Online surveyThis is my next post on how to successfully market a law firm in 2017 and beyond. My last article looked at why attorneys should leverage LinkedIn before attending networking events. While I know most lawyers believe that going to networking functions is an effective form of building referrals, the truth is that LinkedIn prevents a better networking opportunity than going to such events. In this article I’m going to look at a way to improve revenue that most attorneys (for reasons beyond my understanding) continue to neglect – getting good online reviews from clients. Getting more positive reviews will lead to you converting more of your current web traffic into consultations. This means that, instead of spending more money to get more web traffic, you can increase your revenue without increasing your overhead. Let’s get to it.

Attorneys need good online reviews to keep their overhead costs down

Your lack of good online reviews is hurting your bottom line. A Zendesk study shows that roughly two-thirds of people look up online reviews before deciding whether to make a purchase and that as many as ninety percent of those people feel their decisions are influenced by online reviews 1. These same behaviors will apply to law firms and it’s important to understand how this impacts a law firm’s profits. Let’s say that Joe Attorney has no good online reviews (or worse – only negative ones) and he spends $100 on online advertising such as pay-per-click. He receives ten clicks at $10 a pop. Six of those people who clicked will examine his lack of reviews and, as a result, five will forego calling Joe’s office. This means that, at best, Joe is going to get five phone calls for his $100. Now apply the same math to Jill Attorney, who has many good online reviews. Her $100 may very well convert all ten of those clicks into phone calls but, for argument’s sake, let’s say eight of them convert. This means that Joe’s online reputation is forcing him to pay $20 per call ($100/5 calls) while Jill is only paying $12.50 per call ($100/8 calls). In other words, Jill’s online reputation is arming her with a much lower client acquisition cost; Joe has to pay $160 just to keep up with the volume that Jill is getting for $100. Multiply this out over a full year and you can see how Joe’s higher overhead costs are going to put him out of business.

The thing that I find to be absolutely insane is how the Joe Attorneys of the world deal with this problem. Rather than getting good online reviews they instantly increase their advertising budget and never focus on their online reputation. So Joe is failing to convert the clicks that he is already getting into phone calls, and rather than fixing the problem, he’s simply going to spend more money on more clicks so he can fail to convert those. Well…….as the legal services market continues to contract Joe is going to find himself asking for change just like this guy:

Man asking for change

While Jill will find herself looking like this:

Money raining on woman

It’s simple math. If you want to increase your bottom line then you need good online reviews. Now let’s look at how to go about getting them.

Lawyers need a two-step approach to getting better online reviews

Lawyers struggle to get good reviews for a few reasons. First, most never ask their clients. For obvious reasons this is a big, big, big, big (big problem). Second, the one’s who do ask go about it in the wrong way. Getting clients to go online and say good things about you requires a two-step process. Before I explain that process I need to a big point out of the way. Do not ask a client to leave you an online review unless you know they’re actually going to say something nice about you; as painfully simple as that sounds you would be surprised at what some people do. Now let’s get to how to actually ask for a review.

The first step in getting good online feedback is to ask the client if they would be willing to say something good about you online. Do this by picking up the phone and calling them. If they are willing to leave you some good online feedback then let them know you will send them an email with the links to do so. Immediately after hanging up the phone you will take step two. You need to send them an email with links to your review sections on Google, AVVO, and Facebook. So this article doesn’t get too long I’ll spare why it’s best to focus on just those three. When you send the email make sure the links go straight to your review sections and not the general pages – in other words, the link to Facebook should go to the part of your page where they would leave a review and not simply to the main section of the page. If you follow the approach of a phone call immediately followed by the email then you will see a much higher rate of people leaving reviews than that of other law firms.

I can’t stress enough that you need to have the phone call immediately followed by the email. Not taking both steps will lead to a far lower percentage of people actually leaving reviews. This, in turn, would cost you money. Why do you think so many attorneys neglect getting more good online reviews? Chime in through the comment form below.

References

1 – https://www.zendesk.com/resources/customer-service-and-lifetime-customer-value/