“My law firm has a bad review online. Can you delete it?”
We get asked this question all the time. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot we can do to get rid of negative reviews. Google, Facebook and review services such as Trustpilot, get companies reporting bad reviews all the time, and it has to be genuinely libellous or inappropriate to get them to take action.
We’ve touched on the minefield of negative reviews in our guide on reputation management. But how exactly can your law firm minimise the damage of negative reviews online?
1. Claim your Google+ page
If you have rogue negative reviews through Google, but no Google+ business page, you’ll need to start by claiming your business on Google.
When you carry out a Google search for your brand, an information box called a knowledge graph appears on the right hand side of the search engine results page (SERP). Below this, click “Are you the business owner?” and you’ll be taken through the steps to claim your business.
2. Respond to negative reviews
We would recommend you contact the client who left the negative review privately, if possible, to discuss/rectify. In addition, you should reply with a comment along the lines of:
“Thanks for your feedback, and we’re sorry you feel this way. One of the team will be in touch shortly to discuss how we can rectify this. Alternatively, please feel free to contact us directly on xxxx, and we’ll do what we can to help.”
It’s important, when dealing with negative reviews, to publicly acknowledge it and apologise. This portrays to other users a sense of responsibility and customer care from the brand. There’s evidence to suggest that responding well to negative reviews can be good marketing: Why Negative Reviews Can Be Good For Business, Forbes.
It’s equally important to not get into a public argument. Apologise publicly, but try and get the client to discuss the issue privately.
3. Drown bad reviews
Ask happy clients to leave reviews, in order to drown the negative reviews.
Once you have five good reviews on Google, for example, the Google star rating will appear in your PPC ads and some search results on Google. This is known to increase click-through-rates and brand trust.
We would recommend requesting reviews from at least 50 clients, although more is better. Ideal candidates would be people who have had a positive outcome through working with you, who have been clients within the last 3 months (or even up to six months).
4. Work on consistently great customer service
Is there any truth to the negative reviews you can learn from? Is every staff member – from reception staff to partners – informed about reviews, and given tips for good customer service?
The best way to have a great review profile is to start with great customer service. This applies to every line of communication you have with clients. Consider implementing a customer service “how to” document, or sending one or two staff on training and asking them to report back to everyone.
This is just a small example of the kind of reputation management we provide for our clients all the time. There aren’t a lot of problems we haven’t heard and solved before!
Online Reputation Management For Law Firms
If you’d like any further information on our social media marketing service, or any of our services for that matter, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Chris who will be more than happy to give you a call or pop out to see you.