These days, almost every business has an online presence, including reviews from customers online. Law firms and lawyers are no exception. Sites like Yelp, Google Reviews, and Avvo allow clients to review your services. Good reviews can help grow your business, but bad reviews could be damaging. Here are some tips on how to manage those negative reviews:
- Be Knowledgeable: The first thing you should do is look yourself and your firm up to see what your online presence looks like. Check out review pages and conduct periodic Google searches or set alerts to be notified when you or your firm is mentioned online.
- Claim Review Pages: Claim review pages on sites like Yelp, Google, and Avvo so you can manage them and add useful and true content about your practice.
- Reflect on Negative Reviews: Negative comments, while hurtful, could also give you valuable insight into areas where you could improve your business or practice going forward.
- Respond: If you spot some bad reviews, you can try and diffuse some of the damaging effects by responding politely and professionally. This shows potential clients that you are concerned. In your response, be courteous and apologize. Encourage the client to reach out to you to discuss the matter more fully. Be careful not to disclose any confidential client information.
- Encourage Positive Reviews: Encourage current clients to post reviews if they are satisfied. Positive reviews will decrease the importance of the negative ones. Before you do this, however, be sure to check with your state and local bar associations to see if this is allowed.
Negative reviews are inevitable in any business. In the practice of law, tensions can run high and can prompt bad reviews, even if you didn’t do anything wrong. Take your reviews in stride and always look for ways to improve.