Are all conveyancing review sites honest?
Rachel MacLeod, 15th July 2012
Whether its hotels or plumbers consumers are starting to use comparison web sites to seek information on everything they buy. That increasingly includes conveyancing whether conveyancers like that or not. Websites like Money Saving Expert, Google or Solicitor.info have active communities of reviewers regularly posting content about conveyancers.
A couple of weeks ago it was even reported by Legal Futures that the Law Society was embarking on the development of its own comparison site for solicitors work following a detailed report by the Legal Services Consumer Panel supported by the Legal Services Board.
Whilst many sites make considerable efforts to ensure that the people that review and comment on a legal firm’s service are legitimate and independent 1st Property Lawyers (a brand of the largest conveyancer in the jurisdiction) warned last week about fake reviews.
Commenting on their website they said
“There are so many online conveyancing services it can often be difficult to tell the good firms from the bad.
One of the best ways to discover the true conveyancer specialists is to take a look at online reviews or recommendations from people who’ve used the conveyancing service previously”
But the article goes on to warn:
“.. be wary as some conveyancers have cottoned on to this and have started posting fake reviews of their service (and their competitors) in the places people tend to look for these things”.
They recommend any potential clients tries to consider whether:
• The reviewer has a track record of posts. They point out that a reviewer that makes one post may be less reliable than someone who posts on many subjects.
Irrespective of other “fake” conveyancers there is an increasingly important question about how you manage your brand online. Every firm will get good and bad comment on the internet because of the very stressful nature of conveyancing but what should your response be?
Chris Harris Editor of Today’s Conveyancer and a consultant with Practical Vision Limited observed:
“We recently saw a damning comment about a well-known conveyancer on an open internet forum. The firm in question responded quickly saying that they weren’t aware of the issues that were being complained about, that they treat every negative comment seriously and pointed to a track record of very few formal complaints. Inviting the “anonymous client” to contact them directly and engaging them in the discussion on line seemed to immediately silence the detractor. Often it’s not the fact that you have received a negative comment on line that is important it’s the way you deal with it. This firm ended up turning a negative comment into a very positive and professional expression of their desire to deliver excellent service.”
We recommend that you employ some of the free online tools to monitor what is being said about you on line and have strategies in place ahead of a negative comment to deal with them.
Tags: solicitor comparison sites, 1st Property Lawyers, Money Saving Expert
Posted by mark hall at 08:58 11/09/12
Hi I run http://www.gotjuice.co.uk an online reputation consultancy and we have first hand experience in dealing with the aftermath of fake reviews or exaggerated un just reviews. As sites such as money saving expert have a high domain authority the pages that feature these reviews show up in the top half of page 1 of the search results and do have a long lasting devastating effect for the business mentioned. Its quite easy to suppress this however and if a review is truly fake it can be removed, but this can be quite a lengthly and costly experience, the trick would be a preventive cure such as putting in place a review process that encourages positive reviews. Recently 2 professors in economics (featured in the Guardian and Economics today) ran a in depth study in the effect of having a 3.5 star rating against a 4 star rating, the results where quite staggering with a 49% increase in sales for the half star difference, which has also led to companies posting fake positive reviews, a practice that is illegal and should not be considered. If caught the mud will stick 1000x greater than any single negative review and we can assure you that no one wants to deal with a fraudulent company.
Posted by John Harvey at 08:39 16/07/12
The Law Society site should have a facility linked to the Land Registry to indicate whether a particular conveyancer ios doing enough business to keep its hand in. See item "Many firms struggling with low volumes" in Today's Conveyancer of 16th July