The legal industry is tough in many ways, but competition is particularly fierce when it comes to online marketing and reputation management. Law firms of any specialty have to compete for a limited number of clients, which makes every aspect of your online business – from the design of your website to your SEO and more – crucial.
Additionally, managing your online reputation is critical, especially given that would-be clients have no shortage of law firm reviews from which to draw early conclusions.
But many otherwise successful law practices are missing a big part of online reputation management and client-building: review management. In fact, your law practice could have a better online reputation and better client retention if your online client reviews better the image you want to project.
The Importance of Online Reviews
It’s an open secret that online reviews are necessary for both attracting new clients and managing your broader reputation. Not only can online reviews draw new clients to your firm, but they can also push potential clients away.
Most importantly, good reviews help your law practice stand out from the competition, even if you practice in a competitive niche.
For instance, about 89% of consumers worldwide usually make an effort to read reviews before buying any kind of product. Additionally, nearly three-fourths of consumers (or 84% depending on the study) report that they trust online reviews about as much as personal recommendations.
That’s a huge switch from just a few years ago when online reviews weren’t trusted nearly as much as word-of-mouth. It’s another example of how the Internet is changing all aspects of business, not just retail or other industries.
The bottom line is this: online reviews aren’t an aspect of your practice’s reputation you can afford to ignore. More importantly, they’re an aspect of your online reputation that could be working for you, not against you.
How Impactful are Online Lawyer Reviews?
To see this in action, all you have to do is check out one of the many lawyer review websites currently active on the web.
Look at these reviews for a law firm that focuses on accident lawsuits:
- One five-star review reads, “Attorney Ian C. helped us so much in our legal needs. He was so informative and worked very hard for us. We could not have asked for a better lawyer. The whole office was always there for us.”
This positive review can act as a testimonial, proving your legal chops and drawing new clients to your office.
- On the flip side, negative reviews can have a significant impact in the other direction. Just check out this review for the same law firm: “Unprofessional, unorganized, makes appointments for you, then either cancels or is late. This lawyer took my retainer fee, then never provided the service she was hired for.”
A review like this is likely to turn even the most optimistic potential client away from your office before you have a chance to make a pitch.
The law firm under fire here hasn’t been practicing good online review management. As a result, their reputation is up to the whims of either overly angry or overly satisfied clients.
When something as important as client flow can be dramatically impacted by your online reviews, why would you ever leave this part of your practice to chance?
How to Leverage Online Reviews for Your Practice’s Benefit
Here’s the truth: you don’t have to just let reviews get posted online without your management. In fact, you can deliberately manage your online reputation by curating lists of reviews, responding to potentially negative reviews, and by promoting highly satisfied reviews to drown out the occasional, unavoidable rant from an impossible-to-please client.
How? Review Power: a groundbreaking review management product from Advice Media.
Review Power is a one-stop solution for all of your online review management needs. It provides you with an intuitive, in-depth dashboard that allows you to monitor any incoming reviews for your law practice across several mainstream review sites.
In addition, you’ll be able to see an on-demand overview of the overall or general online sentiment about your practice. With your thumb on the proverbial pulse of your online reputation, you’ll be able to immediately take actions to correct reputational dips or double-down on successful policies and client testimonials.
Review Power offers various mechanisms so you can tailor your online reviews to facilitate a positive reputation that’s easily found in relevant search results.
For instance, you’ll be able to invite clients to post positive reviews. Additionally, Review Power lets you proactively target any happy customers, making sure that their reviews are the ones posted publicly. In as little as a few weeks or months, review sites will be inundated with satisfied customer reviews mentioning your performance and legal expertise.
Even better, Review Power quickly alerts you whenever your firm gets a new review, whether it is positive or negative. Then you can respond to those reviews using the same primary dashboard.
All in all, Review Power gives you the tools you need to manage your online reputation in a more hands-on and direct way than ever before. Through this product, you can manage your practice’s reviews through platforms like Facebook and Google, plus request private feedback so you can make your practice better over the long term.
Start Managing Online Reviews for Greater Success Today with Review Power
As you can see, there’s no reason not to start managing your online reputation by monitoring and responding to reviews more proactively. Promoting positive reviews can go a long way toward bolstering your practice’s online reputation and attracting new clients, which can also help to make you more competitive in the already crowded legal industry.
Contact Advice Media today to discuss Review Power and other digital legal practice solutions we offer.