It’s often said that we are passing through the information age, and are now moving towards the reputation age.
This is where the court of public opinion significantly influences decisions being made on what products or services are being purchased where, including where people will obtain their legal services.
When one of your clients searches for legal services, they will often look at online reviews from other people that can be seen on such sites and apps like Google, Facebook, Yelp, etc…
These online reviews can be easily managed by responding to each reviewer and ensuring the person providing the review is satisfied with the answer provided and are willing to update their review if needed. This form of interaction allows a level of transparency that shows you and/or your firm are willing to ensure that a client/customer is satisfied.
Many times the deciding factor in getting a potential client to call you is due to a review someone left on some site or app. It could be a negative one that was handled in a positive way that impressed a potential client.
But online reputation goes far beyond just simple reviews left on websites and apps. It’s about managing any data associated with your Firm that can be found online, by ensuring whatever information a potential client can see online is updated and is accurate.
Here are a few items to consider when addressing your online reputation, including simple reviews:
We know that websites should be seen on mobile devices and professional looking. But did you know that content on those sites need to reviewed regularly?
For example, a game plane to handle content on your firms website that is associated with a partner should be in place in case a partner leaves your Firm. You should make sure any content that highlights the former partner is updated appropriately.
2. Social Media Accounts
Beyond keeping track of reviews on such platforms as Facebook and Google+, regularly sharing appropriate content through these channels helps to showcase your firms interests and expertise. Having some content pushed through these avenues boosts your Firm’s public image.
Your Firm may be listed on hundreds of directories and websites. Each listing may not only include your firms name and contact information, but also include all of your firms partners as well.
If your office moves, if your phone numbers change, or if a partner is added to your firm or if a partner leaves, all of these listings need to be updated.
4. Search Engines
SEO is search engine optimization. Part of managing and improving SEO is ensuring the right website pages and content are being shown on first page results when someone looks for your services. Also a part of this process is finding content on other websites that should be updated and/or scrubbed from search engine databases.
It’s typically best to work with a Google Certified Partner to help get online information updated correctly, including the removal of content from Google search engine.
This may be required if a partner leaves a Firm.
5. Revisit Reviews
As previously stated, we are moving into the reputation age. Reviews are the first thing a potential client sees, and it’s the first sign of where your Firms reputation takes place. Not taking the time to address these reviews in some fashion may show potential clients that there is a lack of care.
From responding to a review when it first gets posted to soliciting reviews from clients, you can help provide some positive light on all the efforts you and your Firm have been doing. Here is an example email [PDF example] of what some Firms may use to ask for reviews from their clients.
Keeping your Firms online reputation in check not only ensures you are managing some basic public image issues, but also helps to reduce potential liabilities. After all, the last thing your Firm wants to distribute is misinformation.