Client relationships used to be confined to in-person conversations and word-of-mouth referrals. A legal consumer showed up at your door with an issue, you solved it and then they told their friends and family about you. Rinse and repeat.
Today’s legal consumer uses a variety of avenues to their disposal. According to the latest Thomson Reuters Legal Needs Survey, 1/3 of those surveyed learned about an attorney online. That means caring about your clients is about much more than face-to-face interactions.
Now, if you were selected to the Super Lawyers and Rising Stars list, you already have support for why you’re an accomplished attorney and lawyer potential clients can trust. But you can’t stop there. Here’s one way you can make sure clients know you care and build real trust in a virtual world.
Embrace Online Reviews
The prevalence of ratings and reviews sites shows the impact of new age word-of-mouth. While legal consumers still trust the recommendations of their friends and family, the importance of strangers’ views on an attorney’s ability has increased.
According to the Legal Needs Survey, 68 percent of those surveyed said the importance of reviews from former clients were important or very important. In addition, 19 percent thought recommendations from others was the most important factor when choosing an attorney.
The way you treat your clients is crucial to getting more cases and improving your standing offline, but it’s also critical to your online reputation. So, pay attention to the online chatter about your firm and don’t be afraid to ask for reviews from your clients.
Here’s one way to do it:
- Ask the client by name for a review and include case specific information so they know it’s not a templated request.
- Provide the client with information about how the review process will help others decide about your firm.
- Request reasons the client hired you or what could help others pick an attorney.
Make sure not to tell clients what to say about you in their review and don’t offer any kind of compensation or service for the recommendation. That’s either illegal, or at the very least dishonest. Also, verify with your bar association that you can ask for reviews in your area.
Looking to better build trust with your clients? Download the playbook.