Like many professions, your reputation as a solicitor is critical to your success. Positive reviews and testimonials from happy clients are instrumental in building your reputation, instilling trust in your clients and attracting new clients.
Word of mouth is so important when it comes to expanding your client base. But more often than not, we, as consumers, are more likely to shout from the rooftops about our negative experiences with a business than a positive one. In fact, according to a study by Deloitte, customers will mention a positive customer experience to an average of nine people. On the flip side, they will share a negative experience with an average of 16 people. And it’s the same for online reviews. We are more likely to post a negative review if we have had a bad experience, but we might not be as forthcoming if we have had a good one.
In today’s digital age, online reviews are becoming a consumer’s first port of call when it comes to researching a business or service. In cases that may require confidentiality, many people seeking out legal services may not want to ask their friends or family for a recommendation. So the internet and social media has become a great resource of those looking to find a reputable and reliable solicitor to look after their legal situation.
So it’s important for you to build up those glowing online reviews. In this article, we will share some tips on how to encourage your clients to leave positive reviews and testimonials.
Deliver on the excellent service you are promising
Needless to say, the first and possibly most crucial step in receiving positive reviews and testimonials is to actually deliver on the excellent customer services that you want to highlight. You want your clients to leave your office completely satisfied with the service they have received. Clients are more likely to leave a positive review if they feel they have experienced exceptional service and that you have gone beyond the call of duty in getting their legal situation resolved.
It’s important to ensure that you are providing high quality, efficient and professional services that meet or exceed your clients’ expectations. Remember that when people require the need of a solicitor, it’s usually because they have a stressful situation that needs to be resolved. So it’s vital you put their mind at ease by being responsive, communicative and transparent throughout the entire process. And clients will also feel valued when you prioritise their needs in their case.
Once you’ve delivered on excellent customer service to your clients, you are in a good position to ask them to provide you with a positive review.
Ask for Feedback
While we can often be afraid of receiving feedback, it’s important to remember that feedback, good and bad, can be constructive. If it’s negative feedback, it can be an opportunity to learn what areas your service is falling down and highlights the areas that need improvement. Positive feedback can be helpful in knowing which areas you’re doing well on and what areas of your service are valuable to your clients.
Once you’ve come to the conclusion of a case, ask your client for feedback on your services. You can do this in a number of ways – you can send them a simple survey or questionnaire asking them to rate their experience on a scale of 1 – 10. Or you could ask them for their opinion in a follow up email or phone call. If you are sending out a survey or questionnaire, remember to keep it brief and to the point. If there are too many questions, they might not take the time to complete it.
By asking for feedback, you are demonstrating that you value your clients’ opinions and that you are committed to providing them with the best possible service in future cases. And it also shows to your clients that you want to learn and grow by improving your services.
Keep it simple to leave a testimonial
One of the main obstacles when it comes to clients leaving reviews is lack of knowledge on how to do so. Clients who are not familiar with leaving a review may not know where to go and they may not want to go through the hassle of creating an account or filing out a lengthy form. The best way to overcome this is to make it as easy as possible for your clients to leave a review.
Provide your clients with clear instructions on where to leave a review, whether it’s Google My Business or Trust Pilot. Another step is to provide links to your review sites on your website, social media accounts and even in your email signature.
It could also be helpful to provide examples of positive reviews or testimonials that other clients have left previously. This can give your clients an idea of what to write and can help them feel more confident about leaving a review or testimonial.
Social media platforms are another way to bank some positive reviews. With over 3.95% million social media users in Ireland, there’s a good chance your clients may have at least one social media platform. It may be easier for them to leave a review there so be sure to point them to the easiest route.
Choose the right moment
Timing is essential when it comes to asking for reviews from your client. Although you may want to enquire about a review when your excellent service is still fresh in your clients’ minds, you also need to allow time for them to fully evaluate their experience with you. Bear in mind that the journey your client has just completed may have been a stressful time, whether it happened to be a purchase of their new home, or resolving a probate case.
As a rule of thumb, it’s best to wait a few days or even a few weeks after completing your work before asking for a review. This gives your clients ample time to reflect on their experience and form an honest opinion. However, if your client expresses their satisfaction with your services during the process, you could grab the opportunity to ask for a review while their positive feelings are still fresh in their minds.
Consider an incentive
While it is certainly unethical to pay for positive reviews, it is acceptable to provide some form of incentive to clients who are happy to leave reviews voluntarily. One option is to consider offering a discount on future services. You could also send a gift card or a small token of your appreciation to clients who have taken the time to leave a review. An incentive not only motivates clients to leave a review, but it also demonstrates your appreciation for their time and feedback.
Make sure to follow up
The final step in the process is to ensure you are following up with clients after they have left a review or testimonial. This shows your clients how much you value their feedback and that you are committed to maintaining a positive relationship with them. And you’ll be in their mind should they require legal services in the future.
A follow up call or email also gives you the opportunity to address any negative feedback and discuss how you plan on using that feedback to improve your services. As the saying goes “Wise People prefer to benefit from constructive criticism rather than be ruined by false praise.” So whether the feedback is positive or negative, make sure to thank your client for the feedback and let them know that you appreciate their business.
If your client has left a negative review, it can be a hard pill to swallow. But it’s important to bite the bullet and reach out to them to address their concerns. Be prepared to offer solutions or apologies where appropriate – it could be the difference between your client re-evaluating their negative review or leaving it stand.
Ready to bring in those positive testimonials?
Once you’ve built up a collection of positive reviews and testimonials, you have some great content to help you market your business. Whether you add some testimonials to your website, or use them as content for your social media platforms, the possibilities are endless. If you’d like to know more about the marketing potential of social media for your law firm business, you might want to check out another article The Pros and Cons of Social Media for Law Firms.
It’s important to note that if you plan on using your clients testimonials for social media posts or on your website, it’s considered good manners to check that they are happy for their name to be attached to the testimonial. One option is to use your client’s first name and the first letter of their surname so they are not identifiable if they do not wish to be named – e.g. David S.
If you’d like to know more about marketing your business online, then we have the perfect webinar for you. In Websites and Online Strategies, we share how effective websites and solid online strategies can help solicitors attract new clients and generate new business. You can book this webinar and many more on replay here
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