The Review Gap: Your Clients Think Online Reviews Are A Lot More Important Than You Do

The Review Gap: Your Clients Think Online Reviews Are A Lot More Important Than You Do

Before social media and search engines dominated so much of daily life, the reputation of lawyers depended on what clients and peers told one another about their work and character. Back then, word of mouth was just that: one person talking to another.

But now the search is at least partly, if not entirely, conducted online. And just as people browse reviews of body shops after a fender bender, they look at reviews of firms and attorneys for their divorces, or their house closing, or their will. What they find in reviews has an impact on their decision — probably more than you realize.

A recent study surveyed consumers and small to medium-sized businesses asking each group how they valued online reviews and one theme stood out: Overall, businesses consistently underestimate how much reviews directly affect customer decisions.

The study, conducted by the Local Search Association and commissioned by social media and reputation platform SOCi, found that 66 percent of all consumers  — and 80 percent of those under age 35  — perform research online every time or almost every time they buy a product or service.  The single most important consideration? Positive online reviews, which is a particularly high bar for attorneys, specifically. While other categories such as retail and restaurants require a 3.6 or 3.9 average star rating, people researching lawyers said they require a 4.1 star rating.

Yet despite these statements that show consumers check star ratings and use reviews to make purchasing decisions, 39 percent of small business owners who were surveyed said they did NOT believe that reviews influence consumer decisions.  And while more than half of businesses (54 percent) said they think consumers always or usually consult reviews before making spending decisions, 71 percent of consumers said they always or usually use reviews for every or almost every purchase. That’s a 17-point gap between how influential reviews are to customers and clients and how influential business owners think they are.

Of course, word of mouth and client and attorney referrals still matter, but gone are the days when attorneys can ignore their online presence, particularly on review and social media sites. Actively building and maintaining your reputation on these sites will help you grow your practice by reaching those people who you previously could not have reached using the old-fashioned, offline approach.

2019-04-02 11:08:12

Schedule an appointment

Check out Charles ’s calendar to schedule an appointment where you can discuss marketing solutions tailored to your firm’s needs.


See what other attorneys said about Charles

  • “Charlie: Thanks for your prompt, informative information; you’ve always been great at getting back to me ASAP with answers to my questions! Thanks again! Kim Denise Morton”

    ~ Morton Family Law

    “Charles DeFeo presents a simple, high quality and cost effective solution for attorney advertising! If you are thinking Attorney advertising is too Expensive for your firm - Think again! - Rob Schall, Cooper & Schall, PC”

    ~ Cooper & Schall, PC

  • “Charles DeFeo has been our professional Martindale-Hubbell consultant for many years. At all times he has demonstrated his concern for our Law Firm’s well-being and success, a great part due to his efforts on our behalf. -JFW III, Esq.”

    ~ Joseph Wusinich

    “Charles DeFeo is an outstanding Sales Manager who gets the job done for his clients.  He has serviced our account for many years and we love him.  I would highly recommend him.”

    ~ Edward Sweeney

  • “Charles DeFeo has worked with my business since its inception. He is always attentive to the needs of my business and responds immediately to any concerns. The website has been a great asset to my business.”

    ~ Barbara Stein

    “Charlie is very knowledgeable about the product, the profession and the marketplace.  He gives excellent customer service.  I have always felt that he has our best interests in mind when discussing options for legal advertising.”

    ~ George Donze

Contact Us

To get started now, please let us know how Charles can reach you.