Gyi and Conrad review the latest news. First up: Clio’s “blind date” with HubSpot. They wonder about the development of Clio Grow, its relationship with HubSpot, and customer relationship management options for law firms.
In the Clio Legal Trends Report Minute, Gyi and Conrad consider the quarter of lawyers who don’t meet clients virtually and the third of lawyers who don’t support electronic document sharing and e-filing. Back in the day, exceptional customer service was a bonus. Nowadays, exceptional is the expectation, Gyi and Conrad say.
When it comes to legal marketing conferences, Gyi and Conrad shun pay-to-play speaking spots. Their alternative? The no-BS Bedlam legal marketing conference coming up on May 26. They preview the lineup with guest and Bedlam co-presenter and legal marketing frenemy Casey Meraz.
Listen for the code for the remaining #LHLM free registration spots.
Closing the episode, Gyi and Conrad talk one-star reviews and how to and how not to respond.
Pro tip: It’s possible to turn a terrible review from a competitor into a positive. Gyi and Conrad explain how.
Casey Meraz is the CEO of Juris Digital
Special thanks to our sponsors Alert Communications, LexisNexis® InterAction®, LawYaw and Clio.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Conrad, what is the price of your soul?
Conrad Saam: The price of my soul? Is your question how much would you pay to speak at a legal marketing conference for 45 minutes?
Gyi Tsakalakis: That’s the price?
Conrad Saam: I can tell you what the market price for that is. I can also tell you that I did not pay that market price and thus, I will be not appearing at that legal marketing shill your vendor conference.
Gyi Tsakalakis: So your soul’s intact? Different question.
Conrad Saam: That is a completely different question but I like where you’re going with it. There’s lots of shilling going on right now, isn’t there?
Gyi Tsakalakis: There’s so much shilling.
Conrad Saam: Are we going to shill today?
Gyi Tsakalakis: We are.
Conrad Saam: Okay. And by the way —
Gyi Tsakalakis: Don’t give it away.
Conrad Saam: I’m going to make a point. We shill for people that we believe in, correct? Let me rephrase this, —
Gyi Tsakalakis: I do.
Conrad Saam: We will definitely not shill for people that are just paying us $8,000 for a 45-minute speaking gig.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yet.
Conrad Saam: So are you soul-wise completely bankrupt?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Oh, I don’t think so. I’d say, I’ve got like 75% of my soul left.
Conrad Saam: Okay. All right. So you’ve been in legal marketing for how long and you still have 75% of your soul? Am I right? Some of our listeners are going to find that hard to believe.
Gyi Tsakalakis: They’re not going to believe me.
Conrad Saam: No.
Gyi Tsakalakis: People that know me know I have no soul.
Conrad Saam: Okay, so as usual today, we’re going to start out with the news, followed by the Clio Legal Trends Report and introducing Casey Meraz, who will be talking about the Bedlam Conference and finally, with a sad trombone, we are going to talk about one-star reviews and how to respond to them. But for now, let’s hit the music.
Intro: Welcome to Lunch Hour Legal Marketing, teaching you how to promote, market, and make fat stacks for your legal practice, here on Legal Talk Network.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Welcome to Lunch Hour Legal Marketing, before we get going let’s thank the sponsors.
Thanks to Alert Communications for sponsoring this episode. If any law firm is looking for call, intake or retainer services available 24/7, 365 just call 866-827-5568.
Conrad Saam: LexisNexis InterAction, the leading client-relationship management solution purpose built for the way law firms engage with their clients. Learn more at interaction.com.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Clio’s cloud-based practice management software makes it easy to manage your law firm from intake to invoice. Try it for free at clio.com. That’s C-L-I-O dot com.
Conrad Saam: And also, Lawyaw provides end-to-end document automation for solo, small, and mid-size practices. Save time and avoid mistakes with documents that you draft over and over and over and over again. Learn more at lawyaw.com. That’s L-A-W-Y-A-W dot com.
Gyi Tsakalakis: The ad copywriters assume that people know how to spell dot com.
Conrad Saam: I think we’re okay. I mean, can you imagine —
Gyi Tsakalakis: It really autofills, right?
Conrad Saam: Bad audio. But think about like the dot co versus dot com. If you’re doing a podcast promoting a .co, that would be super frustrating.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Right. Or dot law.
Conrad Saam: What is dot law? isn’t that the SCO marketing magic that will catapult you to the top of the rankings?
