Reputation Management

What Reputation Management Tools Can Do for Your Law Firm

A reputation management tool is a way for lawyers to keep track of their online presence. One study showed that 86% of people look online for local reviews and 78% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal referrals. Because of that, lawyers should consider a tool that assists them in managing those online reviews, which now occur on several different platforms.

Online reviews are, at root, local—they exist to help people make a decision about a local business. Solo and small lawyers in particular need to highlight their business and target nearby consumers. That means ensuring that clients who have positive experiences share them online. It also means responding thoughtfully to negative online reviews.

As we noted in our new book, The Small Firm Roadmap, in many cases clients often rave about results, but they very rarely say positive things about the experience itself. That may be because the experience of working with a lawyer may make many people nervous, or it may be because your firm is not providing a superior customer service experience. Monitoring online reviews may help attorneys understand the experience clients are having and where to improve.

Reputation Management (Alphabetical List)

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How to Choose a Reputation Management Tool

When choosing a reputation management tool, lawyers should keep several things in mind. First, does the tool help you increase the number of reviews? Reputation management programs should make it easy for your firm to reach out to clients and ask for reviews. Next, does the tool help you track your reviews across multiple sites? There are now dozens of review sites, including several lawyer-specific ones, such as Avvo and FindLaw. A reputation management tool should allow you to monitor all of those sites in one place. Finally, the software should help you track customer satisfaction via surveys and reports.

Reputation Management Feature Descriptions

Dashboard. A dashboard lets you see a variety of information on a single screen. For reputation management software, a dashboard lets you see all your reviews from multiple websites, manage your online reviews, and track key metrics.

Reporting. Reporting tools help you see aggregate data about your firm's performance on various review sites. Reports include things like tracking review performance over time, your top review sources, and your rank by location.

Review Sites Aggregation. This means that the reputation management software combines data from multiple review sites and presents it to you in a unified inbox so you do not need to track reviews on a site-by-site basis.

Benchmarks. This means you can set reputation performance benchmarks and the software will track them. This can include things like average rating, number of reviews, and how quickly reviews are posted after you close a matter.

Notifications. This means the reputation management software will notify you about events such as a new review being published. Notifications can occur within the program itself or by sending you a text or email.

Surveys. Surveys let you assess whether a client was satisfied with the help they received from your firm. Some programs will allow you to conduct surveys via a number of channels, such as SMS and email.

Consolidated Updates. Update your contact information across all the review sites you are monitoring rather than requiring you to update each site manually.

Automated Text Message Follow-Ups. Reputation management software can include ways to generate reviews by automatically text or email clients to ask them to leave your firm a review after you have closed out their matter.

Live Chat. Does the software allow you to chat with users directly through other platforms such as Facebook?

Open API. An open API means that the program has an application programming interface that will allow it to directly integrate with other software programs such your firm's timekeeping, accounting, or custom relationship management software.