[Webinar with McKay Allen, January 2021]
Let’s talk about how to double your Google reviews.
Coming out of 2020, we are hearing from our law firm clients or law firm customers that use Kenect that last year they were more worried about staying in touch with their clients constantly and now they're suddenly realizing, "Oh wow, we really need more reviews." That's why we decided to do this webinar to hopefully provide some good educational material that you can use to increase your reviews.
All right, let's dive right in. We're going to take about three minutes and just kind of give you a quick overview of what Kenect is and then we'll jump into the topic. First, Kenect is a text messaging platform that was really built for law firms throughout North America. We have former attorneys, who are still attorneys but aren't practicing, who help build it and design it and really wish they would have had a tool like this at their law firms when they practiced. It allows you to turn your main number at your firm into a textable number, so you can text to and from that number, which allows you to communicate efficiently, allows you to put a little text us button on your website, which we help you with, to generate new leads.
You can even conduct video consultants with text. I'll show you how to do that. And then, of course, driving online reviews, which is what we're talking about today. We are integrated with the leading systems in the legal industry. We have really, really robust integrations built out with Panther, with Filevine, with Clio, with Rocket Matter, Litify, CasePacer, Salesforce, and others, and then we're partners with some of the biggest agencies and service providers in the legal space. We know the industry. We have about 3,000 customers right now, and the industry is starting to realizing I think the value of texting and the value of Kenect.
Two-way texting for your law firm. You can stop giving out your personal cell number. These can be managed by partners. These can be managed and assigned out by an office manager or paralegals. We also provide web leads straight from your site, virtual chat, video chat, and online review generation. These are some of the things that we do. Now, why is texting important? Most of your customers, 89% of your customers, would prefer to text businesses rather than get a phone call. The reason I think is because of how immediate it is. If you think about how we communicate today, we all communicate with texting.
When I communicate with my family, with my siblings, with my family, it's not in a conference call or a phone call. It's with texting. We do that all day every day. Most people do find phone calls to be disruptive. If you're providing case updates to them via texting, they're going to love you. And it is much easier for you in between hearings, in between meetings to text than it is to make a phone call. It's best way to reach them, the fastest way to reach them. 78% of legal clients say a text message is the fastest way to reach them and give them updates. That's important. How do law firms use Kenect? Schedule appointments.
Send reminds. Video chat with clients. You can send and receive photos, videos, PDFs, attachments. Generate reviews. Most customers we find it use it for number two at the start. They think, "Oh, this will streamline my intake process," and it does, but it is also used for far more than that, a lot more than that. Text come in and out of this inbox. It looks and functions like an email inbox, with assignment, with templates that are already built for appointments and things like that. You can also download it to your phone so you can text directly from there, and then send photos, videos, whatever you want.
And then, of course, we just launched this video chat functionality. We actually weren't sure how it was going to be received in the legal world, but what we're finding is that it's really, really gone well. What this allows you to do is if you're logged into Kenect either on your mobile app or on your desktop, you simply click the little video icon on your screen and that sends both you and your client a link. You click on that link and you're video chatting with them instantly. We actually had one firm who said, "We've canceled our Zoom subscription because this is so easy." That's a big deal. No additional software required for you to use this.
It's easier for your client. There's no like, "Well, this isn't working. It's not downloading." You can meet with current clients via video chat. You can do it for initial consultations, and you can even review and draft legal documents as well, because it does a lot of screen sharing. And then the biggest thing that we weren't expecting is that you can meet with up to 30 people at a time. You can meet with family members, different parties, other attorneys, and this has become really valuable. And again, it's nothing to download. They just click on the link. That's pretty cool. All right.
And again, we want you to ask questions. We want this to be interactive, so please ask questions as you think of them and I'll try to dive into those directly. Why do reviews matter? Let's talk about that first and foremost. 93% of your clients say they use reviews as the first step in choosing a law firm. That's a lot of percent, 93. That speaks for itself. The one that really surprised me from this list is the middle one, which is that 91% of your clients trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. Think about it this way.