Gyi Tsakalakis: That’s what I’ve heard.
Conrad Saam: We should do a segment on that and really ruffle some feathers.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Definitely. But not today.
Conrad Saam: Not today.
Gyi Tsakalakis: What’s up today?
Conrad Saam: Up today on the news.
Conrad Saam: So first, we have a correction. Two weeks ago, we told you that Clio had raised $150 million, they’d actually raised $110 million. So a little less in the treasure trove, but you’re still talking about $210 million in venture capital in a two-week period to two different companies that was Scorpion and Clio. Speaking of Clio, Clio and HubSpot went on a blind date. Did you hear about this news, Gyi?
Gyi Tsakalakis: From you.
Conrad Saam: Yes, I did send this to you. We talked about this. So very fascinating for me, HubSpot is a non-legal specifics CRM system that Mockingbird have gotten really involved in. When did Clio buy Lexicata, Gyi?
Gyi Tsakalakis: A couple years now, right? Two, three years?
Conrad Saam: It’s got to be two or three years ago where Clio bought Lexicata which was an intake management software and that was rebranded as Clio Grow, which then presumably integrates well with Clio Manage. So, what do you think this means for Clio Grow. It’s two kind of very different CRM systems?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah, I know. I mean, look, I think Clio’s responding to the market. I think you could attest to this, right? You’re seeing more lawyers moving to HubSpot.
Conrad Saam: Yeah, big time.
Gyi Tsakalakis: HubSpot solid. And so, they want to be able to say, look if you’re on HubSpot, you can keep that flow, that journey from your CRM into your practice management tool very seamless with the integration. I don’t want to speak for Clio but some people might say, “Well, aren’t you trying to build HubSpot with Clio Grow?” And maybe the answer is no, maybe we should have a Clion come on and talk about this but it’s very interesting.
Conrad Saam: I don’t know this but I don’t think the original product that they built has been massively reconfigured and developed since it’s gone to Clio. I don’t believe that is the case and Gyi, I think it was the first legal specific intake management software that really had any traction. It’s good yet it’s still somewhat from a CRM perspective, it’s fairly simplistic and limited I think is a fair assessment, which makes it a really good use for small solos, right?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Right. But HubSpot, I don’t know if that’s the best fit necessarily for small solos every time in my personal opinion. Not cheap.
Conrad Saam: I’m not going to start shilling HubSpot as I will disagree with the not cheap. So, we’ll move on. We are supposed to be in the news segment, now we’re talking about CRM strategy.
Gyi Tsakalakis: You brought it up.
Conrad Saam: I know. But you’ve dangled the bait as you always do and I always fall for it.
Gyi Tsakalakis: I will give this HubSpot talking point, which I also —
Conrad Saam: Here comes the shill.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Here’s the shill. I am now telling myself — I told you $8,000 for 45 minutes, I’m not even being paid by HubSpot for this but HubSpot does do a very good job of kind of the from very, very small to very, very large. You can get in for like $100 a month at their most basic level or you can spend well over $3,000 or $4,000 a month if you’re really, really scale. So it is a way to scale up. Let’s move on from me shilling HubSpot so aggressively.
The 10-pack is back.
Conrad Saam: The last time we talked about the 2-Pack, we made some really bad jokes that many of our listeners didn’t get. Talk to me about the return of the 10-pack, Gyi.
Gyi Tsakalakis: So 10-Packs, the local pack and we talk local pack, we’re search nerds, that little box that comes up on Google when you do a search like usually a localized business search but just really a business search so Google’s thinking business location intent context when it shows local packs. Long time ago, it was seven.
Conrad Saam: It’s been lots of things.
Gyi Tsakalakis: It’s been three for a while and then we recently saw a two and now folks are seeing 10-Packs. So, I love 10-Pack, right? More real estate for business. Now there’s no 10-Pack on mobile, can’t be a 10-Pack on mobile.
Conrad Saam: That would be awkward. That would be unwieldy from a user perspective, right?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Too much Pack. Well, I mean, look, let’s face it. First, you got to get past the LSAs, then you got to get past the ads below the LSAs, then you can see the first listing of the 10-Pack and then you got 9 — so if you’re in the 10 spot in the 10-Pack, you’re in trouble, but interesting and —
Conrad Saam: But I mean here’s the flip, right? If you’re in the third spot, in the 2-Pack, you’re in worse shape than being in the 10th spot in a 10-Pack.
