LaurenL | August 14th, 2012 - 11:45 am
Handling a negative review with grace and poise may actually turn it into a positive experience online.
Ultimately, the most important things to remember when considering how to respond to a negative review about your law firm are that you should:
- Make all reasonable efforts to come to consensus and
- Consider how you want future Web searchers to see your side of the interaction
Each response to a negative review is an opportunity to promote your firm’s flexibility and integrity for future prospects to see.
Tips for responding to negative reviews
There are several guidelines you should use when handing negative feedback. Remember to:
- Be quick. Do reputation management checks every morning as a part of your daily system. If you find a situation, respond as soon as possible. Ideally, you should respond to a negative post or review within one to three business days.
- Respond both publicly and privately. The public response should be a brief, positive, apologetic message. This is what is visible to everyone. The private response should invite suggestions from the negative reviewer on a) how to solve the present situation to her satisfaction and b) what you should do in the future to avoid these kinds of mishaps.
- Pay attention to the type of reviewer. Reviewers can be organized into three categories: positive, constructive and disruptive. Positive reviewers need only a “thank you” message and constructive reviewers can be handled by offering to fix the issue, but disruptive reviews are often motivated by things that you can not address.
- Handle disruptive reviewers with an eye to other prospects. If the disruptive review offers information that is factually incorrect — such as saying your office charged them for a consultation when it is common knowledge that you as a personal injury lawyer do no such thing — then apologize for the inconvenience and provide facts to counter it. Be respectful even when the disruptive reviewer is not, and you just might win over the prospects watching the debate.
- Keep a cool head. One negative review is not the end of the world, so do not lose your temper! Remember to stay positive and look toward the future even as you’re showing respect for your clients’ present difficulties. This may be a difficult tightrope to walk, but it is important to master if you want to manage your reputation online.
Changing gears, the next post in CaseDetail.com’s Reputation Management series will cover using PPC to put out a positive message about your firm.