If you have a friend down the road who says, "Hey, you should go with law firm X," they're actually going to trust the reviews they read on Google and Facebook more or as much as that person, who's their friend, who's their mom, who's their brother, whatever. And then 87% of customers will not consider a firm with low online ratings and reviews. They just will discount them out of hand. We know this is important. We know it's critical. This one I think is also really interesting. 82% of consumers won't even look at a law firm with fewer than three stars. And then these online listings are interesting.
You've probably spent tens of thousands of dollars on your website, and that's great. You should. But these reviews and these listings when you google something are showing up and are seen about five times as more as your law firm's actual website. Make sure that you have a lot of reviews. Make sure you have a lot of star ratings there. What do potential clients want to see in your reviews and in your ratings? First, star rating is the most important factor. And of course, five star ratings are preferred. The higher, the better. Second is quantity. A minimum of 50 reviews is necessary. 150 plus is ideal.
We find that the more reviews, there's a higher click through to the website the more reviews you have. Recency is important and I'll tell you why. It's more important and just most don't read old reviews. That's all true. But here's the thing that we see a lot of law firms do and you've probably done this at your firm. You will say, "Okay, we are going to get a bunch of reviews. February is our review generation month," and you're going to reach out to old clients, current clients, employees, spouses, siblings, parents, and everybody's going to leave you a great review.
And you're going to do that and you're going to get 80 reviews in February and that's really awesome, and then you don't think about it again for 18 months. And then what happens is that other firms pass you on that initial list, where they have recent reviews, which Google prioritizes, and they have recent star ratings, which Google prioritizes. Those are big deals. Make sure you have a constant process for review generation. We'll talk about that. The other thing here, we did a whole webinar on this a few weeks ago and we're going to do another one next that we'll email you about. How do you respond to reviews?
The short answer is this, you have to respond to all of them. That's the best thing. The responses are often the first thing clients read, but you've got to make sure you respond appropriately. For an angry review, resist the urge welling up inside of you to just light your keyboard on fire as you respond. Instead, just be respectful, acknowledge and empathize, and you're going to get a lot further. Again, we're going to do a whole half hour webinar on that topic, like how do you respond to reviews that we encourage you to join us for next week.
But again, make sure you respond to everything. All right. Let's talk about these steps. First, have an internal process. Let's do this. In the question area, can you type in what internal processes you have today at your firm? What is the internal process? Who is the owner for getting reviews today at your law firm? It's okay if the answer is nobody, but just type in that little question area what is your internal process today. How does that work? Samantha just says me. Me is the process. I like that. Keep them coming.
What we see, as you guys type this in and I'll read your responses, but what we generally see is there's three sort of classifications of processes that firms have. The first and most common is they really don't have one. They don't have a process. They don't have an owner. It's just sort of like when one of the partners is like, "Hey, we need a bunch of reviews," they scramble to jets and everybody gets jazzed for a month and everybody does it, and then nobody thinks about it for two years. That's the most common thing we see when we start working with somebody. The second, and I think this is... We're going from not good to better in terms of a spectrum.
The second process we see is that you have paralegals who are working with attorneys on cases. That when there is a positive case resolution or during the case process, there is a paralegal that sends out some sort of an email after the fact that tries to get them to leave a review. That is not bad. It's not great. We'll talk about why it's not great. The third one is there is some sort of like office manager or somebody who does it for everybody, depending on the size of your firm. And again, they send an email maybe after the fact or verbally say, "Leave us a review." That's better than nothing, but still not great.
What we're saying is that you need to have an internal process. This three step process I'm going to show you on bullet point three here, right here on the screen, is you do not need to even start this if you do not have an internal process, an internal ownership. Someone has to be in charge of reviews. Make sure you have that. If you don't have that, nothing that I'm going to say is going to matter at all. Make sure you have an internal process and make sure you have an internal owner. That can be an office manager. It can be the attorney who dealt with the case.
It can be a paralegal who helped the attorney deal with the case, a researcher, depending on the size of your firm. Whatever type of firm or whatever size you are is going to make that decision for you, but you've got to have an owner and you've got to have a process. This process can't be just a couple months blitzing reviews and then never thinking about it again. It's got to be constant, every day, every week, every year, here is the process for generating reviews. Here's what we recommend. If you're a small firm, have somebody like an office manager or whoever manages that sort of stuff for you send this three step process that I'm about to get into to everybody.