Gyi Tsakalakis: That’s really true. And my thing, the thing that’s interesting about this is like just Google being Google. If Google thinks this user is looking for a local business, why show anything else except Pack results because even the traditional localized results, where are they usually? Directory.
Conrad Saam: Right? And when you say localized, you mean organic localized results?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah. I mean the 10 blue link stuff that now shows up on page two.
Conrad Saam: I wonder how many people get the 10 blue links reference, right?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Right. Well, they should. There’s blue links, you know those little listings in Google are blue links usually. Although they’ve tested that, too.
Conrad Saam: So, I’ve done studies on this, not recently but typically, you’ve got four to six or seven of the big directories dominating the 10 blue links, right? And I have been wrong for over a decade talking about how that is going to decline as people realize that they actually want to find a lawyer instead of a directory about lawyers. I’ve consistently been wrong.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Well, I think you’re right. That’s where Google is trying to go, right? Hence Packs, but now instead of directories, you just get lead gen companies in the packs.
Conrad Saam: Yeah, that’s a whole other problem. Lead gen companies masquerading as law firms that then sell those leads through an overseas company back to local lawyers. It is that gross. Okay.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Let’s move on.
Conrad Saam: Let’s move on. I think we should read some reviews, Gyi.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yes, we’ve got a review, so we’re very excited. Here’s the review. Great episode with Casey Cheshire. I loved it. I just listened to the episode with Casey Cheshire and I loved every minute of it. I agree with Casey that marketing automation is all about capturing, nurturing, automating and reporting. It makes marketers more efficient. I am looking forward to listening to more. That sounds like we might have a subscriber there.
Conrad Saam: We’ve got a subscriber.
Gyi Tsakalakis: The Casey Cheshire episode is actually from 2019 and posted from Panama. So, we’ve officially gone international.
Conrad Saam: So here’s the thing, I mean, this is a good lesson, right? It is the content from 2019, you were talking about efficiency automation capturing and nurturing with AI two years ago. So, two lessons here, one, Gyi saw this coming and two, the value of this evergreen content, right? People are still listening to this stuff. So, a lot of you guys are talking about doing podcasts or blogs and writing content thinking about this evergreen, the value of the evergreen content is very much a real thing. A lot of law firm content especially on blogs still focuses on the accident that happened yesterday on Main Street and Elm with a pickup truck and a blah, blah, blah. Think evergreen because there is value to this.
Gyi Tsakalakis: And if you liked what you have — for our listener that like Casey — Casey actually has his own podcast, Hardcore Marketing Show, I would check that as well. Plugin.
Conrad Saam: Fair enough.
Gyi Tsakalakis: All right. Let’s talk Legal Trends Report Minute brought to you by Clio.
Conrad, I got a question for you.
Conrad Saam: Go.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Did you know that three out of four lawyers are meeting with clients virtually? Storing firm data in the cloud, accepting payments online and nearly two-thirds of law firms now support electronic document sharing and e-signatures.
Conrad Saam: So the last time we did one of these, we were both surprised that the numbers were so low.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Right. Is this same numbers from last time?
Conrad Saam: No. The last one clearly didn’t make a mark on you, but you and I were both very surprised at how low these numbers are. I’m surprised as well, right? Like you and I basically live on Zoom. We don’t have the percentages for each of these but accepting payments online — if you are a consumer-facing law firm. Actually, let me go a step back.
If you are a business, a very good business tenant, is to make it easy for people to pay you. It is very easy to get people to pay you online, right? And so, that to me is a bit of a no-brainer. There’s two major players in the online payment for lawyers game. It’s a great way to take a headache away from your day-to-day.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah, I think about this especially in the last year and a half or so and if you’re one of the four who are not meeting clients virtually either, you’re not meeting with them period or you don’t care about getting or spreading germs.
Conrad Saam: Yeah, I mean —
Gyi Tsakalakis: Which there’s plenty of that going around too.
Conrad Saam: I mean my gut tells me that if you’re not aggressively on the Internet, you’ll soon be working for a lawyer who’s aggressively on the Internet. I think you could replace that with these concepts as well, right? Like, just dive in, we know this.
Gyi Tsakalakis: I would say it’s baseline.
