Your law firm probably has an account on a plethora of avenues online, from various social media accounts like Google+ and LinkedIn, to listings on Yelp and Local.com. In this day and age it just makes sense to have these various accounts in order to build your online reputation, find new clients, and increase your overall presence. With any reputation though, comes negativity from time to time. So how does your law firm respond to negative online reviews?
Responding to Negative Online Reviews Appropriately
Due to attorney-client privilege, one of the stickiest situations for lawyers is deciding whether or not they should respond to a negative review online. Since communication that occurs between a lawyer and a client are confidential unless the client has that privilege waved, if you respond, you risk exposing confidential information. On the flipside, if you say nothing, your silence could be taken as confirming the accusations as true. So what do you do?
Respond to the Negative Online Review in a Respectful and Professional Manner to Client
If a client posts information that is recognizably inaccurate, it is reasonable to request such client to take down the negative review. It is absolutely rational to post a public response that says to the effect of, “As Mrs. Smith’s attorney — and therefore bound by attorney-client privilege — I am unable to respond to her accusations without violating client confidentiality. Nonetheless, I take issue with Mrs. Smith’s allegations and maintain that my actions were both ethical and legal.”
Request to Discuss the Negative Review in Private with Client
Another way to handle a negative online review is to request they take the matter offline. Asking the person to call or e-mail you to better address the review is not only reasonable, but deals directly with the problem in a professional manner and shows others who may read the situation that you are trying to solve the issue one-on-one. Even if the client never actually contacts you directly, it is posted for anyone who may see that you were actively trying to remedy the situation.
Remain Calm With Your Negative Law Firm Reviews Online
Keep in mind that many times people use online avenues as a source to vent, and there’s not much to it than that. If you handled the negative review respectfully and showed attempt to remedy the situation professionally, at that point all you can do is keep calm and move on. There is no need to keep feeding fuel to the fire. Remember, no business has 100% of their clients like them 100% of the time. It is okay if you have a bad review every once in a while among a lot of positive feedback. It just shows you’re human.
Need Help with Online Reputation Management for Your Raleigh Law Firm?
If you are a law firm in Raleigh and need help with overcoming negative reviews and other forms of online reputation management, our internet marketing team is here for you. Our team can diligently monitor your name online and make sure you always save face with those clients who get unhappy from time-to-time.