Managing Negative Reviews

Managing Negative Reviews

A skill needed for any modern attorney.


A 2018 study published by Virayo, a digital advertising agency, highlighted the value of online testimonials in the legal vertical. 

75% of consumers use the web or other online tools to search for an attorney and 65% found reviews to be incredibly important.

What can lawyers do with this info? The only logical step is to get more reviews from existing clients. 

Think about making a purchase on Amazon - I don't know about you, but I've never purchased an item with 0 reviews. 

The report by Viyrao found that: 

  • 90%. Percentage of consumers who say their purchases are influenced by online reviews
  • #1. Consumers say a companies online reviews is the number one factor used to judge a business.
  • Over 50%. Percentage of consumer who ages 18-34 who say they trust online reviews more than friend and family recommendations.

These figures demonstrate how important online reviews are to a law firm. 

With that said, negative reviews play a very significant role in a buying decision: 

  • 94%. Percentage of consumers who would use a business with a 4-star rating.
  • 95%. Percentage of consumers who suspect censorship or faked reviews when there are no negative scores present.
  • 68%. Percentage of consumers who trust reviews more when there are both good and bad scores present.

Getting positive reviews are easy, you thank them for their business and move on. The concept of getting a negative review is somewhat more complex.

  • What do customers expect from my clinic?
  • What do customers expect from my strategy?

Here are some tips and tricks for handling negative reviews: 

Publish Your Bad Reviews. At some point, you will have an unhappy client, and displaying such a review shows that you have nothing to hide.

Respond to Negative Reviews Publicly. In the same vein, dealing with a former clients’ issues in the public sphere shows you respect their feedback, not just their business. This shows potential clients your desire to deliver great service after business is done.

Learn from Negative Product & Business Reviews. What is at the core of the negative review? What is it saying about your practice and how you might improve? It can anything from displaying the correct contact information on your website, to outlining the specific areas you practice.

Follow Up. Reconnect with former clients to determine whether or not their issue has been resolved. This shows a level of professional courtesy and appreciation that can go a long way towards turning them into a future client. Even if their position has not changed, they will appreciate the positive experience of being heard and addressed.