There was a time when people had “their lawyer”. The reliable, trusted, go-to person who would handle all legal matters that life presented. Things are quite different today as most folks no longer rely on just one lawyer to handle all the legal issues that arise in life, whether it be negotiation of a prenuptial agreement, purchase of a home, reviewing a business contract, filing for bankruptcy, mediating a divorce, or drafting a will. There are two reasons for this transformation. First, as the law has gotten increasingly complex, consumers are searching for lawyers who specialize in specific areas of the law. Today, most immigration attorneys would think twice before representing a client in a complex divorce case, at least if they wanted to keep their malpractice insurance premiums reasonable. Second, our mobile and techie society means that people don’t form the same kind of professional relationship with their attorney as they did in the past, resulting in less loyalty.
Now when a legal problem comes up, clients open their computers to search for information about their legal issue and for lawyers who could handle it competently. Accordingly, people don’t ask each other as often any more if they know of a good lawyer. Instead, they rely on online reviews to identify those lawyers who zealously represent their clients and avoid any lawyer who does not present well online and may be seen as less than attentive, whether that assessment is fair or not.
Personal Recommendations Are Now Client Reviews
The simple fact is that 92% of people looking for a service, consult internet reviews to find their vendor. More importantly, 71% of those consumers start their comparison shopping by perusing customer reviews. Because so many people rely on reviews, it is considered the most trusted source of information about all service providers, lawyers included.
Furthermore, quantity does matter. One glowing review is not going to convince anyone, especially the cynics who will think that your best friend wrote it. For attorneys who have been practicing law for many years, it is important to present as many reviews as possible. Potential clients will correctly assume that you don’t have the time or wherewithal to commission dozens of positive reviews on your own and conclude that you must be as good as your former clients claim.
You may wonder how many reviews is enough. The answer is that as long as you practice law, you should be obtaining client reviews in order to compete and effectively market your legal services. Although some clients may be uncomfortable disclosing the nature of their particular case, there are always options to remain anonymous or use an alias when writing a review as well as simply discussing your professionalism as an attorney without mentioning any details of the case.
Most often, hiring an attorney means an emotional and stressful event has occurred. Even happy occasions, such as the purchase of a home or the adoption of a child, are life-changing events that can be unsettling. Drafting a will can uncover family tensions, and a divorce is always extremely difficult. Having dozens of positive online reviews can give your clients confidence that you are the best choice. That confidence is a strong foundation on which you can build the trust essential to a strong attorney-client relationship.
Finally, by generating positive reviews, your firm will have better visibility on all search engines. The numbers don’t lie: online reviews significantly influence Google’s search ranking factors. The equation is simple: the more client reviews you have, the more potential clients will see you online and choose you as “their lawyer”.