The number of Google My Business reviews you obtain is one of the many figures that matter in your legal practice, and you are keeping track of it meticulously. While you might be tempted to try unusual treatments or methods that promise to improve your Google My Business review rating, think twice; a Google suspension isn’t the only consequence you may face; the FTC might also want to have a word with you.
This week’s episode features Grace and Liel discussing the recently published Online Customer Reviews: A Guide for Platforms, by the Federal Trade Commission. The message is clear: “do not review gate”.
The conversation explores best practices to keep your law firm out of trouble, how to handle incentives, and a final answer to whether is acceptable to have friends, family, or even staff write reviews about your law firm.
So tune in, keep calm and continue generating reviews.
Resources mentioned in our episode:
- Federal Trade Commission – Online Customer Reviews Guide
- Analysis from Mike Blumenthal on FTC’s new guidelines
- How to request form Google a review removal
- In Camera Podcast Complete Guide on Review Generation
Send us your questions at email@example.com
Enjoy the show? Please don’t forget to subscribe, tell your coworkers, and leave us a review!
Liel: [00:00:00] In January, the FTC released new guidance for online review platforms and business marketeers, laying out key standards for collecting and publishing reviews. I’m Liel Levy, co-founder of Nanato Media and author of Beyond Se Habla Español How Lawyers Win the Hispanic Market. And This is In-camera podcast where we like our reviews not to be gated. Welcome to our podcast, Prime Video Marketing Conversations. Grace. Welcome back. How are you this week?
Grace: [00:00:54] Good. How are you, Liel?
Liel: [00:00:55] I’m good, Grace. Excited and happy to be back and have a conversation with you. And today we have a very good one that is on a topic that is highly relevant to any law firm. It really doesn’t matter the practice area. Any law firm knows that they live and die by their reviews. Right. Particularly Google my business reviews. Now, Grace, we have covered the topic of reviews in this podcast before. Actually, we have a fantastic episode from season one, potentially episode number nine or ten, that still holds up as probably one of the best episodes ever created for a law firm. With regards to guidance and advice on how to approach review generation and review reputation management. And so today we are going to be diving back into this topic and talking about some regulations that have been put up in place recently by the Federal Trade Commission, something that did not exist before. And that’s why it’s so important that we talk about it. But before we dive into that, I think it’s very necessary to establish some basics, because some people may have not necessarily heard that initial episode that we recorded or that we shared a few years back. So let’s establish some very, very basic stuff. Grace. First of all, why are reviews important? Why would you care to have reviews on your Google my business.
Grace: [00:02:22] So anybody knows that? Well, hopefully everybody knows by now that reviews are the lifeblood of any business. If you don’t have reviews, you almost don’t quite exist yet or any more in Google or otherwise, right? I mean, reviews are just they they help the they help consumers, especially nowadays because we have such educated consumers where people go and research things before they buy anything, even something as simple as toilet paper in some cases that they need reviews. Everybody needs reviews. And reviews are so important. And I cannot I don’t think either you or I have. We have. But we I cannot stress enough how important they are. I mean, I know I said it like three times, but I could say three more times and it still wouldn’t be enough.
Liel: [00:03:10] So so a few more technical reasons as to why they’re important. Of course, they influence consumers, right? Consumers get and make decision based decisions based on what others are saying about your business. That’s why they’re so important. They’re also very important because particularly in Google, they will give you visibility. They will be a very important determining factor as to whether your law firm is going to be ranking on the local park whenever someone is searching for whatever it is that you do in a nearby area. I think a fair radius would be about a mile depending the practice area. It may be larger than that. It would be more extensive than that. But fairly fair to say that it’s for most cases about a mile radius. And that’s obviously very, very significant because this is a source that can actually get you very good high quality leads to the law firm that can become clients. So if you do not have reviews on your Google my business, Google is going to say, well, I don’t know about this law firm because nobody’s talking about them. So and they’re not saying neither good or bad things about them. So maybe I’m not going to show them because I have other law firms here that they do have reviews and people seem to like them and so forth and so on. So that’s reason number one. Now, Grace, we have talked also about what are the right ways of generating reviews. [00:04:29] So care, [00:04:31] to establish a few of what we would consider good practices in review generation, what would be considered doing the right thing for a law firm to generate reviews? And please do start your response by giving a disclaimer about our advice, not overriding what state bars say about soliciting reviews.
