Reputation management is a skill that ought to come easily to attorneys, after all this is a profession that essentially holds degrees in argument based in precedent and fact. However, it’s all academic until it’s actually you in the crosshairs of a one star review. Now, there’s good news and bad news when it comes to these reviews.
- Good news: Most people can separate ranting and raving from an actual review and critique. They also for the most part know enough about attorney/client privilege to understand why you might not be responding.
- Bad News: A lot of potential clients may just look at the review and move on. Reviews can do damage with people who are not conversant with the law.
Let’s put this out there right now. There are some people who you are never going to be able to satisfy. People in service industries understand this better than anyone else. There are some people who are simply so toxic and awful that nothing you can do – including winning their case – is ever going to satisfy them, much less make them happy. The reviews they leave are filled with bald versus quantifiable claims, and they are simply out for blood – yours. They are intentionally trying to provoke a reaction that will justify their atrocious treatment of you, your firm, and your reputation. Let’s really ruin their days by not letting them.
How to Defang a Troll
From the early days of the internet, there have been trolls. It’s considered unwise to feed them with the attention and response they crave, but when your reputation’s on the line, not responding can be the bigger risk. It’s how you respond that’s key.
1. Be reasonable. Respond simply by saying that you wish to discuss their issue with them, and follow through. Ask them to contact you, and then try to contact them. Don’t argue or attack.
2. At all times you must be careful not to release privileged information. However, publicly available information is certainly within the realm of possibility.
3. If the issue is a legitimate on, act in good faith to resolve it.
4. If the reviews edge into being defamatory or libelous, you have the option to take legal action. However, this may well be a situation that George Bernard Shaw likened to wrestling with a pig. You’ll get dirty and the pig will have a good time.
You can also choose to solicit good reviews for your firm from satisfied clients. A cascade of positive reviews can wash away a persistent negative.
It can be difficult to keep track of your reputation online, but it’s a task well worth the time. If you need some help getting your pixels and digital ducks in a row, 4 Step Studio had the expertise and experience you need. Give us a call, and we’ll handle your reputation with the care that it needs, and advise you on keeping your stars high.
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