The legal marketplace is becoming more competitive by the minute, and it is increasingly challenging for law firms to set themselves apart from the competition. Although having a souped-up website, an active blog, and engaging social media pages helps, what can really place your firm above the rest is client feedback in the form of website testimonials, online reviews, and of course, good old word-of-mouth.

Here are a few ways how to seek client feedback, why to seek client feedback, and what to do with it when you get it.

How To Ask For Client Feedback

The best way to ask for a client’s feedback is to simply ask for it. Let a client know that their experience with your firm really does matter, and what they have to say will be taken to heart and applied, as needed.

TIP: The best time to ask a client for feedback is during or after an in-person engagement, followed by a phone call, and lastly an email. In-person feedback works best, as it allows eye contact with a client, and a personal connection that isn’t as strong through digital communication.

Constructive Criticism Can Retain Clients

No one likes to hear when they’re doing a lousy job, but if you pay attention to the details of a complaint, it can work wonders for future client service. Adverse feedback can spark new ways of operating that may have never have occurred to you, and save a critical client that was on his/her way out the door.

Client Feedback Can Lead To Client Generation

Potential clients love to hear about an actual client’s experience with an attorney, as they’re looking for a law firm they can trust with their private, legal matters. Client feedback such as testimonials on your website, or reviews posted on sites such as Google My Business and Yelp, can convey that your firm is trustworthy, professional, and credible.

Client Feedback Can Boost SEO

Each time a client’s feedback is added to your website or blog, this updates that page’s content—and client feedback often contains long-tail keywords that search engines love.

For example, if you’re a criminal defense attorney who specializes in DUI defense, “drunk driving defense” is just one short key phrase. A client’s testimonial is likely to include longer phrases, such as “Attorney John Smith helped defend my son against underage DUI charges.” Search engines are now crawling “defend underage DUI charges,” and ranking your pages accordingly.

Online Reviews Are Marketing Gold

Client reviews posted on sites such as Yelp, AVVO, and Martindale-Hubbell can boost your firm’s search rank and generate leads in a way little else can—all for free.

TIP: Positive feedback is great for marketing, but negative feedback can be just as advantageous in regard to how you respond to it. Review sites such as Yelp allows your firm to publicly respond to negative reviews. This can show viewers that you’re responsive, attentive, and truly care about the satisfaction of your clients by addressing their concerns, and trying to right the wrong, right away.

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