CLC Provides Guidance On Using Third-Party Review Sites

The Council for Licensed Conveyancers has issued guidance for legal websites using third-party review sites. 

The exponential growth of review sites in recent years has highlighted the increasing importance of customer testimonials in promoting a business and increasing profits. 

Tripadvisor in particular, is now a dominant force in influencing customers’ decisions when it comes to using travel based businesses. 

Now, third-party review sites, such as Trust Pilot and Feefo are essential tools for law firms in confirming the quality of services they offer with awards like the ESTAs using review site data to determine the winners of their awards. 

Whilst the CLC ‘do not take a view as to whether practices should use review sites,’ they have reminded legal service providers of the do’s and don’ts identified in the CMAs advice for businesses. 

The CLC and the Competition Markets Authority believe law firms should: 

  • Ensure that site users are able to differentiate on the website between areas to leave a review and the appropriate area to make a complaint 
  • Law firms should ensure that all reviews are published promptly 
  • All reviews, both positive and negative, should be scrutinised with the same attention to detail, ensuring that procedures are in place to delete all false reviews promptly 
  • Clearly explain to consumers how reviews are collated and checked 
  • It was also considered important to inform the consumer how they can make their review and the criteria which would prevent their review from being published 

Conversely, the CLC guidance deters law firms from: 

  • Encouraging only satisfied customer to write or to offer incentives for customers writing reviews. 
  • Dissuading clients from writing a review about their experiences, even if any negative issue has since been resolved. 
  • Actively block reviews they do not like, as long as the review fulfils acceptable criteria 
  • Persuade customers to only complain internally as opposed to writing a review on the service they received 
  • Treating a negative review as a complaint to be dealt with internally instead of publishing it. 

Following the advice, the CLC have suggested that current or future use of third-party review sites could be a discussion consideration between the law firm and their RSM. 

Does your law firm use third-party review sites to demonstrate the service quality? Will review site content become increasingly important in acquiring instructions in the future? Is greater regulation needed? 

Today's Conveyancer