Grace: [00:04:56] Yes. So again, I will start, as I always do, right, with disclaimer. I’m not a lawyer and there are very, very specific regulations as we’re even talking about here across. All of the different states for your specific state having to do with requesting reviews. And that is particularly when if you’re trying to give any type of incentive whatsoever for somebody, whether good, bad or indifferent, to give a review to your to your firm. So, again, very important to note, do not take this as advice over any type of state regulation that currently you [00:05:35] have to abide by. [00:05:36] With that being said, it’s always good to ask for a review. Obviously, we all want to ask for reviews when things are going good, right? So if you’re able to. Your best bet is to ask for reviews and incentivize them in the way. When we say incentives, we don’t talk about necessarily monetary incentives. If that’s available to you, great. If not, leave that alone because, you know, when you start giving monetary incentives, it could potentially create an issue of misleading reviews or you get flooded reviews, but only for a certain period of time. So again, best practice is state that if you do do some kind of incentivized plan for somebody to give you a review, that’s going to be for good, bad or indifferent reviews. So it needs to be consistent across the board. And again, do not go against any state regulations because that is probably one of the biggest problems I’ve seen in most review requests is when they incentivize somebody and that goes against the laws of the state that you happen to be in.
Liel: [00:06:43] 100% Grace. So you’re absolutely right. Request reviews when you decided and identified in your client journey that it’s the right time to ask for a review. Now a few things to keep in mind and this I really like in I heard it at a conference from Ben Glass, great legal marketing he was advocating about. Do you only ask reviews for people that have actually become clients of yours, or do you also ask reviews from people that you were able to guide them on the right direction? Maybe during that first initial free consultation, like in some practice areas that exist, it’s normal in personal injuries, sometimes in immigration, sometimes in criminal defense. And so you still have a conversation with someone and you try to orient them towards how they can find a solution through their to their issue. If you can help them, you assign the case. If you can’t, well, there is things that you can do for them. Right. And so if you’re one of those law firms that are doing those and taking those steps to help refer out your declines, you cannot help or what not. Are you actually getting reviews from these people? And that’s up for you to decide, right? That’s entirely up for you to and for your law firm to decide if those reviews could be valuable for you. But the bottom line is that people talking and saying good things about your law firm in Google tends to be a good thing for the most of it right.
Liel: [00:08:04] Now, Grace You’re absolutely right. And this now starts touching into these new regulations that have been put in place by the Federal Trade Commission. Right. And so let’s give here some context. Recently, as early as January this year, there were now regulations in place by the Federal Trade Commission. That means that people could solicit reviews in whichever way they want. And there was no real good or bad practice defined by any governmental institution. And that’s important, right? Because now the digital platforms were the ones that were determining can you solicit or not reviews. And in most cases, most platforms do allow to solicit reviews. With the exception of Yelp. Yelp still does not allow businesses to ask their clients. Patrons call them however you want to leave them a review. So directly. Directly, right. Because there is indirect ways that you can also ask for reviews. And those are very important. We’re going to talk about them in just one moment. And so what the Federal Trade Commission said here is. Number one, do not review gate. Do not review gate and. I’m going to go to the other tree. But Grace and I, we need to explain what review gating is. Okay. Now I’m going to focus more on the incentive part of it, because that’s where we started the conversation. You should incentivize. Positive and negative reviews equally. What does this mean? This means that you’re not just asking for reviews from people that you think are likely to leave you a positive review.
Liel: [00:09:49] You ask for the review. Anonymously to everyone. That you are asking a review. So you kind of like set up an ESOP and everyone who aspires to be qualifies to be asked for a review gets asked to review. You do not make exemptions very, very important. And here is here is the part about the incentives, because that’s important. What the FTC is saying now is that if you’re going to incentivize people to leave reviews, say you by giving them gift cards right after they left you a review. If that’s something that your state bar allows, you need to disclose that in the review. And so. That now puts the practice of incentivizing in kind of like. Grey area because does it have the same value to see a reviews that that have a disclaimer that say that they they were you know this review was left to someone who got a gift card. Is that is that by someone who left who got a gift card in exchange of the review? Not so great. You probably have seen them in Amazon those kind of reviews of us. Yeah. Of buyers. And so aren’t you a little bit biased towards those reviews and feel not too sure if I’m going to be trusting this one that they got a free sample for the product and then left the review. Grace, what are your thoughts?
