With the advent of social media, client dissatisfaction can be communicated in a much more expedited and public way than in the past. A client can simply go to one of many review sites like Yelp or Google and publish a negative review for the world to read. Unhappy clients can also let their Twitter followers know when they believe a law firm or lawyer has provided sub-par service. Fairly or unfairly, social media has provided clients with the ability to publicly air their grievances without giving a lawyer or law firm an opportunity to respond.
Managing a lawyer’s or law firm’s online reputation has become yet another issue that legal marketing professionals must deal with. They can use social media to enhance and protect reputation and to improve client service. In this blog, we’ll be discussing the do’s and don’ts of using social media to manage your law firm’s reputation and client service.
- Use social media as a listening device. Listening to what your clients are saying about your firm and your services is the best way to improve the client experience. Knowing what your clients are thinking and any issues they might be dealing with are the essential tools for improving these relationships.
- Respond to complaints in a straightforward fashion. It’s important for the client to know and feel like you care about their issues. “From a marketing perspective, it’s also important to understand that we’re in the age of the consumer,” says Lisa Giosi of Active Web Group. “Social media is especially effective for customer service in this respect because it allows a company to speak with a customer one-on-one.”
- Reply to questions. Clients will be asking you questions through social media, so make sure you respond! It’s important for the client to know that their voice is heard and that your law firm is there to help.
- Try to take the conversation offline. If possible, try and move the conversation to email or phone. That way you can directly address a client’s concerns or issues without the whole world reading about them.
- Don’t respond angrily to clients. The golden rule of business is that “the customer is always right.” That might not always be true – but responding with hostility could tarnish your law firm’s image. It’s better to take your fingers off the keyboard and walk away, rather than responding in an unprofessional manner.
- Don’t respond incorrectly. If you’re unsure of how to respond to a client’s question, it’s better to say nothing than to respond incorrectly. Consult with your colleagues, and come up with the best response. Social Media Weekly says, “It’s better to give a delayed response that’s accurate than a timely response that’s untruthful.”
- Avoid bad publicity. Remember: Your social media profile and content can potentially be viewed by millions of people. Your law firm always needs to keep its social media appropriate and professional.
Social media can be a powerful tool when marketing your law firm. However, if used incorrectly, it could tarnish your law firm’s client relations and brand. This is why having an effective social media policy is essential to ensure your employees’ understanding of risks and benefits of posting on social. By listening and thinking before you respond, your law firm can successfully utilize this medium.
To learn more about using social media to enhance your law firm’s client service and see how your law firm is currently performing on social media, contact our experts at Good2bSocial for a free social media audit!