How online client reviews boost business development in the digital age

Online positive reviews are the best publicity your law firm can receive. While repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals are a key source for generating revenue, small firms and conveyancing practices should not rely solely on these approaches for business development. Online reviews promote your firm beyond your existing client network. Also, because online reviews are displayed in search results, the person who is reading the reviews can be qualified as interested. Interested people who read online reviews and then contact your firm become your potential clients.

People seeking legal services behave in a similar way to other consumers searching online for solutions. These statistics show an insight into consumer behaviour:

How does a review help my firm?

Positive online reviews are good for business. Here are some of the ways reviews contribute to the decision-making process of potential clients:

Reviews bring credibility to your firm

Research shows that 92 per cent of consumers generally trust peer recommendations more than they trust advertising when it comes to purchasing decisions. When a positive review of your law firm is posted online, potential clients who read these reviews are more likely to come to you for help. According to the Harvard Business School Working Paper Reviews, Reputation, and Revenue: The Case of Yelp.com, a one-star bump in rating helps a business increase revenue by 5-9 per cent.

Positive reviews demonstrate that you are invested in helping your clients

Public recognition of your legal services is a win. This confirms your legal expertise to deliver client-focused solutions and will persuade a potential client to contact you for advice. You can continue the discussion by thanking your client for their review and wishing them well. You should respond to all reviews as it shows potential clients that your firm cares about your clients’ experiences.

How do I ask my client for a review?

You need to consider a few things when asking your client to review your firm:

Ask for a review at the right time. Usually this is soon after the matter has been resolved and you have followed up with them to see how they are doing.

Be bold and ask for a review. Be direct and provide links and instructions to simplify the process of submitting a review.

Send a reminder if your client doesn’t post a review. A friendly email or call is acceptable to remind your client to review your firm.

For more tips on receiving client reviews, read 10 simple steps to get online reviews for your business.

What should I do when my firm receives a negative review?

Genuine negative reviews are an opportunity for you to assess the complaint and offer a solution. Create an outline or template that you can complete when you need to respond to a negative review. This will help you to construct a response that puts your firm in the best light. If it’s possible, have an offline talk with your client straight away.

Your response should:

  • acknowledge your client’s experience
  • offer a solution to rectify the issues
  • correct any inaccuracies
  • showcase your firm’s strengths
  • thank them for the feedback.

Always thank your client for the review and for their business and in time you’ll benefit from the increased online visibility of your legal practice.