Every law firm knows they need to get more positive reviews, but the question they ask is a simple one: how?
It’s difficult, but worth it. In this blog post we’ll discuss a very specific and clear plan to get more Google reviews that could potentially double your Google reviews in a 3-to-6-month period.
Note: this post was written specifically for law firms but applies to every business, from a bridal shop or wedding venue to an equipment dealership or sporting goods store.
Star-rating is the most important factor in the game of Google reviews. The star rating matters more than the length of the review, what the person says in the review, and whether the review was left anonymously or with a real name and a picture.
The star rating is king.
That’s what Google bases your ranking from. Star. Rating.
You can’t have a bunch of old reviews. BrightLocal indicates that 73% of your clients disregard old reviews, specifically reviews older than 90 days. That means you can’t simply do a month-long blitz to get reviews. Getting 80 reviews in November and then never thinking about it for the rest of the year doesn’t do you any good.
Because 90 days later you have a bunch of old reviews.
Instead of blitzing in a mad scramble to get reviews for one month, focus on getting 10 reviews (or whatever number you decide) every single month forever. That means you have a consistent process.
You’ve got to have a minimum of 50 reviews for Google to take you seriously. Over 150 is ideal.
I can hear some of you saying ‘wow I’m a small law firm and I only have 15-20 clients per year. I can’t get 50 reviews?’
Here’s the solution: ask past clients for reviews. Text your clients from the last 3-5 years and ask them to leave you reviews. They’ll do it. And you’ll get reviews.
We conducted a survey of several hundred law firms in 2021 and found that almost NONE of them had any coherent process to gather reviews. And those that did, didn’t have a consistent process. No one knew the process and even fewer adhered to it.
So, the first step to successful and CONSISTENT review gathering is to have a process. That process doesn’t need to be some long manual, it can be five bullet points:
a) Define WHO you ask. – Do you ask everyone? Or just the people who like you? My suggestion: just ask the people who like you.
b) HOW do you ask? – Do you text? Email? Ask in person? On the phone? Send postcards? Clearly define your methodology for asking for reviews. This is a big part of the process.
c) WHEN do you ask? - After the case? During the case? This needs to be defined as well. Make sure you everyone at your firm knows WHEN you ask for a review. There isn’t a right or a wrong answer here.
Some firms ask after there is a positive case resolution. Others ask after the case concludes but BEFORE the client gets a bill. Yet others ask during the case when there’s a positive meeting or hearing.
Point is that it doesn’t matter exactly when you ask, but you should define it for your firm.
d) Define WHO is in charge of asking. – Make sure someone is in charge and everyone knows who that person is.
e) Set GOALS. – How many reviews do you want each month? 8? 12? 20? This is dependent on you and on the size of your firm. It’s not the number itself that matters. What matters is that you set the goal.
We mentioned this briefly above. We’ll discuss it more here.
You MUST have someone who is in charge of getting reviews. You could have the best process, the best tools, the best attorneys and clients that love you, but if you don’t have someone who is responsible for gathering reviews, none of it matters.
If you have a marketing person at your firm, the marketing person should oversee gathering reviews. If you don’t, it could be an office manager or receptionist-type person. It could be an attorney or paralegal. At some firms, it might be even an owner or partner.
It doesn’t matter who is in charge of getting reviews as long as someone is.
And then compensate that person a little extra when they get reviews. If your firm’s goal for reviews is to get 8 reviews a month, pay this person an extra $300 when they hit that number (or whatever dollar mount seems right to you).
The point is simple: make sure this person sees review gathering as a critical part of their job.
Let your clients know during the intake process that your goa (your stated goal) is to get a 5-star Google review from them. If you get a 5-star review it likely means you communicated with your client and were responsive. It likely means you were competent and professional. It likely means you won the case, or the resolution was satisfactory to the client.
Point is that if you receive a 5-star review, you succeeded. So let them know up front that getting that 5-star review from them is your goal.
Most law firms don’t consistently ask for a review. Those that do, ask via email. They’ll send a short email to the client asking them to leave a review and maybe fill out a survey.
The problem with that is that it doesn’t really work. Analysis conducted by our data scientists indicate that only about 1% to 2% of emails requesting a review result in a review.
So, what’s the alternative?
Our data, across more than 4,500 businesses, is that when you ask for a review with a text message, you’ll get reviews between 35% and 45% of the time. It’s that effective.
Step 1: Send the Text.
Kenect customers have access to pre-built templates that allow you to send a text message review request with your custom logo and custom templates.
Step 2: Client Clicks the Link.
Clients click the link and go to Google Reviews.
Step 3: They leave the review with their thumbs.
It takes them on average 20-30 seconds.
The average business that follows this process sees a 75%+ increase in reviews in the first three to six months. Many see their reviews double during that time.