Happy New Year!
It’s a brand new year and exciting things are happening here at ReviewSolicitors. As the UK’s largest legal review site, we are excited to tell you about some of the changes that have recently taken place.
The past year has been a fantastic one for ReviewSolicitors. Over 1000 law firms are using us actively to collect reviews and over 2 million visitors used the platform to read reviews prior to instructing a firm. More and more potential clients are looking online to look at legal reviews – we expect to reach 3 million visitors in 2019.
New features have been deployed to the site over the festive period which will assist firms with the collection of relevant and useful review feedback. The changes that have been made are focused on improving the client’s journey whilst keeping the time needed to collect reviews to a minimum.
New features that have recently been made include:
1. Changes to our review questionnaire – more questions specific to value for money and area of law
We have spent a lot of time researching what clients want to tell us about their experience and how smooth it was for them. We understand what clients want to know prior to instructing a law firm so we have made improvements to our client questionnaire. This now features additional questions to help assist with the review collection rate and quality of reviews.
The additional questions added include:
- Questions specific to the area of law, e.g. for a conveyancing transaction – Did your solicitor keep you informed throughout the sale or purchase of your property?
- Descriptive questions – clickable buttons which describe the law firm using preset terminology
- Whether the client thought the service was Overpriced, Underpriced or About Right
- How much the client initially expected the transaction to cost
- How much the client ended up paying
- Whether the scope or complexity of the transaction increased
- Naming the solicitor who handled the matter
The descriptive questions have been a huge hit after just a month. These preset terms assist clients in completing their review and also provide valuable feedback as to what is thought most highly about the service provided.
How does it work?
After a client clicks on their star rating (how they rate their overall experience) at the top of the page, the system will automatically show common terminology used by clients when writing reviews. If the client has clicked on the upper end of the star rating (a 3-5 star review) then they will be presented with common positive terminology. Similarly if they click on a 1 or 2 star rating, then they will have the option to click on a different set of words which can help them express the level of service they have received.
Our research has concluded that by presenting these quick and clickable words clients find it easier to express themselves which results in a more useful review.
2. Visual ‘Value for money’ representation now displaying for each firm
If you have checked your ReviewSolicitors profile recently you will have noticed a new ‘Value for money’ section. An article was released about this back in September which explains how this new feature will work. If you haven’t already read the article there is a handy link below:
The new section provides a visual representation as to how clients rate the ‘value for money’ they have received from a law firm. The algorithm used takes into account several different criteria from the questions answered by clients in their reviews, which produces a score of between 1-100. Our system will recalculate once a month to update the average score that takes into account up to the latest 300 reviews.
A marker is then placed to show on a sliding scale how the firm scores between ‘Excellent’, ‘Competitive’ and ‘Poor’ value for money. We also produce a marker which show the average score across the UK so you can see how your firm compares.
3. National and regional rankings specific to areas of law
During the middle of 2018, the Law Society Gazette wrote an article about the up and coming changes that were due to take place. These new ranking pages clearly display how each firm is ranked throughout the UK. This makes it even easier for clients to make the right decision when it comes to choosing a firm for their legal need.
ReviewSolicitors ranking pages have been released and are now visible and searchable throughout the site. These pages will soon start to rank in Google for the most commonly used search terms such as ‘solicitors in Manchester’, ‘business solicitors’, ‘top 10 solicitors in Newcastle’, etc.
It is important that you do not underestimate the importance these pages will play on how clients find legal services. In the same way that many of us use TripAdvisor to check out a potential holiday destination or hotel stay, the ReviewSolicitors ranking pages will provide the only reliable and comprehensive national resource for genuine client reviews.
ReviewSolicitors rankings can now take into account third party reviews, such as those collected through Google Reviews. Should your firm have historically collected reviews through a different platform then we encourage you to get in contact to see if we can include these in your national rankings and on your ReviewSolicitors profile – simply email firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. More comprehensive areas of law list
ReviewSolicitors now provides a significantly more comprehensive list of areas of law to better tailor to your firm’s areas of expertise.
Based on feedback we received throughout 2018, clients often struggled to search for the ‘specific’ need they had and often were banded to more common and inclusive areas of law. For example, if you wanted to search for a specialist solicitor who commonly deals with ‘High net worth divorce’ then you would struggle to do so and would end up picking just the ‘divorce’ category which could present firms who are maybe not as niche as you would like.
After evaluating the most commonly searched terms on ReviewSolicitors, we put together a comprehensive list of 530 areas of law, in order to allow clients and firms alike, to find each other based on the specialist areas of expertise needed. To see and update your areas of law, simply log into your ReviewSolicitors account and go to the ‘Branch Profiles’ tab and scroll to the bottom.
Clients can now search from the ReviewSolicitors homepage by typing the service they need help with e.g. Contract dispute (rather than just commercial). They are presented with a list of areas of expertise which they can select and will subsequently be presented with law firms who have been reviewed specifically for that chosen field.
5. Area of law specific widgets
Based on the new areas of law list, law firms can now add ‘area of law’ specific widgets to their website. It is becoming quite common to now see the ReviewSolicitors widget when visiting the homepage of some of the largest and most reputable law firms throughout the country.
It is important to display information that is relevant to the client and, as such, you can now install widgets which show reviews specific to the area of law that the client is searching for. For example, if you have a page on your website which is dedicated to conveyancing, then why not install a conveyancing specific widget which will show the most recent 4 and 5 star reviews your firm has received from past clients who have completed a conveyancing transaction.
Providing relevant information can increase conversion rates by up to 65%, so it is in your best interest to collect reviews across all areas of law that your firm practices and to install area of law specific widgets.
If you require any help with these new features or want to get started, contact your account manager or visit the ‘Widgets’ section of your ReviewSolicitors dashboard.
6. Access to panel opportunities
Starting from January 2019, ReviewSolicitors will be providing free to join panel opportunities for the highest ranking firms using the service. More information and an invitation to join will come in the following few weeks about opportunities that we have to pass additional work to members. We are currently in talks with many major brands including banks and building societies about existing panels and how they have the potential to incorporate the highest rated ReviewSolicitors members to improve quality standards. Our first panel opportunity surrounding housing disrepair and cavity wall insulation claims begins before the end of the month.
It is important to note that ReviewSolicitors is and always will be a reputation management tool and such opportunities are second to the impartial legal review platform we offer. All panels will have no upfront costs including any upfront cost per lead and will be FREE to be a part of for all upgraded members. Members will need to meet review and quality requirements through ReviewSolicitors as standard. As with all client enquiries generated through the site, you will be free to contact the client and have them instruct you. As an independent third party platform, we evaluate such opportunities on their own merits in order to provide a panel of firms suitable to receive such work.
We have many new and exciting features that are due to be released in 2019 and we are keen to keep you updated throughout the year. If you have any questions about any of the information contained in this article then please contact your account manager or call 0333 577 0206.
To your success,