It’s human nature to crave positive feedback. We all like to be told that we are doing our jobs well, that we are making a difference, that none of our efforts are going unnoticed. By the same token, however, few things can sting quite like negative feedback. Yet in this digital age, where everyone is empowered to publish their opinions for good and for ill, negative feedback is all too easy to find.
That’s certainly true for law firms. Hopefully, your legal practice gets mostly positive marks on its Yelp, Google, and Facebook reviews. Sooner or later, though, you’re bound to hear from a disgruntled client—and how you respond to that client makes a world of difference.
In fact, your response to bad reviews can sometimes make things exponentially worse. Getting a one-star rating may seem really awful, but imagine how it will look to potential clients if you respond to that review with a long, all-caps rant.
That may seem like an exaggerated example, but the point is this: It’s natural to get angry about bad reviews, especially when you believe them to be unfair, but responding in anger just makes you look petty. Take some time to cool off before you respond to any negative review.
Show Some Customer Service
When you do respond, view it as an opportunity to show off your customer service skills. Some bad reviews may come from folks who simply like to complain, but most are based on real problems that you can address.
Some specific steps to follow include:
- Always acknowledge the problem; let the reviewer know that you truly understand what they are saying.
- Ask how you can make things right. Seek a way that you can make amends with the wronged client.
- Attempt to de-escalate. Politely offer to move the conversation to a phone call or private email, rather than hashing it out in public.
- Affirm your commitment to always providing each client with the highest standards of service and care.
These are just some of the basic guidelines you can use to turn bad reviews into customer service opportunities—and in doing so, to potentially turn some of those negative ratings into positives!
You Can’t Force Anyone to Change Their Review
While there is much you can do to redeem those bad reviews, it’s also important to remember that you can’t make someone change their mind about your law firm—nor can you make anyone change a bad review.
While a bad review hurts, it’s not the end of the world. It certainly shouldn’t slow your efforts to build a sterling reputation for your legal practice. To that end, it’s vital to consistently seek out positive reviews from satisfied clients—enough of which can really dampen the impact of the occasional low score.
Make Reviews a Part of Your Marketing Strategy
One thing we recommend is that you consider online reviews as part of your overall law firm marketing strategy. That means actively monitoring and responding to your reviews, as well as soliciting them from faithful clients.
We would love to talk with you more about the big picture of law firm marketing, and about ways to create a sterling reputation for your legal practice. Reach out to the seasoned legal marketing pros at Driven2020 today and let’s brainstorm together about how you can better brand your firm.