Overview: Google Reviews 101 for Law Firms

Sep 20
min Read
Legal Webinars

[Webinar transcript from September 2022]

Hi, everybody. Welcome to the webinar today. We're excited you're here. Today we're going to talk about Google reviews 101. We'll try to keep this presentation relatively short and just get you the pertinent details and things you need to know.

Who is Kenect?

So, first things first, who is Kenect? What do we do? We're a text messaging platform built for law firms throughout North America. We help you communicate efficiently, generate new leads, conduct video consultations, and drive online reviews all with texting. And that's I think a really important thing to note, is we do all of this via texting. We turn your main business number into a textable line.

We're recently listed as one of the 216 on Inc. 5000, list. Number 216 on that list, which makes us one of the 5% fastest growing companies in the world. We're also integrated with leading case management systems in the legal industry. So these are some of the case management systems we're integrated with. We're also integrated with SmartAdvocate, Actionstep, Clio Grow, MyCase and LawPay. Now, to be super clear, you don't need to use one of those tools in order to use Kenect, but you can. So you can use Kenect as a standalone or you can integrate it with your case management system.

How do we do that? Two-way text messaging for your law firm so you don't need to give out your personal cell number, web leads straight from your website, video chat for virtual consultations, and then online review generation as well. Why are we so focused about, worried about, focused on text messaging? Well, 89% of our clients would prefer to interact with a business via text rather than a phone call. And I think that's really important to note and to understand, is that phone calls no longer really are effective in terms of working with for most clients. They want to text you. That's how they're communicating with everybody on a day-to-day basis, is with texting. So keep that in mind. I think that's important to note. Most clients find phone calls to be disruptive as well. Also something important to keep your eye on.

Top eight ways firms use Kenect, scheduling consultations, sending appointment reminders, streamlining intakes, sending case updates, collecting fees. All of this can and should be done via texting and I think that's important to note and to understand. All right. We also add the text us button to your websites so you can send and receive text messages to and from the Kenect texting inbox. This is I think going to be a fantastic way to get more leads from your website. We also have the Kenect team inbox here so you can see exactly how it looks when you log in. Looks and functions a lot like an email inbox, but it's for texting.

We also have the Kenect mobile app that allows you to send and receive text messages to and from your main business phone number from wherever you are. You can request reviews, request payments, schedule messages, and do all sorts of things. How to use Kenect video chat. You also can do live video chatting with people while you're texting, which is a great way, by the way, to engage with them during an initial consultation specifically.

Information about Google reviews

So, Google reviews are the best method, the primary method to engage with clients about your business specifically. It's the only method they have to really leave feedback anywhere. And these can be just reviews, they can be just star ratings, they can be long or short, and Google does not verify to ensure that they are your actual client. So Google My Business allows you to put basic and verified information about your business on the internet and is used by Google as the central location for verified information about your law firm.

So your GMB page typically receives more than 5x more views than your actual website. So most businesses are spending the vast majority of their time and money on their website when in reality what they should be doing is spending that time or money on Google My Business pages. So that's important to note, I think and important to understand, is just how critical the Google My Business page is for your business. It's the location where reviews are left. It's the location where reviews are housed. It allows your business to show up in Google results and on Google Maps. To be super clear, if you do not have a Google My Business page, Google Maps cannot find you. So make sure that you understand how important those are and how vital they are.

Claiming your Google My Business profile

So how can you claim your Google My Business profile? Well, search your business on Google, Google will then display what it knows about your business. You'll then be prompted to log into your Google account. You click manage now, people will ask, or Google rather will ask for some sort of confirmation that you're the business owner. Sometimes they'll call you, sometimes they will send an email, sometimes they'll send a postcard, but they will ask for some level of confirmation. And I think that's really important to note and understand as well.

So why do Google reviews matter? Google reviews matter because they matter to clients. So 93% of your clients use reviews as the first step in choosing a law firm. 91% of clients trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. And your clients really do care. Most people will not take action until they've had some sort of validation for their decision. If a law firm does not have reviews, they are seen as unreliable. The second reason they matter is because they matter to Google. So 97% of people go to Google when they want to find a law firm. They don't go to Avvo, they don't go to Yelp, they don't go to Facebook, they go to Google. If you aren't in the top three, you will not get clicked. Remember that.

