Summer Seminar: Google Reviews 101 for Law Firms

Jun 21
min Read
Legal Webinars

[Webinar Transcript from June 2022]

Hi everybody, welcome to the webinar today, we're excited you're here. My name is McKay Allen, I'm on the marketing team at Kenect. Today we're going to talk about Google Reviews 101 for Law Firms. This is going to be part of our summer seminar series that we'll do all summer long. As I said, we're excited that you're here today, and that you've agreed to join us. What we're going to do is we're going to take about 25 minutes, talk about Google reviews with you. We'll give you a quick introduction to who Kenect is and what we do, and then we'll jump into the presentation itself.

Who is Kenect?

We're based outside of Salt Lake City. We're a text messaging platform built for law firms throughout North America. Basically, we help you communicate more efficiently, generate new leads, conduct video consultations, and drive online reviews, all via texting. Essentially, we turn your main business number into a textable line that allows you to send and receive text messages to, and from, that main business number, which is actually a huge deal. You get the benefits of texting without having to give out your personal cell. We were recently listed as one of the fastest growing companies in America on the Inc. 5,000 list, not just on the list, but in the top 5% of that list. We are integrated with the leading case management systems in the legal industry, PracticePanther, Clio, Rocket Matter, Filevine, Salesforce, CasePacer, SmartAdvocate, and a host of others. How do we do it? Two way text messaging for your law firm, so you don't need to give out your personal cell number anymore. Web leads straight from your website, video chat for virtual consultations, and then online review generation as well.

All this is done via texting. Your clients really do prefer text messaging. 89% of your clients would prefer to interact with a business via text rather than a phone call. 98% of all text messages are opened. Most of those are opened within three minutes. 96% of your clients find phone calls to be disruptive. The bottom line here is that texting is the best, simplest, and most reliable way to communicate. And has been since it was really invented. It's probably the biggest change in communication strategy in the last 100 and what, 15 to 120 years.

The top eight ways firms use Kenect, scheduling consultations, sending appointment reminders, streamlining intake process and validating cases. Sending case updates is actually really important and a really big deal. If you want to get information to your client rapidly, this is how you do that. You give them information extremely quickly when you do that. Add the, "Text us," button to your website, you can add that Kenect texting widget to your website. That'll help you generate more leads as well.

This is the Kenect texting inbox. You can send and receive text messages to and from this inbox, which is really important. And then the Kenect mobile app, which will allow you to generate more leads with the Kenect mobile app. You can respond to text messages, send and receive text messages. You can schedule text messages, request reviews, request payments, invite to video chats, send photos, videos, PDFs, attachments, all via Kenect.

Understanding Google reviews

Okay, let's talk about Google reviews. What are they? They are the primary method for clients to share feedback about businesses. Anyone using Google can review your business and leave a star rating. These reviews can be just star ratings, they can be long or short. Google does not verify to ensure that they are your actual client. That I think is really important to note, that Google does not verify that they are actually a client.

About Google My Business. Now, Google My Business is the page you've probably seen on the internet that allows you to put basic and verified information about your business on the web. It's used by Google as the central location for verified information about your firm. It's used to engage and track clients. You can see an example of the Google My Business page on the right hand side for the Williams Law Firm. Has an address, has hours, allows you to ask q and a, allows you to post pictures and video. It's also where your reviews are housed. What's interesting is that this page generally receives five times more views than your actual website. And yet the vast majority of businesses, 78% in fact, don't log into their Google My Business page potentially at all. This is the location where reviews are left and housed, and it allows your business to show up in Google results easily. This is the bottom part of that same page I just showed you. It's where your reviews are left. How do you claim your Google My Business profile? You search your business on Google. Google will then display what it knows about the business. You'll be prompted to log into that Gmail account. You can click, "Manage now," and Google will ask for confirmation like a phone number, an email, a postcard, and they can verify that it's you.

All right, let's talk about reviews specifically, and why they matter? First, is because they matter to clients. 93% of clients use reviews as the first step in choosing a business. 91% of clients trust reviews as much as personal recommendations. This really is the new word of mouth, if you will. If you would've done this webinar, say five years ago, these numbers would've been in the 60% range. That's how much this has changed. People rely on Google to make decisions about where they're going to, what attorneys they're going to work with.

Most people will not take action until they read reviews, they need validation for their decision. If a law firm does not have reviews, they are not seen as reliable. Clients want to be heard and this is their chance. Number two, is because they matter to Google. 97% of people go to Google and they want to find a law firm. They don't go to Yelp, they don't go to ABO, they don't go to Facebook. Those are great services, they're great tools, we integrate with them, but they don't go to those tools when they want to find a review, they go to Google. Google then determines the order in which firms are listed based on ratings and reviews. If you're not in the top three, you won't be clicked. Keep that in mind.

