Yes, Counselor, There is a Bright Side to Reviews.

Here’s a story that might sound familiar:

Last month, at the height of the holiday shopping season, an extra wrinkle was thrown into my family’s shopping budget when our television went on the fritz during a holiday movie marathon. A quick assessment of the situation revealed that I’d soon be making an unexpected purchase. (The big guy in the red suit had already completed his shopping, so I couldn’t rely on him.)

It wouldn’t be the most expensive purchase we made this year, but it was definitely an important one. Guess how many product reviews I read?

Across four different websites.

Some reviewers were effusive with praise; others hyper-critical. I appreciated them all because a balance of positive and critical reviews gave me an excellent sense of what to expect from my purchase.

Know what else I saw? Responses to critiques: some from the retailer and some written by the manufacturer. Just like the reviews themselves, the replies varied in quality and provided me with additional understanding. One manufacturer turned me off because its form letter responses indicated they didn’t comprehend the feedback.

Like many people with legal concerns, my television need was unexpected. Not only did I benefit from the experiences of other consumers, I gained insight into the type of relationship I could expect. A variety of reviews, combined with thoughtful responses, ensured that someone earned my business. Ultimately, those reviews and replies changed my mind about the television I would buy.

While not everyone is going to research as thoroughly as I did, today’s legal consumers are indeed reading reviews of law firms. Don’t be discouraged by the possibility of unfavorable feedback. An attentive reply is a clear indicator that you care about service more than the competition does. Your response – or lack thereof – could be the deciding factor for a number of potential clients.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some shows to catch up on.

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