The Secret to Gaining More Reviews: Just Ask

In my previous posts here, here and here, I’ve been making the case that online ratings and reviews are nothing to fear—indeed, they can actually help build your businesses. So it shouldn’t surprise you to hear me say that the more reviews you receive, the more business-building power they’ll have.

For one thing, additional reviews are likely to be positive. And more positive reviews will help drown out the occasional negative ones you might receive.

So how do you get more reviews? Simple: Just ask.

All right, it’s not quite that simple, but it’s close. It’s best to ask strategically. Here are a couple of strategies for doing just that:

  • Direct the request personally to the client by name, without using a form letter. Allude to some specifics about the case in which you were involved. Let the client know that the feedback he or she provides will help you improve your practice. If you’ve represented multiple parties, feel free to request feedback from each party. In cases where you’ve represented an entity rather than individual, seek feedback from those with whom you interacted the most.
  • Avoid prompting a client about what to say in the review. That would undercut the review’s value. You can suggest to the client that the best reviews include information about what someone hiring an attorney may be interested in knowing. What you’re looking for is an honest and detailed appraisal.

One thing you’ll want to look into: Whether your state prohibits the solicitation and use of ratings, reviews or recommendations. Staying in compliance with your state’s specific rules is an absolute must but no matter the details, you should never offer clients compensation or other inducements to provide a recommendation.

When to ask.
But assuming your state says it’s okay to ask, when should you request a review? Some attorneys wait until the final termination letter. Others prefer to get feedback at the height of the case, or soon after receiving a successful judgment, but before sending out the final bill and termination letter. Really, the timing’s up to you and your client.

Need a little more?
Even with my powers of persuasion, you might still need more evidence. Or you might want more details about how you can benefit from online ratings and reviews. In these recent posts, I’ve been drawing from FindLaw’s newest white paper, You Can’t Control Your Firm’s Reputation. Download it now (it’s free), and you’ll gain more insights and strategies for managing your firm’s reputation in the digital age. I think you’ll be surprised—pleasantly surprised—by what you’ll discover there.

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