Reviews and testimonials play a tremendous role in any effective marketing strategy. For an industry as heavily saturated as law, compelling testimonial are especially important because they can make the difference between securing a client or losing them to the competition.
Data from a 2014 Consumer Review Survey revealed that 88% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Moreover, 85% of individuals say they read up to ten reviews before they feel a sense of confidence for that business/service. So what does this indicate? Both the quality and quantity of testimonialsare critical to take into consideration.
Give Your Social Credibility a Lift
Avvo, a platform that serves the legal marketplace by offering lawyer ratings, advice, and directory searches, is one place frequently consulted by prospective clients. Under any given name listed in the database, Avvo displays a rating system based on experience, industry recognition, personal conduct and endorsements.
These types of platforms are valuable to clients seeking a skilled attorney and a valuable place to scour testimonials for your own website. Other channels to seek valuable reviews include:
LinkedIn–Websites like LinkedIn are designed to include recommendations from colleagues, clients, and other connections in your network. Make the most of these testimonials to reinforce your skill sets, strengths, and accomplishments.
Facebook and Twitter—If you’re clients happen to post to your Facebook page or include you in a twitter mention touting a successful case, it makes absolute sense to translate it into your marketing campaign. Social proof like this lowers inhibitions and massively boosts the credibility factor.
Local search directories — As previously mentioned, local search directories like Avvo, provide objective, third party reviews on lawyers in an array of fields. This is a great place to compare your ratings to other attorneys in the area as well as your rankings on a national scale.
Video testimonials— Having a past client submit a video testimonial may be a bit of a strength but the return is immense. Video testimonials are proven to increase conversions. Why? Well for one, most visitors are visual learners which means they take more away from visual components than plain old copy.
Personally Request Client Testimonials
If your social channels don’t have the type of testimonials you’re looking for, another approach is to request them during exit surveys once a case has wrapped up. This can be an opportune time to ask questions like:
- What strengths/weaknesses (if any) did we exhibit during your case?
- How would you summarize your overall experience with XYZ Law Group?
- Would you recommend our services to someone seeking legal help?
- How did you learn about our law firm to begin with and what was the greatest motivating factor for retain us?
What Makes a Valuable Testimonial?
- Testimonials that are brief yet specific come across as the most genuine. Clients sometimes have a difficult time exercising brevity or can be vague in their descriptions so it can help to offer some guiding questions like the ones mentioned above.
- List awards and accolades on the same or a related page. Bumping up your credibility and trust factor to prospective clients takes a careful combination of testimonials/reviews, personal details (i.e., education, awards, honors), and tangible results.
- Include more than just their initials. Due to attorney-client confidentiality it’s not always wise to include the client’s full name so a first name and last initial may suffice. In general however, when it comes to describing the lawyer’s efforts and tenacity, the more specific you can get the better.
Take for example the following examples. Which one would you find more helpful as a prospective client?
Testimonial A: “John was fantastic! He was thorough with handling our case and always responsive.”
Testimonial B: “John really supported us during a challenging time with my wife’s immigration approval. We confronted many roadblocks along the way and many other attorneys prior to him turned us away for a lack of confidence. We can’t thank John enough for his tremendous dedication between answering phone calls, emails, and appearing at court proceedings. We would 100% recommend him.”
The second testimonial is obviously more case specific, detailed and more effective at conveying the attorney’s value.
In all cases, adding compelling testimonials to your law firm’s website can have significant benefits. While merits and years of experience are factors that are taken into consideration, the statistics reveal that personal recommendations and reviews (forms of social proof) carry immense weight.