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Four Ways to (Ethically) Boost Your Firm’s Online Reviews

November 25, 2019 (3 min read)

Positive online reviews for law firms are nearly as important as having talented lawyers in the building in the first place. Companies that have more reviews—as long as they are predominantly positive—are at a strong advantage against those that don’t. And in an industry as competitive as the legal sector, that can mean the difference between boom and bust. 

Although a marketing budget can help overcome many challenges, great online reviews are one of the few things that it cannot buy, at least without getting the FTC involved. Buying reviews is, in fact, a legally dangerous way of generating positive reviews, as we discussed in our rundown of worst ways that firms try to improve their Google™ results.

But there is nothing wrong with firms wanting to improve their online reviews—and fortunately, there are productive ways to achieve that goal. To help, we are identifying the best ways to get people online and reviewing your practice, none of which cross any legal or ethical boundaries.

1. Make it Easy

To the chagrin of many businesses, people are far more likely to go out of their way to leave reviews after bad experiences. But making the review process as simple as possible is a great way to ensure people talk about the good stuff, too.

Make sure your firm has a profile everywhere—Facebook®, Google, Yelp®, LinkedIn®, etc. This makes it easy for people to interact with you on their preferred platform without the hassle of subscribing to something new. These services have also spent millions trying to make it as easy as possible for people to leave reviews, so you can stick to your legal work and leave this one to them.

2. Interact with Your Reviewers

People who are leaving reviews want to be heard—and want to know that you heard them.

The best way to let them know that you’re listening is to respond as much as you can to both the good ones and the bad ones. Interacting is a great way to boost your overall review numbers.

If someone leaves a good review, that’s great. Take a couple minutes to say “thank you, we’re glad that you had a good experience, and tell your friends.” It lets them know their appreciation is noticed and will make them more likely to do it again.

If someone leaves a bad review, go ahead and mumble under your breath. Some people simply cannot be pleased. But if that’s the case, be an opportunist. Respond to their comments and try to make the situation better. It not only gives them an opportunity for a better experience, but also builds trust among everyone out there watching and shows that you are a compassionate business.

3. Find Influencers

Although the term “influencer” is usually associated with pretty people on Instagram® sponsoring clothing brands and other lifestyle products, you can find them in any industry and on any platform, including legal ones. It might be a relatively new phenomenon, but it works. 

This is not asking people to take pictures of themselves walking into your building (as nice as the thought might be). This is asking clientele that are well known in the community and have good relationships with your firm to post their thoughts online. They will likely be happy to do so, and it will boost your credibility amongst new reviewers and make them want to share more as well. 

4. Just Ask

Probably the simplest but most overlooked way to get more reviews. People that love doing business with you won’t hesitate for a second to write a review, and asking at the right time can even build a stronger relationship for the future. 

Just because you can’t write a check doesn’t mean it’s not doable and keeping these tips in mind is a great way to build a reliable review base.