Making Online Reviews Work For You, Part I – Responding to Reviews
We’ve written before about the benefits of online reviews for lawyers and law firms. Once you have peer and client reviews, it’s just as important, if not more important, to respond to them. This post will explain why responding to reviews strengthens your online presence. Next week, we will provide further details about how to respond to the reviews you receive.
This post was co-authored by Lia Smith, VP of Education and Marketing at Satisfacts.
Like it or not, online reviews are here to stay. No longer do lawyers have the option of ignoring these review sites. Clients and potential clients are becoming increasingly aware of these sites and consider all sources of information as relevant factors when deciding which attorney to hire.
Why should you want to respond to the reviews you receive? Most importantly, because responding to reviews matters greatly to consumers. In a recent study conducted by Bazaarvoice, an independent research company, survey respondents were asked: “Which of the following, if any, does a brand’s response to an online review make you think?”
The results were as follows:
- They really care about consumers = 41%
- They have great customer service = 35%
- They are a trustworthy brand = 22%
- Their products are high quality = 14%
Are those the qualities you want associated with your law firm? Of course! Positive and negative reviews are nothing more than a springboard for you to manage your online reputation and improve the overall client experience.
What happens when a less-than-favorable review is posted about your business? Do you simply ignore it, or fire back a response defending your position? Before you answer that, consider this: both what you do or don’t do will have a lasting impact on your clients and future clients — along with the reputation of your firm and everyone involved.
The manner in which a response is crafted speaks volumes about the business itself. It is an opportunity to show the world how professional, knowledgeable and responsive you are to the needs of your clients. A well-thought-out response can make all the difference in a potential client’s decision to do business with you.
And what about all of the great, positive reviews that are posted by satisfied clients? A lack of acknowledgement can be just as detrimental to your client retention and reputation management efforts.
Responding to all reviews — the highs, the lows, and everything in between — will leave a lasting impression, so remember: an online review is only the beginning of a conversation.
The intent should not be to save face. You want to save THEM – meaning your current and future clients. Next time, we’ll explain the T.H.E.M. technique in further detail.