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Legal management software firm Software Advice conducted a survey a couple of years ago among random U.S. adults to find out how they use online legal reviews. The results from 3,465 respondents were as follows:

Top reasons consumers use online legal reviews:

  1. Find a lawyer (83%)
  2. Evaluate an existing attorney (9%)
  3. Qualify my initial choice (8%)

What consumers look for in online legal reviews (in order of importance):

  1. Quality of service
  2. Overall ratings
  3. Demographics
  4. Scheduling/staff
  5. Photos

The most important information about quality of service (in order of importance):

  1. How well their legal options are explained
  2. Attorney win/loss record
  3. Professionalism
  4. Listening skills
  5. How quickly cases are resolved

The most important demographic information (in order of importance):

  1. Years of experience
  2. Certifications
  3. Education
  4. Age
  5. Gender

The most important administrative information (in order of importance):

  1. Responsiveness
  2. Resolving payment issues
  3. Staff friendliness
  4. Scheduling ease
  5. Type of office

Willingness to drive further for an attorney with better reviews:

Obviously, online reviews are important to law firms. So how can this be less painful for you while ensuring you get the best possible feedback? Here are some tips:

  1. Integrate feedback into your client management process.

Not only do you need good/great reviews, you need them on a consistent basis since most people only rely on the most recent reviews to form an opinion. Integrating feedback into your client management process is the best way to ensure you are collecting positive reviews on a consistent basis. You can start this at intake: “Our goal is to provide you with a 5-star client experience, and we hope you will leave us an appropriate review at the conclusion of your legal matter.” And always make it easy for clients to review you. Have a review form on your client portal. Email clients at the appropriate time (when they’re happy!) with links to your profiles on social media and Google Business and request a review.  

  1. Automate the review process.

Finding the right time to ask for a review can be tricky since you never know if a client has the time right now to write a review or if they’re busy with other things. Avoid this problem by automating the review process. Set up a series of timed, personalized emails from you, which can be done well ahead of time. Educate them on why reviews are important to you and ask some leading questions that provide them with ideas on what kind of information would be helpful to other people in their review. Be sure to thank them for their time and consideration in leaving a review for you.

  1. Create great client experiences.

Of course, the best way to get a positive review is to provide stellar client service. One of the benefits of integrating client feedback into your client management process is that you can gather feedback throughout the life of the relationship so you have the opportunity to catch little problems and resolve them before they become big problems. If you are giving your clients a great experience with your firm, they will line up to tell others about their “discovery” of this great lawyer.

Getting great online reviews is a process that will pay off for you in spades by attracting more of the kinds of clients you want to serve.

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