Handling negative reviews like a boss

How to Effectively Handle Negative Reviews

Many attorneys are understandably fearful of replying to negative online reviews.  The truth is that potential clients (roughly 84% of them) will most likely rely on social media posts, ratings, and reviews of others when deciding whether to use your services.

Once information is on the internet it does not go away.  Avoiding a negative review is missing a critical opportunity to manage your image online.

  • Although it sometimes feels as though people just want to complain, in fact, most people want to leave positive reviews.
  • Allowing a negative comment to remain on the internet without any action gives other potential clients an opportunity to see it and take it as the truth.
  • Everyone will eventually get a negative review.  When this happens do not ignore it, maintain your composure, and fix it offline

Most attorneys are afraid to engage, but it’s critical that you take control of negative comments. Here’s how you do it:

  • ‘Hi, . We continuously strive for excellence in service. Please reach out to me to discuss further. Our office line is XXX-XXX-XXXX.’
  • The chance of that person contacting you is near zero. However, other people seeing your response know you take your reputation seriously and will consider that when hiring an attorney.
  • Hesitation can cause you to miss real opportunities.
  • I have successfully helped many small firms manage negative reviews and their online reputation.

Seek Good/Positive Reviews

Potential clients like to look at other people’s opinions. They want to know about your reputation, and an easy way to do that is to read reviews from past clients to get a clear picture of what to expect. So what is the best approach for getting this kind of feedback from your clients?

  • Before visiting a business 90% of online shoppers will read at least one review.
  • 94% of online shoppers say a negative review will deter them from visiting a business.
  • A potential client is more likely to choose your firm if others think it is a good decision.
  • Let’s look at several questions to ask when asking for reviews: when to ask; how to ask; what to avoid; and, what if it’s a bad review.

When to ask?

  • When they share unsolicited praise.
  • Shortly after finishing a case.
  • After they reach out on social media.

How to ask?

  • Send an email that is specific, informal and appreciative from your own personal email address.

What to avoid?

  • Avoid prompting for a good review, asking family members or employees, formal or vague language, nonrecent contacts, pressure, dates, and payment.

What if it’s a bad review?

  • People are looking for honest, unbiased feedback, not a 5-star review.
  • Just be sure to follow 5 steps if you receive a review you are unhappy with:
  • always respond either offline or online,
  • thank the person for the feedback,
  • address core issues,
  • apologize,
  • and follow up to make sure it was resolved.

The Template and Approach to Get More Good Reviews More Consistently

Small Law Firms Need Reviews. Yes, Even Yours.

Here’s why they matter, and how you can get more without feeling like a used car salesman.

A couple important notes why reviews are so important, no matter which type of firm you are.

Your name, as a referral, doesn’t mean what it used to.

  • 87 percent of consumers say that an attorney’s reputation was one of the top two most important pieces of information they would rely on when making a choice to hire. THIS INCLUDES REFERRALS!!!

Not all reviews are created equally.

  • 81 percent of Millennials (age 18 to 35) are more inclined to hire lawyers with online reviews. But even a majority of Baby Boomers (age 55 to 70) feel the same way.

Sites like Yelp are highly geared toward the review side of things, but consumers want info from trusted, authoritative sites.

They want to know you’ve done this before.

  • 68 percent of consumers listed reviews from former clients as a top criterion when evaluating an attorney. Indeed, recommendations from others are the second-biggest factor consumers use when selecting an attorney.

I’m afraid we’re poking the bear – what if crazy angry people leave bad reviews?

This is by far the number one concern attorneys have when we talk about reviews. And it’s usually because they’ve already received one (or MANY) bad review online.

And that’s the answer: Angry or unhappy clients are going to tell their story regardless of your efforts. Conversely, by reaching out to your clients – we should assume most of them are happy with your service – you stand to get FAR more good reviews than bad.

The net is this – it’s better to strategically ask for client feedback than not.

I’ll be sharing a new video and post soon that walk you through the best ways to mitigate negative reviews on Yelp, Google, and other popular platforms.
The Review Template.

This only works if you use it! Every time you close a case, ask the client in person, and immediately follow up with this email.

The Template

Subject: One Final Request from
Dear :
A law firm lives or dies on its reputation. Good word-of-mouth means everything. is no exception. Even though we’ve been in business since , we’ve never forgotten that reputation is what matters – and a good reputation can only come from providing the upmost in client service.

If you could reflect back to when you first considered hiring an attorney – all the questions you had, the fears, the uncertainty – it’s important to know many people like you are in the same position.

Also consider your experience with our firm. If we answered your questions, or eased your concerns, please consider writing a brief review of your experience to help people who are in the position you once were.

To save you time, you may choose Yelp! or Google below.

Do You Have an Active Yelp! Profile?

Or Leave a Review on Google+
If you don’t have an active Yelp! profile, feel free to leave a review on Google+.

Or if you don’t have a profile, feel free to send us your thoughts and we’d love to add it to our Website!

Thank you!

Sincerely, The Lawyers and Staff of

By integrating review feedback into your daily processes and systems, you’re setting yourself up for continue growth, minimize lulls in business, and position yourself for long-term success through.

Here’s Why It Matters To You.

Reviews help you show up higher in search results, they help you build trust with potential clients, and most people will look at them before making a decision.

I have successfully helped many small firms in the area use online reviews to their advantage. To learn how you can best manage your reviews, set up a free consultation by clicking below.

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