As we’ve discussed, it’s hard to get reviews for a law firm naturally unless they’re probably negative. People just resolve their issues and move on with their lives, but with the right finesse and timing, you can take different approaches to getting a positive, meaningful review for the desired website.
One way I’ve helped some law firms get some good reviews was including a call to action in an e-blast or e-newsletter (when they had a solid mailing list of former clients). In a newsletter you’d typically send out, discuss the topics normally done on the scheduled basis but put in an additional section where you say something along the lines of:
At So and So, we’re committed to helping our community with So and So matters. If you’ve had a good experience with us in the past, please take a few minutes to leave a review here.
The only foreseeable issue with such an approach is that anyone that did not have a good resolution, for any reason at all, may feel the desire to leave an unfavorable review.
Encourage Legal Staff to Help
The most successful campaigns I’ve seen that got dozens of great reviews was finding a method of encouraging legal assistants/paralegals to get reviews from clientele. This is up to your discretion – making it a part of “closing a file” or a natural part of the protocol for wrapping up representation would be your call. In one instance with a law firm I consult for that handles criminal defense, they have 140 reviews on Google (which is mind boggling) because the legal assistants almost naturally make it a part of the process to encourage clients to leave reviews after representation, without being aggressive or pushy at all. There’s nothing wrong with a receptionist or legal assistant keeping in contact with a former client that had a good resolution to remind them to leave a review (unless of course they can tell it is becoming an annoyance or they’ve requested you to stop communicating with them).
This seems to be a common approach that yields results. When you are in a position where your last in-person interaction is about to occur, you can simply ask them to leave a review for you when they get home. There are a couple of ways you can make this easier for them:
- Either send them a follow up email that has the EXACT link to your profiles on specific sites (direct link to your Google, Yelp, Avvo, Facebook, etc.). AKA, don’t expect them to Google search you and find the right profile, or
- Have a device in your office that can easily have them log into their account and do it on the spot. An example would be an iPad with a wireless keyboard right there in your office.
Without getting too technical, having them leave a review in your office may conflict with IP issues, meaning that sites like Google can log the IP of where a review occurred. If all of your reviews are being left from the same IP (even from different Gmail accounts) there is still a chance they can be deleted out of suspicion. This is a situation I’ve attempted and was disappointed with the results.
Cutting corners doesn’t exist when it comes to getting long-term quality reviews that stick. You can, of course, get creative with how you want to incentivize people to leave them (which is the unfortunate reality for this game overall) but you want to stay completely ethical on this venture. Methods that are completely discouraged are:
- Buying reviews anywhere. As tempting as it is, I can’t begin to tell you how much I’d discourage this for lawyers. If I could give you any one reason at all not to bother with this, it would be your lack of control of who or what profile is going to be doing the review. If you’re in Florida and all of a sudden you’re getting praise from someone in the Ukraine, how does that reflect? Even if you’re getting a review from someone in the United States, but they’re saying “So and So handled my personal injury matter with integrity” for 35 law firms in 24 different states, how would that look?
- Attempting to send a gift card to a client upon review. This is something you’d have to consult about with your state bar, but I’d say chances are slim unless someone tells me otherwise.
- Your own lawyers and legal staff leaving reviews. I’ve seen lawyers leave reviews for themselves that say something along the lines of “I’ve been working at my firm for 20 years and I’m the best! 5 stars!”. The reviews may stick but all it takes is a potential client doing a bit of research and seeing that as a review and deciding to keep looking.
With the right timing and slight introduction of urgency, there’s no reason that a law firm can’t have ample reviews on most social sites. But I can nearly guarantee they won’t all happen on their own even if you’re the best lawyer in town. Need some help putting together an effective one-time or ongoing campaign to get reviews? Contact our team today and we’ll talk about what we can do.