{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "How do you deal with bad Google reviews? In my case, it's an angry beneficiary, not even my client.", "post_id": "6178906dcba90a002690ae79", "reply_count": 13, "vote_count": 3, "bowl_id": "5de71b89e674d9001a783fb1", "bowl_name": "Small Law / Solos" }

How do you deal with bad Google reviews? In my case, it's an angry beneficiary, not even my client.

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One bad review won’t kill you but a few bad ones could indicate that you need to make some changes.

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If you are in the States, check with your local Bar. I know Florida has very stringent requirements in responding and they have a suggested answer (albeit bland) for responding to online reviews.

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Not sure if this works on Google, but on Yelp you can get a review removed if the person didn't actually buy your services. Like if you don't like the owner of a business but were never actually a customer, you cannot write a review. (I know this because a bunch of us wrote on Yelp that the owner of a BJJ gym was a registered sex offender once we found out. And some of the reviews were taken down because the people were not actual gym members. He went to prison after that for failure to register as a sex offender. Fun times.)

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You can respond to the review in Google and call the beneficiary to see what can be done.

Make a post that explains your point of view. Be gentle but persuasive. Many clients just react- and the facts, circumstances, and law might be best for you.

It happens to the best of us, sadly. A law firm without a negative review is one with very few reviews. A few thoughts: 1) It is very hard to get a Google review removed unless it violates their rules. One trick that some people have had success with, though: enlist a bunch of people (using different IP addresses) to report the review as a violation. Even if it isn’t in violation, sometimes the flood of complaints will just get it taken down. 2) As others have suggested, post a professional, non-defensive response explaining it’s not your client. In this post, invite the reviewer to call you personally to discuss the matter. They almost certainly won’t, but that’s beside point — the invitation is to show potential clients that you take feedback seriously. 3) Ask happy past clients for a Google review. If you have 98 good reviews and 2 bad ones, the negative reviews look like outliers. Does a lot less (if any damage) than if you have only 5 reviews and 2 are unfavorable. For what it’s worth, I have two negative Google reviews. My responses make it clear that they’re undeserved. (One was from a prospect whose case I declined.) I actually had another potential client say she called me because she liked the way I handled those reviews.

Thank you. This particular beneficiary is an angry drunk that makes completely false claims about how things should be handled. My client and I both have had to report him to the police. This is just another one of his bits. Talking to him rationally has been completely ineffective from day one.

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