How Important Are Attorney Reviews?
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
Like any product or service, consumers are far more comfortable entering into an agreement after reading a collection of majority positive reviews. Reviews are particularly important for issues considered by consumers to be “high-stakes”, such as making a particularly expensive purchase or looking for a trustworthy legal representative. Someone seeking the help of an attorney is likely already feeling uncertain; providing access to accurate and helpful reviews can help prevent further uncertainty and even offer a feeling of comfort and security to a potential client.
Reviews are just as if not more important than personal referrals.
While a personal referral may direct someone to your website, the reviews they find online will arguably have the biggest impact on their decision to reach out. If a potential client sees a majority of positive, detailed reviews about former clients’ experience with your firm, this can instill a certain level of preliminary trust in your abilities as a lawyer. Similarly, a significant number of bad reviews or no reviews at all is unlikely to motivate a potential client to reach out, especially when they can simply look elsewhere for another attorney or law firm with admirable reviews.
There are two primary factors to a successful collection of attorney reviews; quality and quantity.
If the majority of your reviews are excellent, but you only have a handful of potential clients to look at, even one negative review could tank their opinion of you or your firm, or at least give them enough doubt to look elsewhere. Of course quality is extremely important as well; if you have hundreds of reviews, half of which are negative, it can have a similar effect on potential clients, scaring them away to find more assuring reviews elsewhere.
Pick your review sites.
Not all review sites are applicable for lawyers; it is important to know where potential clients are likely to seek reviews of your practice. Google Reviews, for example, is one of the highest-trafficked review services, with reviews appearing automatically in response to search engine queries regarding legal help. Facebook is another powerful platform for client reviews, and is particularly easy to use in comparison to some other review sites. Another great place to list client reviews include legal directories where potential clients go seeking the names of applicable lawyers. If you or your firm is not currently listed in a legal directory, consider doing so; research has shown that clients are far more likely to trust an attorney chosen from a directory than one that only shows up in a basic web search.
Reply to negative reviews.
It is important to reply to reviews, especially the negative ones. If a client had a less-than-desirable experience working with you, it is important to address their concerns in a visible way, and make it clear that you intend to make amends however possible. This can help mitigate the damage of a negative review by exhibiting your willingness to work with and for your clients, especially if they have been made unhappy by some aspect of the process.
Ask for reviews.
This may go without saying, but to get client reviews, you will likely need to ask for them. Of course, the best way to generate positive reviews is to provide outstanding service, but even then not every client will instinctively take the time to write a helpful review for your practice. This is why it’s important to actively request reviews from current clientele who have been satisfied with your work; if a client was not satisfied, make sure to let them know you are open to hearing them out. It’s also important to respond to positive reviews with a brief comment of thanks or an expression of appreciation that they enjoyed working with you.
For help seeking attorney reviews, reach out to a legal marketing professional or AskTheLawyers™.