Every positive case resolution they manage it. At larger firms, it probably needs to either be attorneys or paralegals, because a single office manager can't handle the volume. But that needs to just happen. Whenever there's a positive case resolution, you do it. Now, what should you do when you're trying to get the reviews? First, don't send emails. Send a text. And I'll tell you why in a moment, but texts are... I mean, we're talking like 40 times more effective. During the process, towards the end of the case, or after a positive resolution, you send this text. This can be customized with your firm name.
It can be customized with your firm logo, and this message can be custom, depending on the type of law you practice. And then you save a template and all you've got to do is put the phone number in of the person that you want to text and send it through Kenect. That's it. That is the only process you follow, by the way. That's it. That's all you got to do. Step two is the customer, the client, gets this text. This is what they see. 93% I think of the phones in the United States and Canada are logged into Google and Facebook all the time. They just simply click on this button. They don't need to log in.
They go to this page. They leave a star rating. They leave a review. That is the process. If you follow that process, you are going to get 40 times more reviews than you get on email. We track this carefully. Firms that send emails generally get about a 1% response rate for reviews. If you follow that process that I just outlined, you will get between a 35% and a 40% review rate, which again, that's not 80%, but it's a heck of a lot more than 1%. That is really important. Again, the three step process, if you will, is have an internal process. Make sure someone is owning this.
Make sure you have a process that isn't just the February month of blitzing for reviews, but is an ongoing internal process with an owner. Make sure someone is in charge in it. Put a bonus structure associated with it, or put a percentage of their comp associated with it, or whatever, but have an owner and incentivize them to get reviews. Then follow this process. Send a text, then people will simply do this. Boom and you're done. Now, a couple things here and then I want to take a bunch of questions. Number one is take control. Don't let bad clients, angry clients, annoying clients determine your reputation.
That's terrible to let them do that. Don't let them take control, play offense, not defense, and build a repeatable process to get reviews. Perhaps it is right before a case resolution. If you feel they're thrilled with you, even if the case hasn't resolved yet, great. Make that your process. If you want to do it the day after a positive case resolution or the day of, that's great too. Do that. But don't send emails. Just send this text message and you're going to be successful every single time.
Now, the other part that's beautiful and that we love about Kenect is that in addition to just getting reviews, you can actually to the reviews and manage them within the Kenect platform. You log in and you can respond to reviews directly. You can adjudicate reviews directly with Google. All that is done within the Kenect platform. But again, none of this technology that Kenect can help you with on the texting side is going to be matter if you don't have an internal process and internal owner. All right. Let's jump into some questions here and please keep sending these questions. This is good.
Good question, Andrew. It is stored in an inbox that sort of functions like an email inbox, and those emails can be assigned or those text messages can be assigned to individuals, to departments, to groups, whatever it is. You can have an office manager or paralegal who assigns the text message to an attorney, and then that attorney is directly back and forth with the customer. It's organized however you want it is the best way to say it, Andrew. I promise it's really well-organized and can be organized by direct assignment.
It can be organized automatically. It can be organized manually. Most people are saying they really don't have an internal process for gathering online reviews. Intake specialist does the reviews.
Great question. Leaving reviews anonymously is really up to the client, because they're the ones who determine on Google, for example, how they're logged in.
You know how easy it is to set up a Gmail account. If they want to leave a review anonymously, all they got to do is set up a Gmail account and they can leave an anonymous review, if they don't have their name associated with their current one. That's really easy.
I don't want to get your hopes up there, Diana. You can always ask Google to take down a negative review. They rarely do it. Unless it is directly harassing you or saying incredibly offensive things, they are not going to listen. They're just not. Your best bet to fight negative reviews is to get more positive reviews.
The other thing I'll say about negative reviews, and again, we have a webinar next week where we're just talking about negative reviews and how to deal with them, is you have an opportunity to respond to that negative review, right? And then the second thing I would say is the number one reason that you get reviews, this is from Clio, across law firms is not because the client lost the case, but rather it's because they felt like you didn't communicate with them. We believe texting back and forth can largely solve that. But again, the best way to reduce negative reviews is to communicate better.
