Know thy client
I read an article in the Wisconsin Lawyer that provided “tips for writing in ways that attract the attention of search engines, readers, and new clients.”
It’s good information. And a good reminder about the importance and value of writing in building a law practice.
But that’s not why I’m telling you about it.
At the end of the article, in her “bio,” the author tells a story about one of her consulting clients who was unhappy with her advice:
A few years ago, an attorney I was working with called me to complain because one of their former clients gave them a bad online review. I had encouraged them to follow up with clients to thank them for their business and ask for reviews, so the bad review they received was, in their mind, my fault. It didn’t occur to me that I needed to tell attorneys that they should only ask for reviews from clients they suspected had a positive opinion of them. I now emphasize that you should never ask for a review you don’t want. It’s the legal marketing equivalent of the age-old advice that you should never ask a question you don’t want to know the answer to!
It seems so simple. Ask for reviews; don’t ask for reviews from clients who might not love ya.
You want reviews. You need reviews. Good reviews can bring in a boatload of clients.
So you should ask for reviews.
But how do you avoid bad reviews?
Ask for reviews, but do it in stages:
- Routinely send every client a form to fill out to provide feedback about you, your services, your office, etc. Include a question asking if they would recommend you to others, and why or why not.
- When the client provides positive feedback and says they would recommend/refer you, ask them to post this in a review (and give them a link to the site you prefer).
Keep your enemies close. Keep your friends (and clients) closer, because you never know what they might say about you.