Google Reviews 101 - A Complete Guide to Reviews at Your Firm

Oct 20
min Read
Legal Webinars

[Webinar Transcript, October 2021]

My name is McKay Allen. I'm on the marketing team at Kenect. And today we're going to talk about Google reviews 101 and dive into how to double your Google reviews.

Who is Kenect?

First of all, who is Kenect? We are a text messaging platform built for law firms based outside of Salt Lake City. And essentially what we allow you to do is keep your main business phone number, but make that number textable. So you can send text to and from that main number simply by logging into Kenect. This allows you to communicate really efficiently to generate new leads, to conduct video consultations, and to drive online reviews as well.

All of this is done with texting. So communicating more efficiently with clients or clients want to text you. We'll talk about that more in a second. Generating new leads, we put a little text us button on your website so you'll get more leads than you ever have before. Conduct video consultations while you're texting. You can do a live video consultation. Generating new reviews is what we'll discuss today. We were recently listed as number 216 on the Inc 5,000 list. The Inc 5,000 list lists the 5,000 fastest growing companies in America. It's an honor just to be on the list, but we found we were in the top 5% of the list, which was really exciting to us.

One of the fastest growing companies in America. We're also integrated with the leading case management systems in the legal industry. So integrations with Panther and Clio and Rocket Matter, and Clio Grow, and Filevine, and Salesforce in CasePacer. Now you don't have to use one of these integrations to use Kenect, but you can. So how do we do it? Two way text messaging for your law firms so you don't need to give out your personal cell number, web leads straight from your website with that text us button, video chat for virtual consultations and an online review generation and reputation management. Why text messaging? Well, frankly, it's because everybody prefers texting to making a phone call. It's that simple.

If you are only allowing people to call your business, you are missing out on leads. They don't want to call you. They want to text you. You're sick of playing phone tag with them, trying to get ahold of somebody to make sure that you have the paperwork you need. Make sure they understand when a hearing date is or when they need to appear somewhere. That is all phone tag hell. Texting eliminates all of it. And the reason is because you can text while you're doing something else. I'll bet you half of you are texting somebody right now. And if that's the case, that's great. I'm thrilled that you're texting somebody right now. So that's the benefit of texting is you can text while you're with somebody, while you're at a dinner, or while you're at a soccer game, whatever it is. Most people find phone calls to be distracting and disruptive.

Top 8 Ways Law Firms Use Kenect

So top eight ways firms use Kenect, scheduling consultation, sending appointment reminders, streamlining intake, and validating case cases really efficiently, sending case updates, collecting fees, video chatting with clients, sending and receiving photos, videos, PDFs, and attachments, generating reviews, and capturing leads. You can add the text us button from your website as well to your website. So you get more leads from your website. If you provide them the option to text, they will want to text you. It's that simple. And that kind of goes to what we're saying is if you give somebody the choice of the text us button, plus your contact us page, plus your phone number, right, which they can also text, they will text you about 80% of the time, which is kind of wild.

This dramatically increases new leads from your website. So this is a firm that we launched a few months ago. You can see total leads from their website in a given month. When the widget was added, it's done nothing but go up. When they come in to that widget, see that little text us button, you can select a department, create departments for them to choose, individuals for them to choose. And then you can text them, ask them intake questions. Save that step of the entire process. It's a really, really great way to use the tool.

How does Kenect work?

How's it work? You log into the Kenect texting inbox so you can send and receive text messages directly from here. Just like an email, but for texts. And it shows up on your client's phone, like a regular text message. But for you, you can just do it from this inbox. You can also do it from the Kenect mobile app. Again, you download this not your clients and you can send and receive text messages right from here, quick replies, requests reviews, attach and send photos, videos, PDFs, links, camera for live video chat, request payments, schedule messages as well. Live video chat I mentioned. You can use that during the intake process. So while you're texting somebody, you just click a little button, sends you a link, them a link, you both click on it. You're doing live video chat while you're texting. All right. Let's go Google reviews here. And I want to make sure you're able to ask any questions you want, whether it's about Kenect, whether it's about Google reviews, whatever it is.

