Trust in the online world doesn’t come easy. Users aren’t likely to trust what businesses claim they can do online, no matter how many benefits and features they offer. They are innately skeptical of brands/services at first glance, but there is one factor they have always trusted: the opinion of other users.
Today’s online culture is run by experiences and comments. Whether you enter social media platforms, business platforms, or search engines like Google, you will find that reviews matter a great deal.
Online reviews are the perfect union of our online world and traditional “word of mouth,” and this joint occurrence is now known as eWOM. eWOM is user-generated communication online, and while it comes in many forms, the most significant is, quite arguably, reviews.
Reviews are essential to your firm for several reasons like:
- Driving calls and cases.
- Improving your visibility.
- Boosting your firm’s SEO ranking in Google’s SERP.
- Building on your trustworthiness.
- Allowing the user to voice their opinions.
They can indicate that your firm is offering quality service, and most importantly, online reviews can give extra reassurance to prospects that are on the verge of choosing between your firm and another.
So, we know that positive comments left behind on your socials, Yelp, Google My Business, and the like, are what can get prospects to come a-knocking on your door. But, just how much do these positive reviews really help? To give you a better idea, 92% of users will use a local business if it has at least a 4-star rating.
And while this all sounds great, the process of acquiring positive reviews takes work. Stay with us as we give you the top five actionable steps your firm can take to earn more positive reviews.
The top five actionable steps your firm can take to earn more positive reviews
1. Identify the right moment
When asking for a review, timing is everything. There isn’t a standardized time that works for every firm. However, here are some ways you can determine some of the best times to ask for reviews:
- After you help your client succeed in a case.
- When a client expresses satisfaction with your firm’s service.
- If a client is spending time on your website browsing your services.
- If a client refers others to your firm.
- And if the client comes back with yet another case.
You can ask clients to review your firm 3 to 5 days after having closed their case. This gives the clients a few days in between so your firm doesn’t come off as pushy. Additionally, asking a few days after means the client’s perception of your firm is still fresh in their minds.
If you are meeting the client in person, you can also directly ask them for a review in a face-to-face conversation. A great scenario to ask will be if you find that you’re meeting your client’s needs and have good news on their case. Take advantage of this opportunity and follow up by showing you’d appreciate them putting a good word in.
Asking clients can feel difficult because most might not want to state their private legal matters publicly. To tackle this issue, you can guide their response by giving them a writing prompt with general questions that protect their case’s privacy. More on this in the following section.
3. Start a conversation
As mentioned, directly asking the client to review your firm can be challenging. Provided that’s the case, then starting with a conversation might be the solution. By keeping the dialogue conversational, you can find areas of strength and weaknesses. But, how should you start? Open-ended questions are your way to go.
Open-ended questions allow a free form of response. These questions go beyond a vague “yes,” “no,” “maybe” answer. There are two benefits of asking your clients open-ended questions:
- Open-ended questions are an excellent source for customer feedback. They are a source of finding out your firm’s “tips and tops.”
- Open-ended questions avoid forming preconceived notions.
Some examples of open-ended questions are:
- How would you describe your experience with our firm?
- What were the main reasons you chose us as your legal representatives?
- How do you feel about our firm’s overall service?
- How was your most recent interaction with our firm’s customer service?
4. Give the client options
Most clients won’t want to go out of their way for extra-actions like reviews. Nonetheless, they will most likely review your firm if it’s conveniently placed along their way. Because of this, you should give options on how and where to leave a review.
Convenience is key. Therefore your firm can:
- Link different platforms with the review form so it is available at the click of a button.
- Add a direct link to the page so they can leave a review.
- Add a pop-up widget to your website.
- Give the client a prompt on what to write (this is related to open questions).
- Let them know how long it will take (the quicker, the better).
- Add a short review section on a ‘thank you’ page after they use your service.
5. Build a culture around reviews
Offering incentives to clients for leaving behind their reviews might be counterproductive, as search engines like Google prefer when reviews are “honest” and “unbiased.” Google even states, “business owners shouldn’t offer incentives to customers in exchange for reviews.”
However, you can create an incentive in your firm’s environment. For example, you can organize a quarterly team goal of getting X amount of client feedback and provide some form of reward for doing so. In return, this motivates your firm’s staff to put in extra effort when acquiring reviews.
Additionally, creating a company culture around getting reviews can give your employees a drive to get to know the clients better, i.e., the preferred method of communication (email, text, or phone) and work a plan around that channel.
You can think outside the box and use other review prompts that don’t require the client to write. One example would be to implement NPS, net promoter score. It will give clients a metric from 1-10. And based on the average response, you can calculate using the following formula:
On a scale of 1-10 you have:
- Detractors on the scale from 0 – 6
- Passives on the scale of 7 – 8
- Promoters on the scale of 9 – 10
To calculate the Net Promoter Score (NPS) all you need to do is subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters.
Your firm can use this to determine what clients think of staff friendliness, assistance, communication, Etc.
Bet on your clients
It is critical that your firm bets on its clients and prospects….at the end of the day, this is where your money is. Like we said earlier, clients can be your firm’s best sales representatives. With the help of reviews, they can convince other prospects to pick you.
What you say of your firm online matters, but what others say of your firm online matters even more.
On top of that, reviews need constant updates. Although all reviews are welcome; outdated reviews are much weaker than recent ones. To keep the conversation alive, your firm needs to actively seek out new positive reviews.
Learn how your firm can create a plan of action to drive more sales. Consult the experts.