For all businesses, having a positive reputation is tantamount to success. In the age of social media, it’s easy to tarnish other people’s reputations and change the narrative. Businesses have to be more cautious in managing their reputation to prevent incorrect information from spreading. It’s even more critical for legal councillors in a law firm. A terrible reputation can result in a significant loss of clients and goodwill. There should be a clear law firm reputation management strategy. It allows more people to trust what the firm offers.
It’s a different playing field
Back then, it’s not easy for people to find more information about the services they wish to avail. These days, everything is available online. They can type keywords, and the choices will appear. For businesses, it also comes with reviews. If they see something negative, they might look for other options. Even without validating the claims, potential clients might decide to jump ship. It highlights the need for a reputation management strategy even more.
Lawyers are used to presenting cases in the court of law, but not in the court of public opinion. Therefore, it helps to have experts dealing with online reputation management. Some law firms that took the online image for granted lost a significant sum of money.
There are potential threats
When the internet was in its infancy, having an online strategy was optional. Now that most people have internet access, it’s no longer the same. There could be external threats that will make it more challenging for businesses to survive. Social media interactions are among them. When people keep spreading lies online, they might succeed in putting the firm down. It can also happen through negative reviews posted on different platforms.
Some of these negative comments might be real, but others are not. Either way, there should be an immediate response. If the problem existed, the business should acknowledge it and promise to do better. Recognize the concerns and show empathy to the reviewer. However, if the accusations are incorrect, facts should be available. They will help in creating a counter-narrative. The users have to decide which information they will believe in. The point is that they no longer have a one-sided set of information.
Being proactive is even better
Law firm reputation management isn’t only about solving existing image problems. It also involves the creation of a positive brand. Publishing quality content is an excellent strategy. It allows more people to see what the law firm offers. The content doesn’t have to be an advertisement of the services. It can include different topics related to law that people want to know. If they are yet to decide whether they will avail of the law firm’s services, they can explore the website. They have a reason to keep coming back because of the quality content.
Having an excellent relationship with the target audiences is also another proactive strategy. They like the feeling of being given importance. Responding to them on social media when they leave comments is a good tactic. The same thing applies to reviews. Seeking legal services requires trust. When the law firm established an excellent relationship, it also comes with trustworthiness.
Be defensive, but stay professional
Most people know better than to argue with legal professionals. They’re experts in arguing. Ordinary people don’t want to get into a fight with them. However, it’s not the same for online battles. Some anonymous users can claim anything without proof. Therefore, it’s more challenging to argue with them when they leave terrible reviews.
There are instances when the reviews sound absurd. If the accusations are already damaging, the law firm needs to have a direct response. Make sure that the other users reading the interaction understand it. Avoid using legal jargon that no one will comprehend. It doesn’t help in clarifying the incorrect review. Try to present evidence and other strategies to support the claims.
While it helps to defend the law firm’s honor and integrity, the responses should stay professional. Even if the response is correct, the tone might turn off other people. They will think that the law firm is too defensive and downright disrespectful. Instead of winning them over, they will fire the services. Potential clients might look for friendlier options.
Be consistent with your law firm reputation management strategies
It takes time to build an online reputation. It also takes time to recover from a damaged image. It helps to have consistent strategies. For instance, with content writing, it shouldn’t happen once. There should be two or three regular updates on the website each week. Even when some of the content published became viral, it’s not a reason to be complacent. Just because people already knew what the business offers doesn’t mean they will stay loyal. Others might still look for different choices.
For review monitoring, consistency is even more essential. Even if the law firm didn’t receive a negative review, it wouldn’t stay that way forever. Some people would say something terrible, and it could destroy the firm’s image. The good thing is that there are online review monitoring tools available. With their use, it’s easy to determine what people say about the brand. There can also be notifications given to the company when there are brand mentions and reviews published. After receiving the alerts, the law firm should have an immediate response.
Going through every aspect of the law firm’s reputation management can be exhausting. As the business grows, it’s even more critical to deal with the reviews. The firm also becomes a target of competitors. They know that the company takes a larger portion of the pie, and they start to lose theirs. Others might play dirty and decide to pay people to write bad reviews. The good thing is that there are reputation management experts who know what to do. They can create a plan to combat negative information. They also have other reputation-building strategies up their sleeves. Outsourcing this service will make it easier for the law firm to focus on the other vital aspects of running the company.