Quit playing phone tag. Quit going back and forth. Just text. It's a lot easier. Everybody likes it. You can do that with Kenect.
Really well. We did a relaunch of that in November I want to say. It's really brand new. The Panther integration we relaunched in January, earlier this month. Yeah, it's really effective.
When you send the text, what you would do is actually marry the request to one of your locations.
It will then show up where the request originated and our set up team can show you how to do that. Let's see. How do we deal with people in criminal or family law situations where they don't want their review to be public? Good. That's a really good question and that's a common one we get especially with criminal offenses. You want them to leave you reviews, but they probably aren't really thrilled to get on Google and be like, "They helped me get out of this DUI." They don't want to leave that review. But what you can do is say in this request, "Please keep the review generic. We're sensitive to your privacy," and then their choice what they want to leave, but you could also give them an option.
Say, "Sanderson Law Firm helped me with a legal matter. They were great. It was simple. They communicated effectively." They don't need to say, "They got me out of a DUI." Give them an example to use if you feel like your request isn't working. I know Google reviews are very important, but how about Yelp reviews? So listen, Yelp, Facebook, all these other channels are important as well. Don't get me wrong. But there is one search engine that people go to when they want to find something and that's Google. The way people reach Yelp Reviews, for example, is with a Google search most commonly. The way they find Facebook reviews is with a Google search most commonly.
Google is the window to your firm. We prioritize and recommend you also prioritize Google. The other thing is that Google is also prioritizing your firm based on both the number and quality of reviews. In our opinion, it is Google and then seven blanks and then everything else. It's Google. That's really what it's about. Great questions. Keep them coming.
Meaning to your employees or to the reviewer? I assume you mean the reviewer. The answer is yes on both, of course.
We recommend that if someone has not managed reviews and they don't see it as part of their job and you're going to go them and be like, "Hey, guess what? Part of your job is getting a bunch of reviews," sure, give that person an incentive. Say, "Listen, if you get 40 reviews a month this quarter, we will give you 500 buck bonus," or whatever it is. I don't know. It's up to you guys in how you structure things. For the reviewer, absolutely. You could say, "Hey, listen, if you leave us a positive review, we'll send you a gift card." That's fine. Google has no way to police that.
And even if they did, I don't think they'd care because you're going to get a bunch traffic to Google, which is what they want. Now, I wouldn't go as far as to say, "Hey, take off your negative review and we'll send you a gift card." They could probably report you to Google in that situation. You could enter them in a raffle for every positive review or something. Whatever you want. Diane makes a good point. At certain states, sending incentive can violate bar rules. Yes, of course. Don't mess around with that. You know your bar rules and your state better than I do, so make sure you are aware of that.
Good point. The other thing that I would add here about negative reviews, and again, we're going to have a webinar next week where we're talking about this exclusively, but is you've got to make sure that when you respond, you do it empathetically. You don't have to acknowledge that they're right, right? If they just rip you apart and rip your team apart, you don't be like, "Yeah, you're right." Say, "Hey, sorry that happened. We are really frustrated that that happened to you. We share your frustration.
Why don't you message me back at this number or text into our main number and our team will send it to me and I will personally handle this and make sure that we make it right in some way?" But again, you can avoid negative reviews, not all of them, but a lot of them if you communicate better. In the instances where I've dealt with law firms, the most frustrating thing is when you feel like you're not being updated on status of your case, on hearings, on documents needed. It is the most frustrating thing about dealing with a law firm. And you know what? They're probably going into a situation with a law firm where they're expecting a frustrating experience, right?
It's kind of like when we go to the dentist, we expect pain. And they're expecting like, this is going to be frustrating. But if you're communicating with them constantly and pleasantly surprising them, delighting them, they're going to be thrilled to leave you a positive review. That's not a stretch at all. Do reviews from lawyer.com or Facebook redirect to Google My Business? No. Unless I misunderstand what you're asking, the answer is no, they don't. The reviews have to be left on Google for them to show up on Google My Business.