Conrad Saam: And I mean, the interesting thing for me, Gyi, is this baseline — we talked about this last week with empathy like there’s a level of customer service that technology can enable you to deliver that really wasn’t there before, but it’s now becoming an expectation. It used to be exceptional, it’s now an expectation and the extent to which you are a great lawyer as seen by the client, which has little to do — be up in arms at me saying this, but it has little to do with your lawyering and more to do with how you’re handling your clients, the facilitation of that stupendous customer experience through technology is now a baseline expectation and that’s being at home has just accelerated that.
Gyi Tsakalakis: To learn more about these technologies for free, download Clio’s Legal Trends Report at clio.com/trends. That’s Clio spelled C-L-I-O and trends spelled T-R-E-N-D-S.
Conrad Saam: Did you just insult our audience again?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Let’s go to break.
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Conrad Saam: The right client-relationship management solution enables and empowers firm growth. LexisNexis InterAction is designed specifically for law firms and embeds client intelligence at the heart of every InterAction, providing valuable insights into client relationships so you can make strategic decisions about how to focus your resources to gain more business. Learn more and request your free demo at interaction.com/lunchhour.
Gyi Tsakalakis: I’m very pleased to introduce a new friend of the pod, Casey Meraz of Juris Digital. Casey, welcome to Lunch Hour Legal Marketing.
Casey Meraz: Gyi, thank you so much for having me. It’s great to be here. I appreciate it.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Oh, walk-up music, yeah.
Casey Meraz: Yeah, I’m walking slowly right in the door.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Very smooth. Strut right there. So we’ve known Casey for many, many years. He is one of the true brilliant minds in digital legal marketing, especially in local. Also, one of our co-hosts of the upcoming Bedlam virtual conference.
Casey Meraz: That’s right, I’m excited.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Awesome. Yeah, and you always bring the heat to Bedlam as we all try to do and so, we want to take a few minutes and kind of talk about why do we do Bedlam, do we need another legal marketing conference.
Conrad Saam: You mean, we shouldn’t have called it yet another legal marketing conference?
Gyi Tsakalakis: That actually we should have, yet another legal marketing — Yetlam.
Conrad Saam: Yetlam. How about not another legal marketing conference.
Gyi Tsakalakis: That is even better. Not for every law firm.
Conrad Saam: Not for every law firm. Yeah, Casey, so I mean you get plenty of opportunities to talk at lots of different places so does Gyi, can you go into the why’s of why we put this together and why it’s different?
Casey Meraz: Yeah, sure. Well, I can touch on a few of those things but you know, I think as we all know to start this is really unlike any of the other legal marketing conferences. A lot of —
Conrad Saam: Casey, everyone says that. Everyone thinks they’re special, why are we really special?
Casey Meraz: Oh, because we’re not pitching our shit. We are just telling you what we do and you can take it or leave it. I don’t think a lot of people do that. I think a lot of people tell you theories and shit like that. But we can back it up and we’re going to show you examples of it and we’re going to say, “Hey, here are the tools, here’s the process, do these things and you’re going to see results.”
Gyi Tsakalakis: Love it. And you know, the thing I always bring up is like even though we’re frenemies, we’re competitors, right? And so, the fact that we can come together and really be like bring our A-game knowing that we’re in a room with our competition I think that’s another thing that sets this apart. Whereas so many conferences like that, as you mentioned, whether it’s vendor driven or whatever, if you pay to be a speaker or a sponsor of a conference, you don’t want to share the stage with a competitor, right?
Conrad Saam: And also, if you pay to speak, you’re pitching. It just happens, right? Casey, how much have you been asked to pay to speak so far this year? What’s the — twelve?
Casey Meraz: No, not 12. No, I was going to say I really stepped out of all of that BS, because I didn’t like it, it’s not doing anybody any service. So I ignore all those requests and I never even get the numbers because I just don’t give a crap.
Conrad Saam: Okay, I love that. Maybe that could be our tag line. “We just don’t give a crap.”
Casey Meraz: We care about legal marketing, but that’s it.
Conrad Saam: Gyi’s comment about like you get four competitor frenemies, what happens, and I love this session that we do is — and there’s a really fine balance on this, but you basically, the attendees get to watch four solid marketers trying to one-up each other. We have the final segment is always called “ask us anything” and what you end up with is you’ll see these different agencies sharing tactical examples of and trying to be the king of the hill, right? It’s fun.
