Online reviews aren’t all bad. In fact, 82% of all law firm reviews on Trustpilot give 5 stars.
High scores are a hygiene factor, not a differentiatorConsumer Legal Services Insight 2021
How customers buy
The deciding factors for potential clients are:
Reputation is assessed by both customer service and quality of practice. Word of mouth works. Beyond that use of online reviews and ratings has increased by 1100% in the past five years.
The best firms drive both review volumes and ratings
The prevalence of 5-star ratings will make it more difficult for your potential client to differentiate.
On Price, law firms are traditionally rather cagey. If you quote £500, your potential client can use this to get it down the street for £495. This is where the deciding factors of Reputation and Specialism can make all the difference:
- Don’t just tell me you are great – show me. This is where Trustpilot can be your differentiator.
- Don’t just tell me you are the expert – show me. This is where your unique blog content can be your differentiator.
Managing your Brand
A number of firms which had three or four very good practice areas had their reputation dragged down by what was happening in another area.
Just doing a good job isn’t enough anymore. By actively encouraging clients to leave online reviews, you can increase the volume of those reviews. If you don’t, you will be within the 49% of firms whose online scores are impacted by the weighting placed on volume.
The Survey revealed issues across the board with client communication which “…may highlight the gap between online reputation management and real differences.” This is where you may be able to differentiate your offering with expectation management. Your terms of business may contain certain service standards? Make sure you exceed them!
The idea of a contact window is attracting increasing popularity. Set aside a specific time slot each day when you respond to all the queries of the day. This will free you up to concentrate on the task at hand. Communicate this to your clients to manage expectations.
If a client is told that you will get back to them between 2pm and 3pm, and you follow through on that promise, it will build confidence. If you don’t, it won’t!
The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken placeGeorge Bernard Shaw
Communicating with your clients is important. Communicating with your team is equally important: set aside time for this, perhaps once a week, and make sure it takes place.
Effective communication will feed into your client offering and, in turn, your online reviews. These reviews will help to differentiate you from the firm down the street under-cutting you by a fiver.
The bottom line is it will build your bottom line.