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Don’t Let Customer Reviews Be Judge & Jury For Your Legal Services Firm

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In November of 2014, a 1SEO coworkers’ wife was waiting to turn at a traffic light when another driver rear-ended her. While the impact was sufficient to cause her bumper to crack in half, the damage was minor enough that, after exchanging paperwork with the other driver, she went about her business for the day. At the moment of the accident, she felt no physical pain or discomfort, and no medical attention was necessary on the scene. As the day went on, she did experience the expected stiffness & soreness that comes from any impact event; so she took a hot bath, swallowed some aspirin, and eventually went to sleep that night. 

Top 3 Ways to Get Reviews for The Legal Services Industry​

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The very next morning was a different story altogether. Gone was the minor discomfort, and now the wife was experiencing actual & increasing pain in her neck & back, so much so that just getting ready for work that morning was a chore unto itself. She thought about going to a doctor or even the hospital emergency room but opted to go to work as initially intended. During the day, she mentioned the events of the day before, and her increasing levels of pain. The advice she received from her coworkers varied, but one – whose son happened to be a local lawyer at a well-known law firm – suggested she pursue her rights under the law. 
She met with the son-slash-lawyer, who explained her rights to “fair compensation” for her pain & suffering in-depth. Like most lawyers today, this lawyer took on her case pro bono – including the “we only get paid if you get paid” disclaimer pitch so typical of Law Firm TV commercials. This lawyer assured her that even under extraordinary circumstances, the case should be settled within a year, and likely less. The lawyer also promised that he, or his office, would stay in regular contact with her, and keep her abreast of the situation as it unfolded. Feeling confident that she had made the right choice, she left the consultation feeling that everything was proceeding as hoped and looked forward to hearing from the lawyer, or his office, soon enough. 
You can probably guess what happened next, can’t you? After a concerning amount of time had passed and no contact from the lawyer was received, she reached out to the firm. The secretary – or “legal assistant” – never knew anything about her case or changes to it. When she asked the secretary to have the lawyer contact her directly as his next opportunity, the secretary said “absolutely,” but guess what? No return calls were ever made (or received, at least). This “pursuit” would go on for weeks & even months at a time. When she finally did receive a call, it was from the secretary, relaying the lawyer’s minimally-informative messages. No court dates were being scheduled, and no progress to any effect was taking place. This supposed two-way communication channel was only working in one direction, and our teammate’s wife was growing ever more frustrated & annoyed. Still, she stayed the course by sticking with this highly-regarded & recommended (by his mother) lawyer.  
Last month – 5 years & 8 months after the accident – the case went before an arbitration panel. She finally got to tell her story in a courtroom; what parts she could remember, that is, as everything that happened, happened almost six years ago! She’s still waiting to hear the panel’s decision – although by now, she’s grown accustomed to waiting. In the meantime, she started writing a scathing review of this lawyer & his firm, and once done plans on posting it to every Social Media page she can think of, as well as to every law-related site that she can find. Our only question was: No matter how horrible your review of him & his firm might be, do you think they’ll care?
The unfortunate answer to that question is “probably not.” But take it from a digital marketing agency that specializes in internet marketing service for lawyers. We spend a considerable amount of time handling the online business Reputation Management services for their clients who call the Philadelphia & Central New Jersey region home when we share this advice: You should care about every single online review that gets posted about your firm. You should care even more about the negative reviews, and take all reasonable steps to address the issues that led to the bad review. Some people who post negative reviews are satisfied with having done so. Still, many others are willing to change the review to a more positive tone after receiving a satisfactory response from the company they reviewed.
We will dive deeper into the Reputation Management topic next week. In regards to reviews of your legal services business, one other way to handle a negative review is to get so many positive reviews that the bad one will seem like an anomaly rather than something to expect! Unfortunately, businesses in every vertical sector are missing the boat when it comes to maximizing the potential impact of customer reviews. Many Legal Services Professionals are not sure how to go about getting new reviews. We thought we’d lend a hand by offering our Top 3 Ways To Get Reviews for Legal Services Professionals.
Case Closed? How About A Quick Review? The chances are that unless you specifically ask a client to provide a review, they will stop at telling you how good a job you did for them. Many professionals find the asking to be awkward, and never even try; but, assuming the client is pleased with the work you performed for them, there’s no risk in asking them to take 5 minutes to share their experience with the world. You can guide them through the key points to touch on, steer them towards sites designed for legal professionals, or even just your website. 
Can You Be Reviewed? Every legal services firm should have their agencies profile set up on sites like Avvo, FindLaw, and Lawyers.com, not just for new client acquisition purposes, but as a location for reviews of their company. Many businesses prefer to use more mainstream sites like Google My Business. If your business’s profile is search engine optimized correctly, it will also contribute to your company climbing the online search rankings, which will make you more visible to prospective clients. 
Is your Best Good Enough? Ultimately, you won’t be able to make every client satisfied with your company’s performance and services rendered on their behalf – you win some, and you lose some. But as long as you provide excellent customer service for each & every client – unlike the example in the story above – your best efforts will go a long way towards receiving a positive review. 
As long as there are still laws, and lawbreakers, the long-term outlook for most Legal Services businesses shall remain bright. But don’t confuse working within a stable industry for a “hall pass” that forgives you for not thinking that your business needs reviews. Your current customers hope to not stay with you forever. However, their reviews will stay forever, so make sure you’re getting as many as you can – and do whatever it takes to make sure those reviews are positive ones.
Need some professional assistance in managing your online reviews and reputation? Contact 1SEO’s experts for a free digital marketing assessment today!

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