Is Your Firm “Naughty” or “Nice”?

He’s makin’ a list and checkin’ it twice, gonna find out who’s naughty or nice.

Now that Santa Claus is Coming to Town is firmly stuck in your head, let’s talk marketing.

Just like the catchy lyrics of a holiday standard grabbed your attention, your law firm’s online reviews grab the attention of the people in your community looking for legal help. In fact, 88 percent of consumers say that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

But when legal consumers look at your online reviews, what impression will they get about your firm, naughty or nice?

Which list are you on?

A good place to start is by looking at your firm’s average “star” rating on review sites like Google or Facebook. Of course every business wants to have an average five star rating, but don’t be discouraged by a rating of three. Studies show that 80 percent of consumers will use a local business with a three star rating. (2015 BrightLocal Local Consumer Review Survey)

However, if your firm’s average rating is south of three stars, it’s time to take action.

Step 1: Encourage Positive Reviews

One of the best ways to raise your average review rating is to encourage happy clients to leave reviews. Be careful here – there is definitely a right way and a wrong way to encourage reviews. Never suggest that you will compensate clients for leaving positive reviews or ask your employees to leave “fake” positive reviews.

But there is no harm in being assertive when it comes to soliciting your client’s honest feedback about working with your firm.

Step 2: Respond to Negative Reviews

Although it’s a good idea to respond to every review, including the positive ones, it’s absolutely critical that your firm responds publically to negative online reviews. Here are some suggestions for dealing with a bad review from an unhappy former client:

  1. Acknowledge the reviewer’s emotion without arguing.
  2. Politely provide context if appropriate. This is particularly important if people are leaving a negative review because you were unable to take their case.
  3. Contact the review site to request removal of inappropriate reviews. For example, if a disgruntled former employee or a competitor leaves a negative review, it is acceptable to ask the site to remove that review.

If your firm is facing more lumps of coal than candy canes this month, reach out to FindLaw. Our digital marketing experts know how to build strong brands for attorneys. Getting back on the “nice” list might not be as hard as it seems. Click here to schedule an appointment today.

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