Casey Meraz: Yeah. I mean, I think we’re all the same where we don’t mind sharing this stuff if people will listen to us. But there’s so many crappy people out there too that’ll just take, “Hey, here’s your monthly retainer. We are charging you for marketing,” and that’s it. And you don’t even know what the heck they’re doing.
I think the more that we can educate people and give away that information, they’ll know if they’re working with the right team or building the right team are doing the right things.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Speaking of giving away information, you’re talking small on-site changes that will help you outrank your competition. Give our fine listeners a teaser of that talk.
Casey Meraz: Yeah, basically that whole session, I’m going to pitch fine law and say, “Sign up.” No, really, that’s really geared towards everybody has these established websites and there’s all these little things that they can do that might even have a bigger impact on their rankings than getting links in some cases because maybe they just have —
Conrad Saam: What?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Man, links.
Casey Meraz: There’s some things we’re going to talk about there that might surprise some people but you don’t necessarily always need to be looking to grow and there’s a lot that you can do internally first.
Conrad Saam: Love it. Is your one of your small changes remove the FindLaw logo from your website.
Casey Meraz: It’s actually add a link to my website.
Conrad Saam: Oh, it’s add a link in the footer, right?
Casey Meraz: Yep. Put —
Conrad Saam: If you link to Casey Meraz’s site, you will magically rocket to number 1, just like number 1 rank in TLD2.law
Gyi Tsakalakis: Secretes revealed.
Casey Meraz: Yes.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Conrad, you’re doing business intelligence and intake management. Give the folks a little teaser there.
Conrad Saam: Yeah, so I mean, you guys have probably heard me talk about this on the pod before but the sophistication, the technology is now here where you can as a law firm have the efficiency and accuracy of data to run your firm as if you were an MBA instead of a JD, which seems like such a — I know I’m offending all of our listeners again in true form to the pod, but most of you don’t run your firm like a business and you’re looking at the wrong things. We now have technology, CRM systems, intake management systems and the ability to connect data all the way from that initial impression all the way back and really, really data, really connected data through automation to that final client. And now, you’re getting to things like intake qualified leads, actual clients by marketing channel as opposed to what you probably think you’re doing that’s really not as accurate as it could be.
Casey Meraz: Are you going to talk about automation into WordPerfect as well?
Conrad Saam: WordPerfect, we’re going to be working with graphing calculators and the Abacus.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Make your practice paperless.
Casey Meraz: Beautiful.
Gyi Tsakalakis: I only go so I can get inside Ramsey’s head. So that’s an exciting opportunity.
Conrad Saam: Yeah, we should intro who Ramsey is for those few listeners who don’t know.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Who doesn’t know.
Conrad Saam: I’m going to go with most of our lawyers have not been doing local for 10 years and therefore may not have run into Mike. I call Mike with the possible exception of David Mimm. Mike is kind of the godfather of local and he —
Gyi Tsakalakis: Blumenthal’s going to be pissed.
Conrad Saam: Who?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Mike Blumenthal. He’s —
Conrad Saam: Blumenthal. Sorry. Now that we’ve —
Gyi Tsakalakis: It’s offensive.
Conrad Saam: I hope no one forwards this to Mike Blumenthal.
Gyi Tsakalakis: I’m going to.
Conrad Saam: Thanks a lot. Okay, now I’m trying to recover from completely offending Mike Blumenthal.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Too late.
Conrad Saam: Too late. So maybe we need to invite Mike Blumenthal to Bedlam 4, right?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Sure.
Casey Meraz: He’d love that. If it’s going to be in person, he can ride his e-bike.
Conrad Saam: So Ramsey is doing his survey of legal. That was one of my favorite kick — that was how we kicked off Bedlam 1 and Bedlam 2. Gyi, talk about what Mike covers in that.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Comprehensive data informed hundreds of law firms overview. It’s the state of what’s going on in those local legal SERPs. And so, you can benchmark yourself against hundreds of other law firms. So really, really great opportunity. If local search is part of your game plan, that’s a big one. The other thing I like is we have a bunch of great partners that we’re going to spotlight some of the tools that we actually use to help our clients and those partners are going to be there and of course, Darren Shaw from Whitespark is going to be talking local ranking factors survey, so I know all three of us participate in that and we’re going to be able to see what’s working across the local sector from the experts that do this every single day.
Conrad Saam: And by the way, Darren’s session is very much a conversation. He’s facilitating a conversation between the four of us and so, you’re going to see freeform work again.
