May 23, 2013
Over the last few decades online reviews have become an accepted part of online life. Consumers have a wealth of review information to choose from, and they can even post reviews directly to your Google+ Local profile.
How can you manage reviews? Here are four steps to help.
1: Pay attention
Set up search engine alerts for mentions of you or your firm on the Web. A more advanced approach: use dashboard-style tools that offer at-a-glance details on when and how your firm appears on the Internet.
2: Respond—in the right manner
A glowing review is a powerful marketing tool. Thanking the client reviewer is courteous and a way to keep your firm top of mind with him or her.
But what if you find a negative review? Or one with wrong information? Your best bet: reply with a well-crafted, respectful response. That’s not only good customer service, it’s also skillful PR that can repair damage done to your firm’s brand.
Note: Always check what your local bar association and other governing bodies say on the topic.
3: Ask for reviews (if it’s permissible)
Also check if it’s ethical to ask clients to write online reviews of your firm. If so, ask early — when the outcome is still fresh. And make it easy by suggesting the online venue(s) you prefer.
4: Steer clear of reviews-for-hire
There’s now an entire online-review writing industry. Smart move: stay away. Paying for reviews is an ethical violation and could get you in trouble with the Federal Trade Commission.
Learn more about online reviews and explore other marketing resources for your law firm in FindLaw’s lawyer marketing articles.