Grace: [00:11:17] Oh, I am so biased against those. Any time I see that anybody says I get something, if you click this affiliate link or if you leave a review, I got this or I left the review because I got this, I honestly, I discount it probably by like a good 75% depending on the situation. Right. Because in some cases, you know, if I feel like it’s a big enough company and it’s, you know, I’ve seen good, bad reviews and there’s so many reviews that it doesn’t matter what they do. Like, you know, it’s going to be fairly consistent if it’s part of their normal M.O. right there, modus operandi to be doing that. And everybody says that they got a gift card and even a bad review has that gift card notification on it. I will be probably more inclined to listen to those as true reviews, even with that caveat on it. And I’ll explain why is because I look at at least a handful, sometimes 5 to 10, depending on how expensive the product is or what it is I’m buying, right? If it’s a restaurant that’s expensive, whatever. If it’s something that could affect my life heavily, that type of thing, then I look at the number of good reviews and the number of bad reviews, and I read them and then I read if they have responses to those. So the gift certificate thing, it does heavily weigh in on my choice to believe the review or not, but I do have other qualifiers that are just as heavily or just as important to me when I’m reading the reviews.
Liel: [00:12:53] That’s right. Now, Grace, what does review gating means? Because we’ve mentioned that and I think to continue on this conversation, we need to define what is the practice of review gating.
Grace: [00:13:07] Yes, so review gating. So for those of you that don’t understand how just basically the process of reviews work because Google isn’t the only one that does reviews, right? I mean, there’s Yelp and there’s Facebook and whatever else you want. There’s quite a few other review options, right? And so when you use systems a lot of times to get your reviews or obtain your reviews, some of these systems have something called something available to you, which is called a gate or review gate. And what that means is it stops just like your puppy from running out into the street or running out into your your hallway and pooping somewhere. It’s supposed to stop bad reviews from getting through to your website, to your Facebook, to your Google, whatever it might be. So it’s getting the bad reviews and allowing the good ones through. Only that is review gating, ladies and gentlemen. So if you don’t know what that is and you’re currently doing that, but you didn’t know what it was, you need to stop immediately.
Liel: [00:14:12] Okay, great explanation. That’s literally what review gating means. Now, you may be wondering now if you’ve never heard of it or you’ve never seen it in action. Well, how how? This sounds like magic. How can I just filter the bad reviews and let the good reviews in? Well, it’s because it applies a filter to the process of generating a review where users at the time that they are getting ask for a review, they’re they’re being asked kind of like a preliminary question. Say you, for instance, in an email. Right. Or in the text message. Tell us, how is your experience? Great. They click on a link. They get to a landing page. That landing page has a question that rates from 1 to 10. How was your experience? Right. And so if your experience was anything below seven. At that point, rather than referring you to the page of Google My Business so you can go on and type your review. They send you to a different page where they’re probably going to try to get you in touch with the business so things can be worked out or that they can hear or learn a little bit more about what your why your experience was below a seven, right? And while the intentions may be good, the intentions may be you’re trying to find out what the issue was. The practice is not good because you’re basically stopping a person from going and leaving a review on a platform where you are actively collecting reviews in a kind of like unethical way. And so this is not allowed. This is not allowed.
Liel: [00:15:51] The FTC says, no, you cannot do that and you should not be doing that. Now, Grace, there is another way of review gating that you also mentioned there in your explanation, and that is taking and selecting reviews to stream or to showcase in your website, right? Most of websites, honestly, almost every single law firm website probably has a blog in that it’s. Taking reviews from Google my business and showing them in a carousel or some sort of widget inside a website. Right. And most of these plugins have a filter that allows you to select only to show or display reviews that are five star. That is review gating as well. So even if the review has already been posted in the platform, yet you’re only deciding to selectively showcase only a few reviews that have a certain score or higher that is still considered review gating and the FTC is against that. And so. What’s what’s the deal with this? Right. What will the FTC do? Are they going to come after you? Probably not. They’re overwhelmed. They do not have the resources to go after every single business, let alone law firm for review gating. But beyond whether the FTC is going to come after you or not, is the social awareness that is created around how businesses are presenting themselves to the public and how now it’s turning this type of conversation, this type of regulations. What’s happening is that it’s making it easier for users to identify red flags when they are trying to get a business right if they see that everything looks perfect. Must be weird.
