For as many as 66% of online consumers, online reviews from strangers play an important role in establishing trust in a company long before a formal, personal relationship begins.
In a world where Yelp and other online review websites dictate how we make decisions and spend our money online, your law firm’s reputation has become more important than ever. When a prospective client is evaluating their options, reputation can easily be the deciding factor between choosing you over a competitor.
As the Internet continues to grow and become more involved in our lives, structuring your online reputation is a key factor in establishing dominance over the local pack. You may not know where to begin, or how to manage existing reviews in a way that showcases your firm’s core values and strengths and wins potential client micro-moments.
Fortunately, we’re here to help.
What is Reputation Management?
Reputation management refers to a form of strategy used to manage incoming reviews from past clients on the basis of accuracy, relevancy and quality of service received by the client. Using this information, you can make an effort to influence what and how people think of you and your law firm.
Even with an impeccable website and a strong advertising presence, your law firm’s reviews can make or break the decision for future clients, which is why it is important to have a plan in place to manage your client reviews and establish a positive presence on the web.
Let’s say you haven’t really built a solid professional reputation. Maybe it’s because you’re fresh out of law school. Maybe it’s because you’re taking your first steps into the world of digital marketing. So, to “replace” your reputation, you decide to turn to SEO.
You register some exact match domains, create some websites, build links and wait.
You might get lucky for a while and actually “trick” search engines into thinking that your sites deserve to rank—at least for a handful of exact match and partial match queries. You might even get some visitors from organic search. You may even get a few people to contact you.
Of course, when you get these prospective clients on the phone, they’ll likely start asking questions like:
- “How long have you been doing this?”
- “Have you handled situations like mine?”
- “Can I talk to someone who has hired you before?”
If you haven’t developed a reputation, or worse, you’ve developed a negative reputation, folks probably aren’t going to hire you. But let’s assume you get a few to sign-up. Let’s also assume that you actually are a pretty good lawyer, provide good service and obtain your client an outcome with which they are satisfied.
Why Reputation Management Matters for Law Firms
According to a study by BrightLocal, 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. It is easy for consumers to draw conclusions when they see poor ratings for your business.
However, even bad reviews serve as an opportunity for you to demonstrate your commitment to customer service and reputation management. From “What Drives Clients to Love or Hate Their Attorney:”
It’s essential that attorneys nurture their brand image by encouraging positive reviews and appropriately handling negative reviews. Proactively ask clients who’ve had good experiences with the firm to leave a review on one of your online profiles. Monitor mentions across all of your profiles once or twice a month, taking the time to respond to new negative and positive reviews […] we could go on, but the better solution is to contact us and get a plan for your firm.
Consumers clearly value empathy and professionalism. Thus, the key to handling unfavorable reviews is to remain empathetic, professional, and sincere.
Having a track record that shows that you are able to learn from your mistakes and improve reveals a lot about the quality of service you provide. Managing your reputation—good or bad—comes with the diligent observation of what people are saying about you, and how your subsequent actions show the values of your law firm to prospective clients through the voices of those you have helped in the past.
How We Can Help
As a digital marketing agency founded by a lawyer, for lawyers, we know exactly what you’re looking for when it comes to law firm reputation management.
Whether you are looking to gather more reviews for your firm’s website or are looking for ways to improve your firm’s image following the receipt of negative reviews, AttorneySync is committed to helping you manage your reviews and showcase the positives of your firm.
We are bound by ethical rules and values. We have fiduciary duties of trust, loyalty and transparency to our clients. We represent you—and your interests—when we take you on as a client. You can trust AttorneySync to get the job of reputation management done.