Not terribly long ago, a law firm’s reputation depended upon word of mouth and cases won. Though these things are still important, they no longer make up the primary source of a firm’s reputation.
With the internet being the primary source of information for most people, online reviews are critical to any business’s success. New clients or visitors especially will turn to reviews to indicate whether to give one company their business or move on to a competitor. Unfortunately, one bad review can overshadow many good ones, and it can take a significant toll on your business.
Luckily, there are ways to improve your firm’s online reputation and get back to attracting new clients.
Issue an Apology
If you have one bad review, it may be as simple as responding to the review with an apology. Many companies will say something such as, “We’re sorry you were disappointed with your experience. We would love to speak further and make things right. Please email us.” This can be enough to make the individual feel heard and show other patrons that you engage with your clients and care about how they feel.
If the event or issue is pretty significant, it may be helpful to issue a more sweeping formal apology on your website or blog. This is especially true if many people experienced a similar issue, or there was an unknown behavior occurring by a member of your staff. An apology allows the victims to understand that you acknowledge the issue and are working to fix it. At the same time, it rebuilds other clients’ trust in your ability to handle any larger problems that might occur.
Flag as Inappropriate
In some cases, a person’s review is offensive or inaccurate. In these situations, you can flag the comment as inappropriate. Most review sites will look at the post to determine the legitimacy of your claim, but if you explain why the comment is inappropriate, they may comply.
It’s helpful to remember defamation of character laws during this process. If the user is creating lies that are hurting your business or the reputation of your attorneys, many review sites would be obligated to remove the review.
If the problem has significantly ruined your business or reputation, rebranding can help you start over. Though you may not need to change everything, a fresh website and overall aesthetic indicate that a change has been made. Psychologically, humans respond to this sort of tactic, and you can use it to help build a new online presence.
The more you do to rebrand, the more you distance yourself from what happened. Because so many people are visual learners, they may not even connect you and the event if your branding does not look the same way it did.
Encourage Happy Clients to Post
While there is no way for you to remove a negative review per se, you can easily bury it underneath good reviews. Ask happy clients if they will take a moment to post a positive review for your site, even if it is just a sentence or two about their experience. If you have long-term clients who have worked with you several times, ask if they can do the same. Many people are happy to share their opinions and experiences, especially if they have a history of working with you.
If the negative review no longer comes up under “recent reviews,” new clients are far less likely to see it or pay attention. What’s more, one negative perspective amid positive reviews often gets written off as that customer’s fault or a fluke.
Engage in Positive Activities
Depending on the state of your reputation, you can make an effort to participate in or host positive events such as fundraisers, charity events, and more. Then, write about the events on your blog, and reach out to local news sources to see if they’ll create a story about the event. This can help push any negative press to the second or third page of results, and very few people venture that far.
Use Social Media Marketing
One of the best ways to cover up negative reviews is through good social media marketing. Social media marketing utilizes SEO tactics to increase traffic to your social media outlets. The more that occurs, the less likely it is that someone will see a single bad review. The idea is to get as many social media pages as possible to appear on search results before bad press.
Some social media sites, such as Facebook, provide an additional place for users to check reviews. This steers more potential clients away from the site that contains the negative review.
However, the most impactful social media marketing services can help handle the disgruntled client and their post. As trained professionals, social media marketers can mitigate damage to your reputation from a single review. In addition, they will be able to assess your unique situation and determine what is best.
The most critical part of negative online reviews is to remember that they are not life or death. If you are a new company and only have negative reviews, you should seek professional digital marketing services. However, if you are a well-established firm with a good history and plenty of positive reviews, one bad review likely won’t put you out of business. It is important to address it tactfully if you choose to do so and give audiences every reason to believe that you are kind and level-headed when it comes to conflict.
Contact RizeUp Media
Our team at RizeUp Media has been helping law firms with their online presence for years. We understand the unique nature of the law industry, and we work hard to make sure that negative reviews and social media comments don’t put good firms out of business. We understand the law world online, and we have the background and resources to help you use your strengths to win clients and attract good reviews.
For more information, contact us online.
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