Online reviews are quickly becoming the first thing a potential client looks for when researching a legal service provider.  Good reviews can bring in business, while bad reviews can encourage negative perceptions and harm revenue.  Recent studies have shown that 24% of consumers change their mind about using a service after reading two negative reviews, and 70% of consumers around the globe trust online reviews.

What if you get a bad review online?

1. Relax

Don’t respond immediately upon seeing the review.  Take some time to absorb what was said, and try and imagine where the writer was coming from.  Responding negatively to a bad review can cause a cycle of comments written in anger that will end up hurting your brand.

2. Reflect

Was there any merit to what they said?  If the user provided a legitimate critique about your law firm, it might be a good idea to review some of your business procedures.

3. Respond

If you can respond privately, we highly recommend doing so.  If you don’t have the angry reviewer’s personal information, ask for it.  Don’t give a drawn out explanation, in a public forum, it will mean much more when it comes from you privately.  A good response would be, “We are sorry to hear you had a bad experience, please email us so we can make it right.”

What if Someone I Haven’t Met is Leaving Negative Reviews

Unfortunately anyone can post reviews, and some websites are more lenient about verifying information than others.  For example, anyone can leave a review for a business on Facebook, even if they have never been there.  Some law firms will go as far as leaving poor reviews for their competitors.  If this happens, you have a few options:

  1.     Contact the website the review is on and explain that the user is not a client.  Most review services have support that will verify the legitimacy of reviews.
  2.     Post a statement on the review explaining that they are not a client and never have been.
  3.     Look at the bright side – a competitor thinks you are a threat; you’re doing something right!
  4.     Be the better business by not returning the negative reviews.
  5.     Encourage your happy clients to leave positive reviews.  This will show that you have a loyal client base

Public Relations to Boost Online Reputation

Public relations can be a great way to generate positive buzz about your business.  Most reputable publications rank higher on search results than review websites and will always be attached to brand search terms.

If you have any questions about managing your reputation online, please contact ONE400 – we are happy to help.

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