Grace: [00:17:48] So it’s not only is it distasteful, but it’s obviously now become essentially illegal to do that. And on top of that, truthfully, when I see a company that has everything five across the board, I tend to discount it a tiny bit sometimes, you know, unless they have like thousands and thousands of five star reviews. Not everybody’s perfect. Nobody’s perfect, right? Nobody’s perfect. So the fact that they have so many only good reviews sometimes does tell me something at the same time. Because I will go look. And for me, it’s just as important how you respond to a bad review. Then what? You get all these great five star reviews that all they say is, Oh, this great person was great, person was great. Now, I mean, a five star is nice. And of course, I mean, we all want just five stars, but the reality is that doesn’t happen that way. And no business is perfect because we’re all made up of people and nobody’s perfect. So with that being said, I think it’s important to note that how you respond to your one star review and if you can get them to change it is more important even than a simple one line five star review, sometimes depending on your demographic and what you’re doing. But I think in general, it is a very important point to note. Take care of the bad reviews, too, and respond to every single one. Because I might just I just might buy because I liked your response to The Bad Review, which I’ve done before.
Liel: [00:19:25] I totally agree with what you were saying there. Grace And so here are some facts. These are facts. These are not just ideas or suggestions. So users who are going to leave you a bad review, they’re going to leave a bad review, whether your review gating or not. Right. Because you send them an email and your link does not allow them to go to Google and deliver the review through that link doesn’t mean they cannot go to Google directly and leave a review for you of one star. So you’re not really protecting yourself as much as you think you are. Secondly, the practice of review gating as a whole when you have some efforts put up in place just to selectively request for reviews from a few people, you’re dramatically reducing your chances of generating reviews, period. If you ask for reviews consistently to everyone that you can ask for a review, your review volume is going to increase substantially and whether you get some negative reviews or not, they’re in the mix. You’re also going to get a lot of very positive reviews there. And so it’s not going to really matter whether a few negative ones came through. And that’s great. Saying here, guys, I mean. Negative reviews are a great opportunity for two things A showcase to your prospective clients. How do you deal with adversity and conflict? And number B is learn from where are the areas of opportunity in your law firm? I mean, if you guys think you’re perfect and you don’t have room for improvement and you don’t care to hear feedback from your customers about what could be done better, then that’s an issue within itself. But here you have an opportunity to learn to hear where things are or where things could have gone better and just take action and obviously put action plans in place to get better.
Grace: [00:21:17] Action plans, right. We talk about plan strategies and all that all the time, and that includes when you’re submitting for reviews and you I think you hit the nail on the head when you said the reviews, good, bad or it doesn’t matter, right? When you’re sending them out, send them all out to everybody. Because, yes, the law of averages, numbers, not opinions. Facts state that you’re going to get a large amount and out of that large amount, if you’re doing a good job for your clients, there are going to be some bad, but there should be more good. So let them come through, respond to them, answer and handle and take it as an opportunity, not a challenge or an issue that somebody has an issue or potential situation with your firm. You can always fix it, right? I mean, not always, but almost always. I mean, a good 99.9% of the people that I’ve ever responded to on reviews for different things. They’re willing to listen, they’re willing to work with you. They really do want something to be done about the bad experience they had. And maybe it was a miscommunication, sometimes as simple as that. So reach out to the bad reviews. Do not get good reviews and make sure that you you request reviews from everybody so that you have the same amount, hopefully of good reviews and very little bad reviews, but it doesn’t matter because you’re going to respond to all of them properly.