Now, again, there is value, of course, with lawyer.com and with Facebook reviews, but we believe Google is the most important place to generate reviews. Great question. In terms of the integrations, we're getting more questions integrations with like Filevine and Panther and Clio, essentially this allows you to post messages within those platforms, to send and receive messages in those platforms, to automatically put contact information that you're collecting via text into those platforms, and create new matters or cases or records or whatever they call them now. They call them something different.
But again, the integrations are really robust, and we're now to the point with these integrations where it's like V2, where V1 was like super basic, posting the phone number or something into Clio automatically or Panther or Filevine or whatever. Whereas now it is posting a message and sending and receiving and all that kind of stuff. Awesome.
Great question, Ashley. Set up process is one call. We do an activation call with whoever you want to be using the platform and that call usually takes about 40 minutes and it's our activation specialist.
And then you'll be assigned a customer service individual who will be available to you 24/7 if you have issues. I mean, it's not like some crazy software tool. It is texting for your firm that also does video chat, that also does review gathering, that also does payment collection if you want, that also does a ton of stuff. Again, it's pretty simple, straightforward, and powerful. Good question.
But usually it's well within realm of affordability for like a single solo practitioner firm and able to get into it. Let's see. An issue we find coming up is people who do not have a Google address are forced to set up an email before they can... Yeah, it's true. Google does force you to have a Gmail account before you set up a review. That's just Google's policy. It's the way to get a lot more people on Gmail and that's what they demand. You're right. Not much we can do about that. The fortunate part is like 73% of people in the U.S. have Gmail accounts. It's most customers are going to have a Gmail, but yeah, some won't.
Yes, you can, Samantha. Great question. Let me go and show you this. There is a Kenect mobile app. Once you're a Kenect customer, you can download the mobile app, and you can directly text people from your phone. You'll also notice over here on the right screen, you'll see the little dollar sign, the calendar sign, the video, the picture, the other video, these allow you to text and send calendar reminders, pictures, videos, images, and also to immediately initiate that video chat. Yes, it can be done via phone.
The thing we've heard from attorneys is that they'll be heading into a hearing at the courthouse, or they'll be jumping in a meeting in a conference room, and you can't call somebody in that three minute window you might have, but you can text them and that's what they're using it for.
What do you mean, John? Are you talking about like your firm's clients, how you get them to keep texting you? Is that what you mean? If that's your question... Good. It is. Okay. Your clients, I promise you, are not going to have an issue texting you once you start texting them.
Of course, you're always going to have 8% of your clients who are going to want a phone call, and of course, at certain points phone calls are required, which is why we added the video chat functionality. But your clients are going to love texting and they are not going to have an issue texting once you begin the process. Once you let them know like, "We're going to text you most updates," everything's in writing, they can see the history, they're going to love it. How do you organize the text for future reference? Does it interact... It does. It's fully integrated with Clio. Great question. Both the text and the contact syncing.
And then how do we organize them? They're organized chronologically and searchably by name, by number, by person who handled them, by topic. The searching is really robust and it is totally integrated with Clio. Good question, Andrew. Really good question. All right. Keep the questions coming. I want to show you... Yes, there is a way to archive the text, Lisa asked. Good question. Yes. You can actually keep it... Exactly. You can keep it in folders. You can organize them by group, by topic, by folder, by person who responded, by client. Absolutely. Those, again, integrate completely and are associated with the records within Clio, Filevine, Panther.
Years. I believe they're saved as long as you want. Our technology team probably is hearing that saying, "No, no, no. They're saved for 36 months and then they're deleted." I don't know what the answer is there. Put it this way, Lisa we've never had an issue with people being like, "Oh, we want text and they're not saved." Does it integrate with MyCase? It does not integrate with MyCase yet. We're working closely with MyCase to build an integration right now. Good question. All right. I want to share with you a case study that I think will be interesting to you before we close up shop here.
This firm started using Kenect as part of their intake process, but now they use it across their whole firm. They are a firm right outside of Tampa. And just a few things that they're using it for. Video chat. Simple to use. Much easier and quicker than Zoom. 82% increase in Google reviews in just a few months, which is a big deal. It allows them to keep their phone number consistent across the firm, because their business number is text-enabled, you know how big of a deal that is, and having record of the conversations, so attorneys aren't texting from their cellphone.
