Online reviews – part of the new reputation management landscape for solicitors

First published on Law Society Gazette In Business Blog - Click here to see full discussion.

Last year, one of our clients had a negative review posted on the website, which describes itself as ‘local businesses reviewed by you’. On contacting TouchLocal we were able to ensure that the negative review was removed, but only because it named an individual fee-earner and therefore breached their rules. If the review had named the firm only, then they said that they would not have had to remove the listing.

At the time, I had meant to see if there was any guidance available for businesses to clarify their rights regarding online reviews, but as the outcome had been in our favour it slipped down the ‘to do’ pile. Could this be a subject for an article in the Gazette?

Clearly, online reviews are now part of the public relations environment that firms will need to monitor and respond to when managing their reputations. Most of us will be familiar with other, established and well-respected, review sites for other industries such as or and it is easy to see their value to the consumer.

Historically, research into client satisfaction indicated that a happy client might tell two other people, while a dissatisfied client could tell around 10 of their friends about a bad experience. Online reviews will have changed these statistics immensely.

Research also shows that most complaints do not reach a senior manager as only 50% of consumers complain. Of these, less than 5% are escalated to a manager, so the complaints that you see are just the tip of the iceberg.

The best approach will be to be proactive in terms of monitoring your own firm’s standards of service and online reputation. We are seeing a growing number of proactive firms that are serious about investing time and resources in a range of techniques including independent client care reviews, client satisfaction surveys and mystery shopping, as well as defining and setting desired standards of service.

Prevention is always better than the cure and as Henry Ford, one of my favourite sources of business quotations, said: ‘A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.’

Back to Blog

Get in touch ...

We are always happy to have an informal chat. As a member of the Law Consultancy Network, if we cannot help you we may be able to introduce you to a specialist who can.

Tell us your communication preferences