So 97% of people go to Google when they want to find a law firm. Google determines the order in which law firms are listed based on ratings and reviews, and if you are not in the top three, you will not get clicked. Now, sometimes people get frustrated because Google will have a different order in which they display organic results. So sometimes you'll see the map, other times you'll see organic listings, then you'll search best law firms. In North Carolina, for example, you'll see that. So it just depends. Sometimes you'll see paid ads, then paid ads, then a map, then organic listings.

The thing I want you to remember from this is that the organic listings always do better than the paid listings. So my point is don't get dismayed when you see paid ads and paid listings at the top, just worry about getting reviews. That's going to be more helpful than any other thing. Stand out and get clicked. So your online reviews, like the one above, those are going to produce 500% more views in your firm's website. Your consumers won't even really look at a law firm if they don't have at least three stars.

Now the question we often get is why does Google care about reviews? They have one job and that job is to produce the result the searcher wants to see. So if Google is doing that, if it's producing the results the searcher wants to see, the only thing they can do when someone searches for a business is show them the best businesses. And the only way they can determine that is with reviews. That's why they care so much, is they're trying to give the searcher a good and accurate experience. And if that searcher is trying to find a business, the only way they can actually have a good business or a useful search result is by showing the best businesses.

Dealing with negative Google reviews

All right, just quickly how to deal with negative reviews. They're fairly common about one in 50. You can't really avoid them, you can mitigate them. We believe the best way to mitigate them is to communicate more effectively, and we believe the best way to do that is via texting. So the number one reason people get bad reviews, businesses get bad reviews is because they can't avoid them, they have poor communication, I should say. So if you want to avoid bad reviews, you can communicate better and we believe, again, the best way to do that is via texting.

What not to do when you get a bad review is probably the thing you want to do the most, and this is really important. And that is put them in their place and tell them they're wrong. If you do that, if you put them in their place and tell them they're wrong, they won because you're just going to make the situation worse. It's just going to get worse. So what should you do when you get a bad review? What you should do is the thing that's the hardest and that is reply with restraint and respect. Say something like, "Sorry that happened. I can understand your frustration. I'm one of the partners. I'd love to talk with you about this directly. Just text our main business line and I'll respond personally." That's all you got to do. Don't argue with them. You're not going to win an argument.

The key though is to bury bad reviews with good ones. Because if your whole plan is to deal with negative reviews, you simply are not going to have success. You've got to go get good reviews. That's the best way to handle the situation. Will Google take them down? The answer is no, not usually, unless the review is just obviously fake. But if somebody says something that is just untrue or you believe it's untrue, they're not going to take it down. They're just not. So keep that in mind.

How to get more positive reviews? Well, your clients want to see two things. They want to see quantity and recency and Google, the algorithms with Google I should say, want to see these two things as well. You've got to have quantity. You've got to at least have 50, maybe 150 reviews. And then don't think you can just go get reviews one time and never think about it again. You've got to have recent reviews. So it's not enough to say, "Well, we'll just go get a bunch of reviews in October and never think about it again." That won't work. It just won't.

How to get more positive reviews?

Build a process to ask for reviews is important. This process does not need to be a 12-page manual. It can be a very simple four-stage questioned process. Who do you ask? Do you ask everybody or just those that like you? How do you ask? Do you text? Do you email? Do you ask in-person? Do you ask on the phone? When do you ask? Do you ask after a case, during the case? Who's in charge of asking? Those are the questions you have to answer.

So for A, I would just ask people who like you. There's no reason to ask everybody. No reason at all. How do you ask? Do you text? Do you email? Do you ask in-person? Do you ask on the phone? I would text for the reasons and data you see below. When do you ask? That's entirely up to you. And then who's in charge of asking? This goes to number two, which is you have to determine an owner for the process. If you do not have someone who's in charge of asking, and more importantly they know they're in charge of asking, then you're in trouble.

Ask in the right way. Email, so a 1% to 2% response rate for reviews. Texting produces the 35% to 45% response rate for reviews. So if you text, you will get more reviews. So if you're a Kenect customer, you can send a text, it's got your logo, it's got the firm name, it's got a link. They click on that, they select the review site, they post the review. If you do that, you are going to get reviews far more frequently than if you email.

Now, as we wind up here, I just want to show this slide. You can read what's on this slide. I won't repeat it all, but the thing I would stress here is number one, take control. Do not let angry clients determine your online reputation. Get your great clients to leave reviews and be aggressive with this. If you just sit back and wait and hope, you will fail with getting reviews. You have to go aggressively to get reviews. All right. If you're interested in learning more, you can text us at (888) 972-7422 or call us at that number. You can also go to kenect.com as well. Thank you everybody.

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