SRA Pilot: responding to client reviews

Replying to the comments that clients have left your firm is an integral part of the review collection process. Whether you have actively invited your client to leave a review or not, its online presence is not something to ignore - regardless of its intention. 

Firstly, you will need a ReviewSolicitors account. If you do not already have one, create one for FREE here -  

ReviewSolicitors want to make this as easy as possible for your firm. To respond to a review, simply head to the My Reviews section of your dashboard and locate the review that you wish to interact with. Upon selecting ‘Add response’, you will be met by two options that aim to save time and improve client relations. This takes place in the form of pre-written answers, which can be selected and posted at the click of a button, or the custom response option which allows you to leave a personalised comment. 

Responding to client reviews can be highly beneficial to your firm and the reputation that you are trying to cultivate online. When a review is left unanswered, it appears neglected and futile - as if the firm is unbothered by the feedback it has been left. Taking the time to leave a short response to the review however can be completely transformative. It is the most direct indicator for past and prospective clients that you are responsive, communicative, and open to all critiques.

Responding to a positive comment can maximise its ‘marketing’ benefits. Not only will future clients see a past client’s praise for your services, they will know that your client care extends beyond the closure of their matter. For the poster of the review, this offers reassurance that they have been a valued client of yourselves and this often helps them to feel confident in instructing you in the future, or perhaps to instruct you for another service straight after. For example, a client who has been impressed by your Conveyancing team and has been shown gratitude and diligence may choose to instruct you shortly after for Will services.

For prospective clients, observing the responses to positive comments offers a clarification that you have built strong relationships and good rapport with those you have previously worked with. Not only have you taken their comments onboard which helps you to emphasise those service areas that have been highlighted as strengths, it also shows that client care is comprehensive and all-encompassing. Clients do not simply walk out of your door never to be seen again - rather, they receive a degree of aftercare and post-matter communication. 

When it comes to the negative review, offering a rational and constructive response can be transformative too. ReviewSolicitors recommends approaching negative reviews in a professional tone, that perhaps invites the client to continue the conversation offline and offers a resolution that is productive to all parties. You can read our full guidance here

Generally, your approach when replying to a negative review should always be driven by the want to improve. Acknowledge your client’s complaint even if you feel it was unwarranted, avoid emotive language, and keep the online conversation as neutral as possible. You can express that you will be taking the comments on board and using them to improve your services, whilst inviting the client to discuss this further, away from prying eyes of the internet. 

In many cases, your diligence, empathy and commitment to client care will boast reward - other clients browsing reviews will see that you’re not 100% perfect (there is not a business in the world that is), but that you are always striving to meet your client’s objectives. Reflecting upon the benefits of interaction with such feedback, Dave Richardson, former CRM of Ashtons says “I think it’s how you respond to that negative review and we’ve had more than one occasion where a client, new client, has come through to us as a result of how we managed the negative review.” 

ReviewSolicitors wants to help you engage with your reviewers - and you can do this as a basic or premium member. Claim your firm’s listing today: