously paid reviews undermine user trust. Google does not accept anonymous reviews and many platforms are implementing verification programs to ensure that a reviewer is authentic and has a legitimate relationship with the product. They know that visitors are suspicious of outlying opinions, and often look into a reviewer’s comment history when evaluating opinions on high-value or high-stake products and services.

Wouldn’t our law firm be vulnerable to negative reviews?

Your law firm is already vulnerable to unfavorable reviews. It is undoubtedly, best practice for attorneys to be proactive and embrace the new online review economy. Let’s face it, lawyers are always in someone’s cross-hairs. It’s the nature of your business. You represent your clients best interests. That does not mean someone on the opposing side may not take the opportunity to express their frustrations. However, you have the power. The power from successfully representing your client’s best interests. Statistics show your happy clients are willing to express their satisfaction with you in the form of a positive review, but you need to present them with the platform.

How do attorneys obtain positive reviews?

We’re committed to helping your firm build and maintain an authentic brand identity in today’s online review economy. Our services help attorneys —whether you’re a sole practitioner or a large law firm —generate authentic client reviews, and attract qualified clients. Contact us to learn how we can generate positive reviews and increase your law firm business.

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