Gyi Tsakalakis: So dear Lunch Hour Legal Marketing listeners, if you’re looking for a virtual tactical how-to workshop hands on no BS opportunity to learn, check us out next week at Bedlam conference. And in fact, because you are a loyal Lunch Hour Legal Marketing listener and you’ve gotten this deep into the podcast, we’re offering free registrations for — I don’t know how many are left Conrad, but that’s your department.
Conrad Saam: There are 23 free registrations left as of this morning. I bet Casey doesn’t know the code.
Casey Meraz: I don’t know the code. You guys didn’t tell me, you said my people have to pay double.
Conrad Saam: Your people definitely have to pay double. That was not supposed to filter down to you, but that’s true. Gyi, what’s the code?
Gyi Tsakalakis: L-H-L-M. Enter L-H-L-M at registration, free code. Hope to see you there. Come stump us. If you think you are a master of the digital marketing space, come stump us. We’d love to see that too.
Casey Meraz: I’d love that.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Put us in the dunk tank.
Conrad Saam: Bedlamconference.com. Casey, thanks for joining us, man.
Casey Meraz: Yeah, no thanks for having us. I appreciate it.
Gyi Tsakalakis: See you soon.
Casey Meraz: Excited.
Conrad Saam: See you soon.
Gyi Tsakalakis: And now, let’s take a quick break.
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Gyi Tsakalakis: And we are back and we are talking about one of our favorite conversations, lawyers’ favorite conversations, one-star reviews.
Conrad Saam: So Gyi, I’m going to ask a question and then we’re going to read some of these one-star reviews. How much of your individual time that you as an agency owner work with clients on involves talking them off the ledge about one-star reviews? Do you do that?
Gyi Tsakalakis: It’s happened. But I’ve been very fortunate that most of the firm’s we’ve worked with, they tend to have the issues that lead to these one-star reviews. They tend to have them buttoned-up. I think the other thing too is, it’s very so much by practice area, right? Because so many of these reviews aren’t actually people who are clients of the firm. How about you, you’ve run on this a lot?
Conrad Saam: I find some of my most valuable time, right? Like I try and limit my time when I’m actually working in client work to the stuff that’s super, super high value is in talking them off the ledge of their response to negative reviews. I did this last week and the firm in question clearly has a problem with one of their attorneys because it’s reflected in the reviews. And so, my first thing was like, “Let’s solve the disease, not the symptom here.” So, we need to be thinking about that. But like, it’s very hard to respond to these one-star reviews the right way.
Gyi Tsakalakis: It really is. Ethics issues, you’ve got reputation issues. Let’s read a couple of these off and then we can talk about them.
Conrad Saam: Okay.
Gyi Tsakalakis: All right, here we go. Well, that’s the thing too is people say, “Oh, these people really get these one-star?” Yep. They do. Here they are. This is real from the Internet.
I just called today to inquire about a lawyer to get started on a lawsuit against our former trucking company. My co-workers and I would like to pursue legal advice. The receptionist just hung up while I was mid-sentence. It was so disheartening that there is no need to call back, just move on. I suggest you fire the woman who answered your phones, you’ll lose more potential clients with her lack of customer service skills.
So we can’t tell you if this is a real review or not, but let’s assume that it is. Well, let’s do it both ways.
Conrad Saam: Actually, it doesn’t matter if it is, right? Let me ask this question, Gyi.
Gyi Tsakalakis: It does. Maybe try to have it taken down maybe if it’s not.
Conrad Saam: Okay, but this isn’t going to come down. Doesn’t matter if this is a real — so this is one of the things that came up for me last week. I know this is a fake review and I’m incensed, right?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Right. Who cares?
Conrad Saam: Does it change your perspective, Gyi, in how you respond if you are absolutely certain it’s not a real review?
Gyi Tsakalakis: No, doesn’t matter. For responsing — for response, it doesn’t matter.
Conrad Saam: Did you say responsing?
Gyi Tsakalakis: I did.
Conrad Saam: Responding.
Gyi Tsakalakis: That’s a new word.
Conrad Saam: Yeah, so it doesn’t matter, right? Let me ask you a question. So, this also came up last week. Could you say something like if there’s information in here and you’re like, “I can tell this wasn’t our client.” Does your response kind of couch that carefully like, “Hey, we’ve looked through our records and I couldn’t find anyone named Randy McGrumpy client and I’m sorry, you’ve had a bad experience,” generic patronizing reply, cut and paste.
