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In this podcast, Joseph Jenkins, the Director of Sales over Professional Services at Podium, talks to us about the secret to winning new and securing repeat business for your law firm. Connect with Joseph through podium.com or on LinkedIn here.

How have you seen the customer journey change in recent years? 

The customer journey is complex. Typically if this is a new venture for them, they can be confused and may not understand where to begin. Then they usually conduct a keyword search like “law firms near me” or “attorneys near me”. Amoung their search results will be a rating of the business based on reviews. More often than not, This then leads them to potential prospects. And at that moment, in 7 seconds or less, they can make the decision to choose if they want to work with your firm or not. 

This happens whether it’s an organic search, validating a referral, or recalling an ad. When you think about these small moments, it either causes potential leads to reach out to you because based on client reviews, you’re unquestionably the best choice in that market. 

How can firms get more reviews? 

It’s tempting as marketing professionals to attempt to get the most business they can. But truly it comes down to the professionals that are genuine that perform the best. You can market to the world but if you don’t have positive word of mouth from consumers, then it will ultimately hurt the chances of a potential client inquiring more about your business.

 Here are 3 of my top tips to get more referrals 

  • You’ve got to make it easy for the client. 

No one typically thinks of reviewing their attorney until they’re upset. This happens because lawyers are at an inherent disadvantage because usually, users aren’t seeking to review lawyers. They’re reviewing restaurants, products, or hotels. Some may go out of their way but make sure to reach the silent majority to say positive things about your firm. So that during your client search process, you don’t lose that perspective client because that one missing piece in your pipeline

  • Try to capture the review at the moment when their emotions are peaked.

At that moment when your clients receive a favorable ruling, in that peak excitement, you say “Client, it been a  pleasure working with you if you don’t mind it really means a lot to get a review from you so others can know how hard we work for you.”

  • Send it in a convenient way

 I highly recommend sending out a link via text message. This is because it’s the most convenient way for them to go through the review process. It’s instant, and clients are most likely attending to their phones on a daily basis.  While you can do it through email, it doesn’t convert as well and it’s not as simple. Email doesn’t traditionally hold a large open rate. They may have to filter through spam to get to your email or it could take a certain duration of time to reach them. 

How can firms get better reviews? 

In order to increase your review rating, you’ve got to start by asking every client. There is certainly a temptation for your firm to only ask your happiest clients for reviews. But if you think about it, if you were searching for a law firm and it only came up with a perfect 5-star review, you wouldn’t necessarily trust it because your reviews can seem fabricated, and have the opposite effect. Even if you had a one-star review, the way that you professionally respond to it speaks volumes to the way your firm works. This can do more to convince one client to work with you rather than a thousand five star reviews. So in the end, there is something powerful in a 3 or 4-star review. This also works both ways if you are struggling with negative reviews. Solicit help from clients who have had a better experience in order to raise your rating.

How do reviews affect SEO 

When clients type in their keywords, they want the best of the best. So when their search includes words like “best lawyers near me”, reviews with less than a four-star rating don’t show up. So no matter how much you’ve tailored your SEO strategy to pop up on page one, a lack of reviews may be the reason potential clients aren’t seeing your firm. SO the first step is reaching those higher ratings. Once you’ve done that, recency and consistency of reviews matter most. Many firms think that SEO solely relies on their own efforts. If you collect reviews on a regular and consistent basis it will do more because it increases your value amoungst the google algorithm. These consistent reviews along with keywords can help you show up more frequently even if you don’t show up because you have less than a 4-star rating.  

What is podium 

Podium is a Google-funded company that focuses on helping business build reviews. They have been recently named one of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in the US for the second year in a row. They help local businesses solicit and collect more reviews via text message with a link proprietary to us because it is provided by Google. It is designed to speed up the process for users to log in to conduct a review. They help businesses from an operations perspective and also provide a web chat tool that connects attornies and clients without a third party system. 

If you still need assistance in reaching out to clients or even building your own podcast, feel free to reach out to us today!

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