Legal View: Getting online client reviews isn't easy, but it's important

By Christopher F. Earley
BridgeTower Media Newswires

“We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.”
— Bill Gates

If you run a law firm, you likely rely on online reviews. There’s no question, though, that it can be very hard to get reviews from clients. It’s an ongoing challenge, but potential clients expect you to have reviews. If you don’t have many reviews — or none at all — your chances of attracting potential clients plummet significantly.

Here are some ways we have used to obtain roughly 350 online reviews:

• Prime clients for them. At the very start of a case, make clear to the client that you will be asking for a review later on. This can be streamlined through automation. A simple introductory email or letter at the beginning of the representation is a good time to prime the client. Tell them their feedback is very important. That’s a great way of setting the stage that a review request will be made later, so that the client is ready to leave one when asked.

• Be proactive and ask for them. People who use your services need to be asked for a review. If you don’t ask, I guarantee you won’t get many, if any, reviews. Very, very few people will leave a review on their own without being asked to do so. Sometimes it feels uncomfortable to ask for a review, and it also leaves us feeling a little vulnerable. But the more you do it, the easier it becomes. Even when you do ask for the review, there must be follow-up, because it’s rare for someone to leave a review on the first ask.

• Make it really easy. People don’t want to jump through hoops to leave you a review. Use text instead of email when you make the request because people are much more likely to respond to a text versus email. When you text the request, send a link for the reviewer to land directly on the review page. All the person needs to do at that point is click on the stars and write the review, without needing to navigate to a different page. The easier you make it for people to leave a review, the more reviews you will get.

• Respond to each and every review, good and bad. In your response, always thank the person for leaving the review. When you receive a negative review (we all get them), offer to make the situation right. Whatever you do, of course, never say anything in your reply to the review that is unprofessional. Also, keep in mind that negative reviews are not a bad thing at all. If all you have are perfect five-star reviews, potential clients may be skeptical.

Today’s consumers are obsessed with reviews. Generating reviews is crucial for generating new business. This does require continuous effort, but it is definitely worth it in order to remain competitive in today’s marketplace.
Christopher F. Earley can be contacted at