We didn't even talk about the lead gathering functionality here. We can do a whole nother webinar on that, but basically we throw a text us button on your website that allows people to immediately start texting you. They put in their cell number and you're texting them immediately. Not chatting them in a web portal, but actually texting on their cellphone.
I assume you mean, Donald, they're leaving negative reviews because you rejected their case. Good. That's a great question. Like I said, you're going to get some negative reviews.
The key is, and this is why what we're talking about today is so critically important, if you have 350 positive reviews and you have eight people who were mad that you rejected their case and leave you negative reviews, doesn't matter. If you have 40 positive reviews and you have eight people mad that you rejected their case, that does matter. Get more reviews. We use Gmail as our email software. Do text come into the inbox of the Gmail? No, they come into the Kenect texting inbox and to whatever practice management software you're using. They come into the Kenect inbox, which I can show you here in just a second.
Good question, Andrew. What number is used when texting? Whatever number you want. We can turn your main business number into a textable number. We can turn any number you have at the firm into a textable number. Your main number can be textable. We don't take ownership of it. You do. We just make it textable. No, you don't need... This is a great question, Lisa. She said, "Do we have to have another tool like Clio or Panther to sign on with you, or can we hire you independently?" You can hire us independently. You don't need to be integrated with those other tools or use those other tools. We're just pointing out we're integrated with them if you use them.
Yeah, you can use just use us and a lot of firms don't use a practice management solution, but the still use Kenect because it's that valuable. Spanish is great. You can use Spanish. What about Spanish-speaking only clients? Yup, it absolutely works for Spanish-speaking only. Absolutely. Any language that uses the alphabet can be used via texting, can be used in Kenect. We don't support Chinese characters or Japanese characters, but we do for Spanish and German and French and such.
Yes, there absolutely is. That is directly assignable and customizable by you. Great question. Awesome. These are great questions. Someone asked about the inbox. I just want to flip back over and show you the inbox real quick again. This is what the inbox looks like. Your text will come into this inbox, and you can again have separate inboxes for individuals at your firm, or you can have everybody sharing an inbox. It's totally up to you. And then on your phone, it looks like this.
Absolutely. Someone can be designated to receive those.
You can do that and set it as a calendar for it to change back, to revert to the way it was on Monday morning when the person gets back from Cancun or wherever they were. Awesome. Well, everybody, thanks for your questions. This has been great. I really appreciate you taking the time out of your day. Keep them coming here. We encourage you to keep asking questions. I'll keep answering them. This is how you reach us. This is our main number. Text us or call us here and you'll see how it works. The way we have it set up is we have an automatic reply that's set up so you receive a response immediately that says, "Hey, thanks for texting in. We'll get a real person back with you immediately."
And within about one to two minutes, we respond with a real person via text. It's really effective and useful, and that's why we're getting 70, 80 firms signing up with us every single month. Elizabeth, one more question here, good one, do you get a notification by email when you receive a text? You can set it up that way if you would like. It's totally up to you. How do we compare to our competitors? That's a really good question. There are other companies that offer texting.
We believe that there is no other competitor in the space who is really built for law firms, number one, has as many integrations as we do, number two, and has as much feature rich technology as we do. In other words, you might find a firm that is able to just do reviews with texting, but you're not going to find one who does... Or just does texting, but doesn't do reviews. But you're not going to find one who does texting, reviews, video chat, payment collection, and is able to generate leads from your website by putting that little text us button up there, and has the ownership, internal structure and assignment structure and calendaring that we do, and that has the integrations and that is built for legal.
Yes, Diana, we do offer demos. Here's what I'd ask you to do. Call or text this number that's on the screen right now and set up a demo. If you set up a demo... Let's see. It's 40 after the hour. If you set up a demo... You don't need to complete the demo, of course, within the next 20 minutes, but if you set up the demo within the next 20 minutes, we're going to send you an Amazon gift card, and we will give you special pricing. In addition, what we'll do is that activation call, we can do as many or as few of those calls as you want. Please get a demo. This is worth at least looking out for your firm.