Liel: [00:22:38] And so going back to the conversation about who to ask reviews from. Another thing that it’s been very tempting is asking friends, family and staff members to leave your reviews. Now, this is interesting, Grace. This is really, really interesting because the FTC guidelines do not say that that’s unacceptable. Right. While some platforms may know may not like it, the FTC does not penalize it as long as they disclose the relationship that they have with you. So, for instance, if you’re asking for, say, you someone you know from back in college, another lawyer to go and leave a review for you, the review does not need to should not pretend that they’ve been a client of your law firm. Instead, it should say, I’ve known attorney John Smith for over a decade of time. He’s a responsible and caring person. I know his team and his practice are doing a great job at helping their clients based on the results that I’ve seen him present, whatever. Right. But he does not portray himself as an actual client, as someone who’s actually used the service. And this applies for friends, family members and just staff members as well. So personal feelings with regards to that, I think, you know, it can help, but it cannot help us. At the same time, I think it’s a little bit with the incentive, right? It’s a little bit like the incentive thing, like are you going to be biased towards reading a review from the grandmother of the of the business owner. Yeah. So, you know, I think I think if but but in certain cases, you know, a review from a team member who’s been working at the at the firm for over a year or two years and such and wants to comment about the culture and the experience they’ve had working in there and the satisfaction that they get out from their job. I think it’s valid. I honestly think it’s valid. I don’t I don’t see anything wrong with it.
Grace: [00:25:03] So especially with other attorneys, I mean, personally, if an employee posts a review about a company they work for, particularly if they are what I would consider just regular staff, that speaks volumes about the company. It really does. But secondly, when we’re talking about the attorneys, you know, if if the attorney is a well known attorney, particularly within their own space, and they’re putting that they know this because they’ve worked with this attorney themselves, whether through a co counsel relationship or. We’ve seen them in terms of how they communicate with their own staff and and whatever it might be. Like you said, disclose it very clearly what the relationship is. But I do consider those very valuable because if I know that firm’s name and other attorney from another law firm somewhere else is saying that this guy who I know that attorney is saying that this other attorney is very good and he basically is putting his name behind him, that he thinks that he is you know, he’s basically putting them on the same level as himself, right. To give them a five star review. So that to me is pretty valuable as well. But yes, I think the the best reviews are obviously from the clients that experience your actual service, whereas the other ones have a little tweaks, caveats, and you can discount them a little bit.
Liel: [00:26:31] Yeah, 100%. Your review. Mix Your review mix needs to be primarily primarily centered on people that are clients of your business and they use your services. And that’s really what’s going to move the needle when it comes down to potential clients making decisions now. Grace Going back to a few of the kind of like red flags that you need to keep in mind. So working with platforms that incentivize reviews through money or gift cards or that sort of thing, that does not get disclosed. That obviously is going to be a red flag. Be careful with that. Now, a good reminder to the listeners is that if you decide to hire an agency to work on generating reviews for you and the practices that they’re using are not acceptable or align with what the FTC regulation says, you’re going to be liable for it, not your agency. The business is going to be. So you need to make sure that if you are engaging in some sort of review generation service with an agency, you have a very, very clear understanding as to how they’re doing it, what’s the process and where these reviews are coming from. Now, as I mentioned it previously, also, it is true that the FTC is understaffed and overworked and probably they’re not actively searching for law firms that are breaking with these rules, but they could potentially at some point decide to audit one of the bigger platforms out there that provides revenue generation services or review management services.
Liel: [00:28:19] And if they are not complying with these rules, if they are applying things like review, gating and such, then you can be vulnerable to this as well. So don’t think that if they’re not coming directly after you, they may not get to you through some of the service providers that you’re using. That’s something also to keep in mind. But last but not least, what do you do when you’re actually, you know, doing everything? Well, you’ve let everyone come and read reviews. You ask to everyone in an equal way. And still, one day you wake up, you have a notification on your inbox. It says that you’ve got a one star review. The user name cannot be identified. You cannot say whether it was a client or not. You respond. They do not respond back. They do not acknowledge your response. What do you do then? What do you do then? Could this have been a competitor or someone just doing some foul move on you in order to damage you and to hurt your business? What do you do then? So Grace. I want to take a shot at what you do then. In those cases.
Grace: [00:29:29] Yes, I’ve actually had a situation that that happened where there was no nothing. The and not only that, but you could tell that the person had just created the the Google account. So there was no other reviews, there was nothing. So I actually reached out to Google and I told them that it was a spam review and that I did not see any communication or any type of anything from that individual as to how they could have even claimed anything because there was no service being rendered and there was no information for the individual. So they did take it off. They actually did. So, I mean, it’s it’s possible. It’s doable. I mean, you can reach out to Facebook, to Yelp and to different the different companies that have the review platforms in them. And they may or may not respond. They may or may not help. But in my case, I did. And it was taking care of.
