Philip Hayes, the founder of the Hayes Law Office, shares how to beat the competition by managing online reviews and harnessing tech for excellent client communication.
Three Things You’ll Learn:
- The value online reviews and technology can contribute to your business
- Responding to bad reviews can change people’s perception of your firm for the better
- How to determine if you should start your own firm and if you need outside marketing help
Improve Communication With Technology
Philip’s goal is to get his clients as close as possible to where they were in life before they made a mistake or wrong decision that brought them to his office. Making sure his clients feel comfortable and heard is paramount.
Philip harnesses the knowledge, experience, and the best of technology to ensure this happens. His office uses an online portal that gives clients 24/7 access to their court documents and makes it easier to communicate directly with his office.
“We’re not always in the office, so we try our best to use all tools to make our clients feel that they are number one on our list.”
Philip also stresses that while having the right technologies in place matters, it’s equally important to have the right people on your team. You can only perform and achieve as a team.
It didn't take Philip long to single out online reviews as a valuable asset to his firm. It all started with satisfied clients asking how they could give back. Now, Philip tops the charts in the Indianapolis area with his positive reviews.
“We focus ... on Google reviews because probably around 95% of our potential clients find us through a Google search.”
And he consistently sees his online reviews make the difference between him and the next guy.
“People are trying to connect with that firm, with that attorney…They try to [decide] through someone who previously was our client or…that was similarly situated. And then they go into the reviews and they figure out: This is the fit.”
Having a solid base of online reviews also can cut down on clients who aren’t the best match, keeping them from approaching the firm in the first place.
Philip admits his firm has received some negative reviews, but the solution is always to turn that experience into a lesson.
If you receive a negative online review, Philip recommends:
- Take a step back
- Respond in a respectful and professional way
This speaks volumes about your integrity to future prospective clients and may cause the person who wrote the negative review to reconsider.
Know When To Get Help
Philip says the degree to which a firm handles its own online review process depends on its size.
“If the firm has the time, it’s always best to be hands-on [with reviews].”
Philip knew he had to pass the marketing torch when the competition stiffened as other firms began refining their SEO.. It was tough for him to bring in outside help, but it’s been worth it to stay on top.
“You learn if you are a good team leader that you cannot do it all yourself and you try to find experts or people who have experience ... to help you out.”
Philip stresses that many attorneys who own their firms do so to create more time for other things as their career progresses, like spending time with family. So, learning to delegate responsibilities naturally becomes part of what it means to run a firm well.
Philip notes that starting and running a firm is not for everyone — and there’s nothing wrong with that. He says attorneys can know whether they should start a firm if they:
Are passionate about running a business on top of litigating
Have an end-goal in mind
Know yourself, set goals, and be willing to learn new technologies — your clients and quality of life will thank you.