Yes ! Online reviews have crept into the legal space and are making a significant change in the way your potential clients look for legal help.
But there is a massive difference between how big an effect a negative review makes when it comes to lawyers as compared to any other sector. You are dealing with a life altering situation here and not just the fact that your coffee was cold or your trousers were not dry cleaned to perfection.
Well according to a few studies there are five ways to handle negative reviews when it comes to lawyers.
- Argumentative: One attorney defended himself against a reviewer’s charge by going into details of the case. This led to the reviewer angrily accusing the attorney of breaching attorney-client privilege. The Wall Street Journal reported that earlier this year, a Chicago employment attorney was reprimanded by a state attorney disciplinary board for doing something similar.
- Quashing attempt: An attorney offered a complainant a $200 refund if he expunged the review in which he complained that the attorney charged him $1,000 for doing “nothing.” This backfired, as the reviewer saw this as a cheap ploy to buy his silence, and instead the reviewer lambasted the offer publicly and unleashed more bile upon the barrister.
- Sympathetic: Another attorney simply replied that he was sorry the reviewer was unhappy with his services and asked him to call so that they could “work things out.” The crucial difference here was that there was no quid pro quo suggestion, and the complainant “added a star” to his initial review and the attorney came off looking concerned and sincere.
- Informative: To a reviewer who was ticked off at an attorney for abruptly “dropping him” after an initial phone consultation, the attorney simply explained that a consultation is not the same as agreeing to take a case, and wished the person well. By not appearing defensive, he also came off well.
- Litigious: There are a few cases of lawyers suing for defamation and winning substantial sums, but unless the falsehood is egregious and the offender has deep pockets, this route seems fraught with potential blow-back.
Sounds tedious, doesn’t it?
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