Liel: [00:30:24] That’s right. I think in your case, Grace, it was very cut and clear that it was not a well-intended review. And quite honestly, I think it’s up to debate and not up to debate. It’s very clear. I mean, Google should not allow users that have not been thoroughly verified as real persons that have certain history or record in the platform and are leaving reviews that actually contain something beyond just the star rating to go live. I mean, that’s that is like Google really needs to up their game there if they want Google my business to be continue and all of their local side of the business to continue growing and gaining relevancy and for people to continue trusting it. This this is a practice that they need to to tighten the screws on because this is a completely unacceptable that that’s still allowed in today’s in today’s world. Right. These are not just spam tweets under a post that you’ve made on social media. These are actual very damaging. Very, very damaging. This could bring damaging consequences to a business. So with that being said, as Grace is saying here, are you going to get every single review that you dispute removed? Absolutely not. Absolutely not. Especially if there are comments, especially if people are actually, you know, generally thinking they did not receive a good experience yet. Don’t even in those cases, don’t even try to go with Google because you’re just going to put yourself and they’re just going to put an asterisk next to your brand name and say, these guys are trying to get clever here. Right? So don’t don’t misuse that privilege of being able to report things. But when they’re very obvious and when they’re very evident to make the point.
Grace: [00:32:17] Yeah, super important guys, you know, obviously do it with caution and only only if you’re sure that that is truly a bad review, that doesn’t should not count for whatever reason.
Liel: [00:32:28] Yeah, absolutely. And the good news for all of you is that we will be putting here the link as to where you can where you can go at Google to open up a claim if you have a bad review as well as to the new regulations of the FTC and this wonderful article that really summarizes very well all of the changes and updates that have been put up in place recently. So Grace, it’s time for takeaways.
Grace: [00:32:51] Well, if nothing else, number one has to be do not review gate. Do not do it, ladies and gentlemen, do not do it. Because obviously, one, it’s illegal and two, it’s it’s just not any better for you. It really isn’t. The law of averages number state, just send out the review across to everybody because you’re just harming yourself and potentially your company. Actually not potentially and definitely your company if you review gate.
Liel: [00:33:20] So Google never liked it [00:33:21] know that [00:33:22] before even before even before the FTC put up regulations, Google was not a fan of review gating and was penalizing businesses that were doing so on their websites. So [00:33:33] know that [00:33:33] it’s not it’s not considered a good practice as a whole. So that’s a really, really good takeaway. Grace, what would you say our takeaway number two should be?
Grace: [00:33:43] I would say takeaway number two should be. Keep the reviews clean. Meaning don’t ask your friends and family for those reviews. I’m not saying that you can’t, but don’t just don’t do it. You know, honestly, everyone’s going to discount it and you’re just wasting your time and effort on nonsense procedure that you should have an SOP, like he said, standard operating procedure for requesting reviews from all your clients no matter what. And so don’t ask your friends and family for it. You can ask other attorneys. But again, like I said, everything is going to be discounted. So your review mix, which I like, that term that you used, your review mix should primarily compose of only clients that actually use your services that are reviewing you.
Liel: [00:34:28] Most importantly, whomever comes to leave a review on your side, they need to present themselves for what they really are and never pretend to be clients if they are not clients. That that is the real important component here that can either keep you out of trouble or get you into very, very deep trouble. Because then again, it’s not just the FTC who is here regulating these, but you also have local authorities, your AG, for instance, that potentially could take action with you if they’re starting to get complaints that your reviews seem to be deceiving like it has happened. Right. This has happened. This has happened to law firms. There’s cases of this go back and listen to our episode. We actually talk about one of those cases from New York or I believe, or New Jersey anyhow, Grace, last and final take away for this episode.
