SRA Pilot: the SRA’s stance on challenging reviews

The SRA set out clear guidance when it comes to interacting with the reviews that your firm has been left online. Where a positive review is concerned, the...

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The SRA set out clear guidance when it comes to interacting with the reviews that your firm has been left online. Where a positive review is concerned, the most appropriate course of action is pretty self-explanatory. You can express gratitude, demonstrate that your reviewer has been valued as a client, and assure them that they – and future clients – can expect consistency in your level of service.

Where a less favourable review is concerned however, you may wish to acknowledge the guidance advised by the SRA in order to handle the feedback in a way that is productive to both your firm and your reviewer. 

Firstly, the SRA dictates that “when responding to reviews, you must be careful to maintain your professionalism, be aware of the obligations placed on you by the Standards and Regulations and act in accordance with them.” Professionalism is of course integral to the correct handling of negative or unauthorised reviews as it sets the tone for your communication with the poster in question, as well as providing a clear illustration of your approach to client care to any future or prospective clients. 

ReviewSolicitors has implemented its replying and reporting system with such guidance in mind. Our pre-written responses offer non-confrontational replies for you to select, allowing you to acknowledge your reviewer whilst maintaining your professional ethos. You do also have the option to write a personalized custom response. With this, you might choose to provide an email on which the poster can contact you, or invite them to move the conversation offline and resolve the issue over a telephone call. However you do it, you should of course follow the SRA’s advice, and maintain a professional tone throughout. 

If you believe a review to not be from a client of yours, you can also follow the SRA’s advice by seeking guidance from the platform itself. ReviewSolicitors has a stringent reporting system in place which means you can let us know when you suspect a review has not been left by a client of your firm. ReviewSolicitors will take this down for up to fourteen days whilst this verification process is carried out and if the poster of the review either does not respond within this period, or is unable to verify their relationship with the firm, this review will be taken down indefinitely. 

When it comes to potentially defamatory comments, the SRA also sets out some advice for your firm. Whilst you can of course pursue legal action, you should consider whether this is likely to bring about your desired outcome – or end up being counterproductive to the reputation that you are trying to cultivate online. 

The SRA states “potential clients may be deferred from instructing your firm if they feel you have been heavy handed with a dissatisfied client.” The SRA suggests therefore that it may be more beneficial to either actively encourage other clients to leave reviews in order to create a realistic and fair image of your firm or alternatively assess the options available to you when it comes to defamatory content.

Again, ReviewSolicitors have a comprehensive process available to your firm when it comes to reporting defamatory content. You can read the full guidance here

The SRA makes it clear that when it comes to engaging with client feedback online, you need not make large investments in terms of time or expenditure. ReviewSolicitors is here to advise you as to how you can get the most out of your client feedback, and use it in order to enrich your firm’s online reputation.

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