Reviews are essential to your law firm marketing success ... but what about the bad review?
First, just a quick refresher on why online reviews are so important to your law firm marketing.
For these reasons, we encourage every one of our law firm marketing clients to be very intentional about getting positive reviews on Google and other platforms, like Facebook and Yelp.
How bad is it, really ... and what should you do about it?
First -- breathe. EVERYONE gets a bad review sometime. The more successful you are, the more people you work with (or decide not to work with), the more likely someone out there is going to get their panties in a wad and rush over to Google to vent their frustration and dissatisfaction. It's a new fact of our online lives.
How bad is it, really?
Well, I'm not going to lie. It can be bad. I've spoken to several business owners who have definitely lost business due to a single bad review ... often an unfair one at that.
What can you do about it?
You can make it worse ... you can make it better ... you can learn from it ... and you can be pro-active to protect yourself from it.
But you cannot delete it. Once it's out there, only the person who left the review can edit or delete it.
There is one more thing you could do. You could consider threatening the bad reviewer with a lawsuit. Since you're a lawyer, this may be a real option for you. If the reviewer is being vindictive, if their claims are untrue and malicious and you can show harm ... then you might think about it.
We have been hurt by a few disgruntled clients who went into a private forum, where we have no access, and wrote bad things about us. A few of our clients who are members alerted us and shared screenshots. Some of what was written is patently false, and of course there is "the rest of the story," that we had no opportunity to tell. Several of our clients hopped in and told their positive stories ... but to this day, we still have the occasional person who backs out of doing business with us because of these two or three disgruntled clients.
But at the end of the day, I consider it a gift. If someone allows these few unhappy clients to sway their opinion -- despite our 25 years of success in this market, our many positive reviews, AND the unsolicited testimonials of our clients who tried to set the record straight -- then that person may be very difficult for us to work with. I choose to Ho'oponopono and move on.
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