With the advent of the internet came the reliance on online reviews. We use them for everything: where we’re going to eat dinner that night, which school to send our child to, which brand of detergent is best for allergies, and much, much more. Lawyers might think they don’t need reviews because their work will speak for them, but the truth is, lawyers are becoming more dependent on reviews to get more business a little more every day. Here’s why.
People have come to trust online reviews, even if they are posted by complete strangers. Before they make a big decision in life, such as which lawyer to hire to help them during a stressful situation, people not only check the number of stars a company or product has, but they also read the reviews left by other customers. And they don’t just read the negative reviews. They read the positive ones too, just to make sure that other people who were once in their circumstances were satisfied with the service or product they received.
Trust is a critical component of an attorney-client relationship and reviews help build trust more quickly than if you were just to meet someone for the first time without the reviews. In fact, people actually feel like they know the business or person a little bit after reading online reviews, which makes consultations and introductory meetings flow much more smoothly.
Some people, particularly those who grew up with the Internet, won’t do business with a company that’s not on the Internet. This is because they want to conduct their own research before making a decision and if you aren’t on the Internet at all or don’t have reviews showcasing your abilities, you’ll get passed over. It’s a fact of doing business these days that referrals are really a big part of advertising. If you don’t have any reviews, customers will move on to an attorney who does.
Unless you know how people feel about your services, you can’t improve your weaknesses. People are sometimes hesitant to share their experiences with you in person, but they aren’t shy about writing a review for other customers to see. Of course, you’re going to strive to have 100% positive ratings, but it’s inevitable that you will get a negative one once in a while. Businesses that look at these criticisms, take them to heart, and use them to improve their services will end up getting many more positive reviews in the long run from clients that ultimately benefit from those changes.
Nearly all review sites prioritize businesses that get not only a lot of reviews, but a lot of positive reviews. You’ll have a boosted profile that gets more attention than others with lower ratings and reviews. Most people don’t look very deep when they’re searching for an attorney to do business with. They may just look at the first few profiles and make a decision among those. You need to be at the top of the list to get more clients.
As an attorney in the digital age, you can’t afford not to have reviews online. Your reputation, client base, and future income all depend on them.