How Negative Reviews Are Damaging Your Law Firm & What You Can Do About It
Consultwebs VP of Business Development, Tanner Jones, discusses strategies that law firms can use to deal with negative reviews.
For the free online reviews bundle, click here.
What happens when your law firm gets negative reviews?
You may have seen our video on how to generate more online reviews for your firm. But what happens when you get a negative review? We want to discuss the impact of those negative reviews and what that does to your bottom line. But more importantly, we want to talk about how to address those reviews when they do come.
It’s obvious that negative reviews are certainly not helping you generate new business from the Internet. Most consumers, in fact nine out of 10 online, are reading reviews before making a hiring or buying decision and the same goes for your prospective clients when they go online reviewing law firms. Whenever they see your firm showing up in Google Plus, they’re very likely clicking these reviews and spending the majority of their time on any negative reviews, one or two star reviews, because that shows any commonalities and bad experiences that you may have provided for clients.
Monitoring the Web for negative reviews
So I encourage you to have a process for monitoring reviews. There are a number of ways to do this. Google Alerts is a great way to be able to monitor any mention of your firm name or your attorney’s names or your name. So you can go there, you can key in your name, and you can stay aware on any mention of that and it’s going to send you an e-mail so that you can quickly address that if it is a negative review.
There are other comprehensive reputation management services out there that you can pay for, that will provide you a wide range of other services related to monitoring those reviews. You also have to understand that it’s not just Google Plus where people can leave reviews. They can leave reviews on another number of websites like Facebook, Yelp, Lawyers.com, AVVO, and a number of other web properties.
Intent and how to engage with a negative reviewer
Now that you have the process for being proactive in monitoring these reviews, the next step is to categorize the review based on the reviewer. When I say categorize I’m essentially meaning what is the intention of this reviewer? There’s a number of different reasons why somebody is leaving a review. Are they addressing a specific problem or are they providing constructive criticism? The third segment would be are they a troll or they’re simply trying to start a fight online? By knowing the intention behind every review, then that allows you to have a different mentality oh how you will address that particular review.
The final step of this process is to engage with those reviewers. When you’re engaging, you want to determine what category that particular review fits in. And point two, if it’s a problem client and it’s a problem that needs to be addressed offline, then have somebody in your office that’s best suited for conflict resolution to call that individual and work to amend the situation. Ideally, they diffuse it and that individual feels content with how it was resolved and they go back online and they pull that review from the web. That’s a best case scenario.
If they’re not willing to do that, hopefully that person can influence them to at least put a comment below their review saying that the situation was resolved by the firm. The next step is the type of review. If it’s a constructive criticism, then that’s something that you can handle in a public manner. You can respond to that review simply by saying, “Thank you so much for the feedback. We’re always looking for ways to improve the experience for our clients and this is a great way that we can learn from.”
By doing that, it shows other prospective clients, when they come across that review that you’re willing to acknowledge the fact that you’re not perfect, and no business is perfect, let’s be honest. So that shows that you’re willing to constantly find ways to better the experience and it leaves you in a really good spotlight, ultimately allowing or encouraging more prospective clients to call your office because of that.
The final reviewer, being a troll, you simply want to not respond at all because as soon as you respond, you’re going to get in a lengthy dispute and it’s never going to result in a positive outcome and it’s certainly not going to look good for your firm. So in those cases, go to the review site platform and ask them to pull the review. You’re not always going to be successful in that because you have to build your case as to why it’s not a legitimate review, but that’s the best possible scenario as opposed to trying to respond directly to the reviewer.
We’ve discussed how to monitor, categorize, and engage with negative reviews when they do come in about your law firm. To gain free access to the reviews resources bundle offered by Consultwebs, click the link in the description and get your free copy today. You have the information to be able to monitor these reviews and settle them in a way that’s going to be powerful for you law firm and help you get more cases online. But to turn these concepts into cases, you have to act.