Completed Files, Client Surveys and Certified Online Client Reviews
To get feedback on the services you have provided, you need to ask for it. It is simply a good business practice to survey each client about how they feel once the work has been completed. It is also a best practice to provide a convenient and easy to use link to the online location where your clients may provide their feedback. Better yet it is good to enable appropriate feedback options, either privately or on a certified review site, such as Google, AVVO, Yelp or Martindale Hubbell.
Too many lawyers fail to ask for feedback when files are completed. This is a ‘passive’ approach. Passive means you will not get the information you need to improve your process for providing your legal services. It also means you will have very few online reviews and, of the reviews you do get, one or more may be negative.
What Successful Lawyers Do
First, let us tell you about one attorney who, like many attorneys, fell into this passive approach category. Of his few reviews one was negative and that was a bit scary. Recognizing how this was affecting his online image, he changed to a ‘pro-active’ approach. Within a year he totally turned around his online reputation.
This attorney became proactive by changing his client process. The attorney now makes a point of contacting each client to confirm that the work is complete, and to thank them for placing their confidence in their firm. This is also the time to remind the client of the apprehension they may have had initially when they were about retain the firm compared to how they feel now with their planning in place. This attorney further asks for comments about their experience working with each staff member and states how it would be good to share their feedback with the staff and a means to help others who may be in need of similar legal services.
Having confirmed that the client is well satisfied with greater peace of mind, they provide the online links should the client care to share their feedback with others online on independent review sites. This attorney now has over 50 five star client reviews. Online reviews inform others and serve as compelling stories from the best clients that are effectively shared with his future clients.
Next, an attorney who set out to grow his law business. This firm doubled two practice areas in a year and one of the improvements centered on the file closing, client satisfaction survey and review process. This attorney uses an online service to aggregate and publish online reviews prominently on his web site. One technique they have is for each lawyer to set a personal goal for the number of clients who will provide feedback on services provided. They review the targeted number of actual number of client surveys received on a quarterly basis. In the process they end up receiving more independent reviews.
The common denominator in both example is they have found success by deliberately asking each client for feedback by reaching out with a personal call or email. Both firms sincerely express their view of what they believe was accomplished and then ask the client how they feel about the legal services provided including the quality, timeliness and clarity of how the firm communicated along the way.
Having revised and standardized their file closing process, both firms have dramatically increased the quantity, quality and frequency of certified online client reviews appearing on review sites including Google, AVVO, Yelp, Martindalle-Hubbell, etc. This continues to have a substantial positive impact on the their online reputation.
Of course NORM, the New Online Reputation Management system, includes the web service that simplifies the steps for the client to provide their review and automates the process of aggregating reviews and publishing to the firm web site and social media.
Your takeaway is to set your personal goal for the next three months and then actively go about asking your clients for feedback. In the process you will obtain more online reviews which will improve your online reputation and online business generation. It has never been easier, or more important to get this done.