FindLaw Q&A: The best way to ask for reviews
We care about other people’s opinions. It’s why we look at a restaurant’s star rating before making a reservation and the reason we read Rotten Tomatoes before buying a movie ticket.
Reviews are also valuable for consumers seeking legal help. People are eager to learn about an attorney’s reputation, and one of the best ways to get a clear picture of who someone is and what they do is by reading reviews. And since search results in Google prominently display reviews by locale, every law firm and attorney should aspire to get the best reviews over their competition.
But when it comes to getting this kind of feedback, what’s the best approach to take? I answer the most common questions about asking for online reviews.
Q: When should I ask a client to leave me a review?
When they share unsolicited praise
Capitalize on the fact they are already talking about the positive experience.
Shortly after finishing a case
If you’re fresh in their mind, they’ll likely have more detailed feedback to share.
After they reach out on social media
If you receive a message on social media, ask them to elaborate in a review.
Q: How should I ask a client to leave me a review?
The top things to remember: Be specific, informal and appreciative. And make sure the email comes from your own account rather than a general firm account. It makes it more personal for the reader on the other side of the screen. To get a feel for what to say, here’s an example of an email to a recent client requesting a review:
How are you doing? I hope you and your family are well! It was such a pleasure working with you during the last few months.
I wanted to see if you had a couple of minutes to share a review about working with J&J Law. Your opinion means so much to all of us here and we’d love to hear more about your experience.
You can click this link to leave a review now: www.directURLtoreviewsite.com
Thanks so much, Sara. I hope you have a great rest of the day!
Lydia Jones J&J Law
Q: What should I avoid when making the ask?
- Never prompt a client for “positive” or “good” reviews
- Don’t ask family members or employees
- Stay away from formal and vague language
- Don’t ask people that you haven’t recently communicated or worked with
- Don’t add pressure by including a specific date for when to write the review
- Never offer or accept money in exchange for reviews
Q: Is it ethical to offer an incentive?
Offering an incentive in exchange for a review is a dangerous game and one to steer clear of when asking for firm reviews. The major players like Google, Facebook and Yelp have policies in place to deter people from offering rewards because it creates a conflict of interest and compromises the integrity of any organization.
As TripAdvisor explains, “We prohibit incentives because they can hinder the validity and accuracy of reviews. If travelers have been promised a reward, they are more likely to write a review that doesn’t reflect their true experience.”
The safe alternative? Don’t fear amassing angry reviews and try to manipulate. Instead, stick with providing excellent service that clients will want to spread the word about.
Q: What if I receive a negative review?
It’s bound to happen – that one-star rating thrown your way. And while any negative reviews aren’t ideal, FindLaw’s latest research shows people don’t actually want to see only five-star feedback. When it comes to learning more about you, prospects are looking for honest and unbiased information, not perfection. So how do you deal with criticism you receive online? Follow these four steps:
Always respond, either replying directly to the review or by taking it offline
Thank the person for taking the time to share more about their experience
Address any core issues and apologize if necessary
Follow up after the fact to make sure the problem was resolved
Turn ideas into action with our free resource, a customizable script to use when asking for reviews.