Help and guidance with responding to negative reviews

ReviewSolicitors Best Practice Guide: How to Deal With a Negative Review in 3 Easy Steps The simple fact is, online reviews have become a core component of the...

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ReviewSolicitors Best Practice Guide: How to Deal With a Negative Review in 3 Easy Steps

The simple fact is, online reviews have become a core component of the digital profile for solicitors. Potential clients will read, on average, 5 online reviews for an individual law firm before making a decision to make contact and become a client. Many solicitors, however, still fear engaging with the online reviews process.  This is usually due to concerns over receiving negative reviews.  Many simply don’t want to open themselves up to this potential.

However, reviews work to build trust with potential clients, and by providing them with the opportunity to engage with your previous customers, they will be much more likely to hire your services. It’s important to remember that negative reviews will happen for any law firm, but most focus on customer service issues, which can easily be turned into a positive rather than a negative if dealt with correctly.

Take control of the process by actively managing your reviews and responding to them. There are a few basic steps to handling negative reviews in order to ensure your firm gets the best outcome from them every time.

Let’s explore them now in our Negative Review Response Formula.

Claim Your Profiles or Listings

Before you can start responding to reviews on ReviewSolicitors, you first have to register your firm’s listing and manage your profile. You do not need to create a listing – ReviewSolicitors lists every firm registered with the SRA. Registering for your profile and listings is crucial for you to take control of your social reputation.  To get started with this, you can claim your ReviewSolicitors listing by visiting –

Once your listings are claimed, you can begin to actively respond to all reviews, directly influencing the public perception of your firm.

Step 1: Recognise the Issue

Negative reviews almost always follow a negative experience, but they are not necessarily written out of spite. More often than not, we have seen that clients who leave a negative review do so because they feel their voices and opinions were not heard by the firm. Even if you do not feel your firm did anything wrong in your interactions, your first step is to acknowledge that the client did not have a satisfactory experience, and that you are sorry for that.

This does not mean you are admitting any particular fault. It means you empathize with their experience. Beginning every response to a negative review with an apology and a recognition of the issue will go a long way in helping to overcome it.

Here is a good example of expressing empathy with an aggrieved client.

empathyStep 2: Respond Succinctly and Politely

After expressing understanding and a willingness to correct the situation, the second step of a Negative Review Response Formula is to be straightforward, yet polite in your response. It may feel like your firm is being attacked, which can make it difficult to keep a level head, but the last thing you want to do is exacerbate the issue, especially in a public forum. The more defensive you are with your response, the less likely it will appear sincere. You will also reduce the likelihood that you can turn this negative review into a positive one. Therefore, after your acknowledgment and apology, you want to politely address the specific issue and, if possible, offer a resolution.

Here is a great example of this approach.


Step 3: Move the Conversation Offline

The last part of the Response Formula is to take the conversation offline and out of the public eye. This is a more appropriate setting for resolving the issue, especially if the situation is heated. Give each reviewer the ability to contact you further about their grievance, so you can find out more relevant details. An offline conversation also gives you a direct access line to correct and further resolve the issues as quickly as possible. Once this is accomplished, your offline resolutions are often then reflected online.

Our 2016 analytics for ReviewSolicitors shows that over 40% of negative reviews that are responded to, turn positive.

Follow Our Formula

Consumers will be looking at your online reviews, it’s now just a part of doing business in this day and age of online marketing. With 79% of consumers trusting online reviews as much as a personal recommendation from a trusted friend or family member, it’s vital that your law firm takes this trend seriously.

If you should happen to receive a negative review, follow our 3 Step Review Response Formula and respond to them quickly and appropriately.If you take the time to reach out to negative reviewers, and all reviewers for that matter, you will protect and grow your reputation in a positive manner.

I know I don’t need to impress upon you how important this is for the continued success of your firm.

If you would like more information and guidance on how to profit from a properly managed online presence, please head over to to get started!

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