What are Google reviews?

Anyone using Google can review your business and leave a star rating. These reviews can be just star ratings or they can be long or short. Google does not verify it to ensure that the ratings are true, that the reviews are accurate, or that the person was your actual client. All they need is a Gmail address and they can leave the review. So some of you might be saying, well, gosh, why would I then weighed into this world if there's no verification, if there's a ton of risk here, right? Because Google could just literally do whatever you want to do. Or they allow people to post whatever they want to post. So keep that in mind. The reason that you should is because they matter to clients. 93% of clients use reviews as the first step in choosing a firm, 91% of clients say they trust online reviews as much as they would trust personal recommendations.

Online reviews are the new word of mouth. Now the thing that's really interesting about this is if you would have done this webinar's say five years ago, we would've found that these numbers would've been in like the 58 and 56% range. So that shows you how much it's changed. Is 93 and 91 and 87% of clients use reviews as a first step in choosing a business. They trust online reviews. They won't even consider businesses with low online reviews. Now, the second reason they matter is because they matter to Google. Rankings are completely determined by ratings and reviews. The top listing receives around 50% of the total clicks and 98% of clicks are in the top four. So let me recap this. The vast majority of people, the vast majority of people are going to Google when they want to find a business. Okay. That's the first thing and most important thing to note. The second thing to note is that Google is ordering businesses based on the number of ratings and reviews that they have. And if you're not in the top four, you won't get clicked. It's that simple.

How to Gather Reviews at Your Firm

So if you're not getting ratings and reviews, you will not be listed. And if you're not being listed, you will not be found. So make sure you understand why this is important and why it matters. So steps for gathering reviews:

  1. Number one is you've got to have an internal process. You've got to have a process that is defined and clear for getting reviews. Now, what should be included in this process? Maybe the following questions. This doesn't need to be some 12 page manual, right? All this needs to be literally in order to get reviews is probably four bullet points. Who do I ask for reviews, everybody or just the people who love me? And the answer by the way is just the people that love you. How do you ask, texting versus email? Who's in charge of getting reviews? And when do you ask. Do you ask when the case is over? Do you ask when they've had a good meeting during the case process? Just define those things.
  2. Second is you need an internal owner. Make sure someone's in charge of getting reviews. If no one's in charge of getting reviews, you will not get reviews. So you got to make sure someone owns it and they know they own it. Now who should own it, is the next question law firms usually ask. If you're large enough to have a marketing person, that person should own it. If you're not large enough, then maybe it's your office manager, receptionist kind of person. Maybe it's the attorneys themselves. Maybe it's paralegals, legal assistants, whoever. It doesn't really matter is my point. What matters is they know they own it and someone owns it. And give that person a number. Say, Hey, listen, if you get eight new reviews for us a month, we're going to give you a $300 bonus. Whatever that is, just make sure someone's in charge of this.
  3. And then finally use texting, not email. If you use email to get reviews, you're going to get reviews between one and 2% of the time. If you use texting, you're going to get reviews between 35 and 45% of the time. So let me just repeat that. Most law firms will use email marketing to try to get reviews. It just doesn't work. They will send an email that says, Hey, thanks for being our client. Leave us a review and fill out this survey. It doesn't work. You're going to get reviews between one and 2% of your time when you do that. If you text and ask for a review, you're going to get reviews between 35 and 45% of the time.

How to Gather Reviews With Kenect

So how does it work? While you're using Kenect, you can send a text message. It's just simply got your logo, it's got your business name. You can customize what that text says, and it goes to your client. They click on a little button. They leave the review and you'll get reviews between 35 and 45% of the time when you do that. So steps to success here. Number one is take control. Do not let your angry clients determine your online reputation. This is, if you remember nothing else from this presentation, remember this, the firms that are really aggressive about going and getting reviews are the ones that are going to succeed. Now I know you didn't get into the profession you're in to become a salesperson. I totally get it. I understand. But if you just sit back and wait, you're going to get three or four negative reviews a year and three or four positive reviews a year. That won't work. You've got to get 40 good reviews a year and three negative reviews a year, right?

