Getting clients to review your practice online can be a challenge. It requires a time commitment on the part of your client, and even when they do leave a review, there’s still a chance it will be flagged and removed by a well-meaning (if occasionally faulty) filter. However, if 72 percent of consumers say positive reviews make them trust a local business more, when people don’t see positive feedback (or just as tellingly, can’t find any feedback) about your business, they’re likely to contact someone else.
What can you do to make reviews a priority?
1) Ask your clients for reviews
Whenever you’ve concluded business with a client—and are sure they’re satisfied with the service you provided—you should ask them if they’d be willing to leave you a review. Although Yelp! specifically discourages businesses from asking for reviews, there’s nothing wrong with referring clients to your Google listing and asking them to leave a review there.
2) Make it as easy as possible to leave reviews
Minimize the amount of steps involved for a client to leave you a review. Provide direct links to any sites you’d like clients to review you on. That way there’s no confusion on the client’s side with regards to what you want them to do.
The fewer barriers and the lower the time commitment, the more likely your client is to follow through and leave a review.
3) Follow-up with past clients
If you typically have a low volume of cases, and getting new reviews is a challenge, it never hurts to email past clients that you still have a positive relationship with. Politely asking them to publicly share their experience can be a great way to add a few glowing testimonials to some of your online listings.
4) Be consistent
It doesn’t take much additional effort to make asking for reviews a routine part of your operations. By encouraging satisfied clients to leave reviews for you online, and emphasizing how much you appreciate them sharing their experiences with other potential customers, your total number of reviews will increase over time.
Most likely you’ll encounter a few negative reviews along the way. Fortunately, as long as you respond politely to any poor reviews, maintain your professionalism, and drown out the occasional negativity in a sea of four and five star reviews, you’ll be in a great position to win new business based on your stellar online reputation.
About the Author: Jason Arango is the Director of Marketing for GJEL Accident Attorneys. He’s been involved in online marketing since 2007, and has consulted on a variety of projects from early stage startups to established brands.