Gyi Tsakalakis: You’re going to ask me if I like that?
Conrad Saam: Do you like trying to as subtly as a sledgehammer call out the fact that you don’t think this is a real review?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Not really, I mean, I think that’s more of a personality thing. My thing is again, is on the one hand, — so let’s kind of just frame this little bit. So one, you’ve got ethics issues, so it might matter to you in your response from an ethics standpoint whether you think it’s real or not but one, you better be careful because if you’re wrong then you got problems but that might make you more inclined to do the disclaimer of like, “Hey, we don’t really have a record of you, we’re really sorry you have this perception of us. If there’s anything we can do to rectify it, please contact our firm.” Something like that I think is a little bit softer. The way that you said it I think is a little bit too snarky.
But if you genuinely are like, “Look, I’m really sorry you had this experience. This doesn’t sound like us.” I think that there’s a way to do that authentically, but I wouldn’t cast aspersions on the reviewer. You’re going to defeat the very purpose.
Conrad Saam: Right. That is the key because this response is not written for the person who left the review.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Right.
Conrad Saam: It’s actually a great marketing opportunity, right?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Right.
Conrad Saam: The problem is if there’s a pattern, then it becomes problematic. Let me ask another question, Gyi. I’ll read another one and then I’m going to ask you the question.
Don’t ever choose this trash lawyer. I’m not sure how he got the bold face and trash lawyer but it’s bold-faced, one star.
Gyi Tsakalakis: How do you know who it’s from I think, — actually I don’t know.
Conrad Saam: You’re thinking did people what — when we put these notes together, did someone look for trash lawyer?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Well, that’s why — I mean, I put these notes together but I didn’t search trash lawyer. I just searched maybe like lawyer, but it’s interesting that Google tried to bold trash. Because you know why? Because Google’s thinking it’s a practice area, trash lawyer. I’m not kidding. That’s what they’re doing there. Because they would bold personal injury or criminal defense lawyer. Because you know why, because in their Googling mind, they think that it’s a modifier on lawyer for practice area and it’s also interesting is probably would match a close variant on ads.
Conrad Saam: Yeah? I like this. I like where you’re going with this.
Gyi Tsakalakis: That went nerdy fast.
Conrad Saam: But you know what, that was —
Gyi Tsakalakis: Come to Bedlam to hear us talk like that.
Conrad Saam: On the fly — exactly. Like that’s the on-the-fly kind of stuff that — that’s why Gyi and I are running a conference together. It’s awesome.
Okay, so here’s my question. Don’t ever choose this trash lawyer. My question is, Gyi, do you have a carefully worded three-sentence reply that you can cut and paste into these negative reviews?
Gyi Tsakalakis: I do not. I was going to say, “Don’t be a trash lawyer.”
Conrad Saam: So, for perfect insight, I mean — just to take your comment. Well, okay, I want to start with a question. Like it’s really hard, there’s nothing specific in here. It’s very hard to write a personalized response to this.
Gyi Tsakalakis: No, I’d probably be like, “Ouch, this really hurts.” I don’t know, I’m just making stuff up on the fly, it’s probably not going to be that good. But I agree. The copy and pasting is not going to do well to speak to your next person that reads this. If you respond with like, “I’m really so sorry you had this experience.” And guess what, if all of your responses look like, “Oh, I’m really so sorry you had this experience.” Guess what you just lost? Genuine authentic empathy for the person who left the review and genuine really speaking to the next person who reads the review. Now you’ve just spammed your own review responses.
Conrad Saam: Right. Yeah, sad trombone again, right? I want to wrap this up with an anecdote. This is a true story and I encouraged this because that’s kind of the person I am. It may work well for your branding, it may be a disaster for your branding. Sometimes you will receive that review from the opposition, right?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Right.
Conrad Saam: And so, like family is an obvious example in this. The reply to that needs to be worded very, very carefully, but it is a good opportunity for you to talk about how you have fought as aggressively as you could for your side. But we do have a client who took that screaming negative review. It was a one-star flaming review, put it on his homepage and said, basically, “If you want your opponent to feel this way, hire us,” and he turned it into great marketing material. I love that. It’s kind of a great middle finger approach.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Great stuff. Well listeners, that brings us to the end of another episode.
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Podcast transcription by Tech-Synergy.com