So go in and aggressively get those positive reviews. Don't sit back and wait. Hope's not a strategy, right? Go and get those positive reviews. Take control of this and go get those reviews. Number two is build a repeatable process. Find a point in your process where you can easily ask happy clients for reviews. Number three is use text messaging, not email. Kenect is 35 times more effective than email at collecting reviews. And then respond and start marketing. Respond to every review and use your reviews on your website, and your ads, and your office.

How to Deal with Bad Reviews

All right. How to deal with bad reviews. How common are they? So for most law firms, it's about one in 50, are negative reviews. For family attorneys, it is about one in eight or nine. So that is a worst ratio for those of you keeping track at home. Tips for avoiding bad reviews. You probably can't avoid them, but you can reduce them. Right. Some people are always going to leave you a bad review. If they're not leaving you one, they're leaving the Mexican restaurant down the street, a bad review, or the massage therapist down the road, like whatever. So they're going to leave bad reviews. You can reduce them. So the number one reason firms get negative reviews is because of a lack of responsiveness, right? The perception is that someone didn't communicate effectively with the client.

That is the number one reason people leave bad reviews. All right. What not to do when you get a bad review. What you should not do is the thing you probably want to do the most, which is put that person in their place, reply to it and put them in their place. Tell them why they're wrong. Don't do that. The reason you shouldn't do that is simple. Number one is you're not going to convince them. They're not going to suddenly be like, oh, you made some great points, excellent points. I can see why I was wrong. They're not going to do that. The other reason is because they're no longer your audience. You're no longer trying to impress that person. The second they leave you the negative review, they don't matter at that point to your business. The people that matter are the 5,000 people who are going to read that review and your reply in the next month.

You're not going to get them to change their mind, but you can impress those 5,000 people. So what should you do when you get a bad review? What you should do is reply, but reply with something like this. Oh, I'm sorry you're frustrated. I can understand why you're frustrated. My name's McKay. I'm one of the partners at the firm. I'd love to talk with you about this personally. So please text our main firm phone number and I will directly respond and we can sort this out. It's all you need to do. In all likelihood, they're not going to reply. They're not going to respond. You're not going to have any sort of interaction with them. But what will happen is the people who read that reply, read the review are going to think that you're professional and competent and good at your job and care about your clients. And that's what you need.

The key, as I said, though is to bury bad reviews with good reviews. If you're doing that, then dealing with bad reviews is easy, right? You're going to get a couple of year, no big deal because you've got 40 good ones, or 60 good ones, or 70 good ones. But if you're just sitting back and waiting and hoping to deal with bad reviews when you get one, you're going to be overwhelmed by it. A couple of quick case studies and we'll be done and take whatever questions you have. This a law firm called Carey Leisure & Neal based in Tampa. They initially got Kenect to help with their intake because they realized it was easier to capture intake information via text than anything else. But then they realized, oh wait, they do video chat. We got an 82% increase in Google reviews in three months. Single business line, text enabled.

"The key, as I said, though is to bury bad reviews with good reviews."

So from their business line, they're able to text their clients, past clients and future clients. Live responses to all messages and really, really easy to use. Another case study, Dozier Miller. This is a law firm in Charlotte. They say it's the little things that make a big difference and that's what Kenect does for our clients. Texting makes it easier to contact us, pays you to send documents. So they were less concerned about intake and more concerned about communicating effectively with their clients. So less time spent on the phone. Clients don't want a 20 minute phone conversation. They want to get right to the meat of the question. A 253% increase in Google reviews in just a few weeks. Clients prefer text messaging, right? Simplified intake process. And then 116 reviews generated over the last 12 months and 5,200 texts received from clients. You think those clients are complaining or leaving negative reviews about Dozier Miller's ability to communicate? Absolutely not.

Interested in learning more about Kenect? Schedule a demo with us and we can discuss how Kenect will help you at your firm.

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