Grace: [00:35:23] So for me, the last and final take away has to do with the. The FTC and just guidance in general, honestly, when it comes to soliciting reviews and reviews, period, do it cleanly. You know, I mean, it’s really it’s you’re better off honestly. You’re better off if you just have your SOP in place. You ask everybody for it and you don’t incentivize. I know that Liel and I have a little bit of different opinion on that, particularly obviously depending on your state regulations and rules. But I personally don’t think you should incentivize anybody for anything, at least not for legal. I’m not talking about like products or services and things like that. I think that that should be a straight across the board incentive if you’re going to incentivize, which it has to be. But when it comes to legal, I feel like the experience and the service that you’re giving the client and helping them with the case, particularly when it comes to personal injury that we deal with a lot. I mean, there’s criminal and all these other ones, but personal injury that should speak for itself or not. So I personally feel that incentive, even when it’s clearly stated, I don’t think that there should be any type of incentive for a real review for somebody. And so again, that’s my personal thought and feeling about it. If your state allows it and that’s what your current SOP is, by all means, please continue doing what you’re doing if it’s working for you and your company. But I’m just telling you how I feel and when I see things on reviews, if there’s a gift certificate, a gift card or whatever, and you have this great process already in place, don’t do that. Just take the incentive off. Don’t. Don’t incentivize.
Liel: [00:37:07] It. Yeah, you’re right. Grace. Sorry. Sorry to interrupt, but. But, yeah, most importantly, if you’re currently doing it and it’s not being disclosed, that that’s really the red flag. That’s really what can get you in in trouble. Right. And when it comes down to incentives, incentivize your team, right? Incentivize your team to actually do a great job and to follow the process of asking to review when the review needs to be asked for so that it’s not an afterthought. It’s not something that is being done with inconsistency. And you’re really leveraging as much opportunities as you can to increase your review pool. And as we’ve mentioned. Right, let those negative reviews come through. Hopefully you won’t see many of those. But when you do take them as an opportunity to learn, be, to address and show your potential future clients, how how do you handle conflict or how do you respond when things may not be going well? And that could actually seal the deal for some people who are just trying to identify, okay, what’s the worst thing that could happen if I were to hire this law firm, how they respond. And so people are thinking about these things. Grace Really good conversation is always it’s fascinating talking about reviews and they’re important and we and we didn’t even mention the value the way that they have for campaigns like local service ads. Oh, if you’re if you’re if you’re in a competitive market, in a competitive practice area like reviews, it’s potentially what’s going to what’s going to get you the visibility. And so they’re essential. So anyhow.
Grace: [00:39:00] Grace, I can tell you and this is a slightly off topic and I know we’re ending wrapping up here very soon, but you know, I’m doing some stuff for pest control company and he has probably I don’t know, I want to say maybe only 25 reviews, one one star. It’s he’s like 4.8. It’s not not a bad right. I mean five four close darn close to five star and he responds to his one star reviews. I don’t know if I agree with the way that he responds, but he responds. Right. So the he’s there now. You know, I’ve been running the Google ads for a little bit for him, 100%. I had quality score optimization, 100%. Everything is 100%. I’ve been watching it. It’s been doing really well. It’s been doing well, but not well enough. Why? I went looked. I see the competition like right up in the three pack. Guess what? That person has over 1000 reviews for nine all. You know, they answer every single one and I’m like, You’re not on the GMB three pack, my friend. We got to get you in that GMB three pack. Like that’s a big deal. You need to ask for more reviews so I can only do so much and you can only do so much by spending money. You’ve got to get the reviews.
Liel: [00:40:16] Yeah. And though and if you’re, if you’re someone who is also kind of in that similar position just getting started, just a few reviews, you’re in a industry where people just don’t like. Leaving a lot of reviews in general because of the nature of the business or because of the type of person that you’re dealing with. Don’t get discouraged because at the end of the day, Google also takes into I’m starting to speak Spanish here. Google. Google also takes into consideration other factors when it comes down to creating the local pack mix and match of businesses that are going to be there. And yes, while reviews are kind of like. Key to get you consistent visibility. You can still get some visibility even if you’re not there, but maybe not with the frequency that those big players are getting it. So just keep that in mind and stay focused and keep on generating reviews. Stay calm and keep generating reviews.
Grace: [00:41:11] Grace That’s what we need here. That should be your next one. Yes. In Camera podcast. Stay calm, keep generating reviews.
Liel: [00:41:18] I like that one. Grace, Well on that, we’re going to leave today’s episode. Thank you so much. Grace for your time. And we’ll be back next week.
Grace: [00:41:25] Next week it is. Thank you, Liel.
Liel: [00:41:30] And if you like our show, make sure you subscribe. Tell your coworkers. Leave us a review and send us your questions at: firstname.lastname@example.org, We’ll see you next week.