If you are trying to be found, if you're trying to grow, the only way you are going to be found with any level of consistency is on Google. And by having Google reviews. You can also have the map first, you can have organic listings, you'll also see results for, "Best law firms websites." But again, of all the things on this page, the map, organic listings, and then other sites, the one with the most reviews, and the best reviews, is going to get clicked the most. They'll also see instances where there are ads first, right? Paid listings and paid ads. Don't be frustrated by that. The reason for that is simple. The Whitley Law Firm here is going to get clicked more than this ad, and then these listings. Why does Google care so much about reviews? The answer is this, they have one job and that job is to produce the result the searcher wants to see. If you're Google, your job is to produce the result the searcher wants to see. If someone's searching for a law firm, the best way that you can do that if you're Google, the best way you can provide results, or produce results the searcher wants to see, is by showing businesses that have the most, and the best reviews.

How can you deal with negative reviews?

Well, you've got to understand first how common they are. It's about one in 50 for law firms, is the average. Tips for avoiding bad reviews, you probably can't avoid them, but you can reduce them or mitigate them. I think that's important to understand, is you can reduce or mitigate bad reviews. What not to do when you get a bad review is, it's probably the thing that you want to do the most I should say, which is really tell them off. When you get a bad review, the natural reaction is to log in and just give them the business, to tell them off. Don't do that. Avoid doing that. Why? Simply this, you don't want to get in a public argument about your business on the internet. That's just not going to go well for anybody. It's not going to be a positive thing.

What should you do when you get a bad review? Is number one, get to the bottom of it internally. Figure out what happened and get to the bottom of it. Number two, is reply respectfully, empathetically and professionally. "Sorry you're frustrated. I can understand your frustration. My name is McKay, I'm one of the partners. Can you text our main business line? I'll reach out personally and see if we can resolve this." Now, most of the time, I would even say 99% of the time, they're not going to respond, but remember this, your audience once they've left the bad review is not that person. You're not going to change their mind. That's not your goal. Your goal is, and should be, to impress the thousands upon thousands of people who are going to read that review in the next several weeks.

The key is to bury bad reviews with good ones. That's really important. Will Google take these down? Usually, no, I just want to be super transparent about that. Google will generally not take them down. The exceptions are on the screen, right? If you can prove that someone wrote it who has a conflict of interest, if it contains offensive language or profanity, or if they were never a client, Google will take those down. But having said that, it is very difficult to prove that to Google. How can you get more positive reviews? What do your clients want to see in your reviews? First, they want to see is quantity. You've got to have at least 50 reviews, 150's ideal, but you've got to have 50. Recency, 73% of clients disregard reviews older than 90 days. Most don't even read old reviews.

How can you get more positive reviews? Build a process. That process doesn't need to be some 12 page legal document. It can be pretty simple, pretty basic. Who do you ask, everybody or just those that like you? I would ask just those that like you. If you ask everybody, you're going to get some negative reviews mixed in. How do you ask? Texting, email, on the phone, in person. We strongly recommend asking via texting. The reason for that is down below. When do you ask, after the case, during the case? That's entirely up to you. Who's in charge of asking? You've got to put someone in charge of asking. Two, is determine an owner for the process. You've got to determine an owner and then compensate that owner. Number three, is asking the right way. Email has a one to 2% response rate.

Texting has a 38 to 58% response rate for reviews. Make sure you're asking in the right way, and that you clearly understand how reviews are going to come into your business. Send a text, select the review site, post the review, it's that simple if you're a Kenect customer. This comes from you. It comes from your firm. It's got your logo. They then select the review site, they then post the review. You do this, you're going to get reviews almost 60% of the time. All right, if you remember nothing else, remember this. Number one, is take control. Don't let angry clients determine your online reputation. Get your great clients to leave reviews. You've got to be aggressive on this. Two, is build a repeatable process. Find a point in your process where you can easily ask happy clients for reviews. And then use text messaging, not email. Text is 35 times more effective than email at collecting reviews. To just focus on number one for a moment, take control here. Really focus on this. Do not let angry clients determine your online reputation.

If you just sit back and wait, you're going to get a few negative reviews and a few positive reviews. It's going to be darn frustrating for you. If you're interested in learning more about Kenect, you can text us at 888-972-7422. We'd love to work with you. You can call us at that number as well. Thanks again, everybody. Bye-bye.

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