After an excellent run of 5-star reviews on Google Business I was disappointed to see a 1 star review yesterday.
Reviews for any small business are of vital importance. They are an important piece of social proof which will influence others when they are checking your business out.
When I looked more closely at the 1-star review, however, I discovered that it was not from a client to whom we had supplied a legal service or advice.
No. From a random caller.
It was from an individual who was complaining about ringing our office with a query. She was advised that I was not available and the best thing to do would be to send an email with her query. The email would come directly to me personally and I would reply.
I reply to all emails. Even if it is to tell the querist that they need to arrange a consultation to they can let me have all the facts and circumstances of their issue/problem.
Rather than doing this, however, this individual decided to spend her time writing a negative review and giving us a 1 star review on Google Business.
I believe this is lousy and inherently unfair.
Here is a person who has never engaged us to provide any service-and we are a service-based business after all-and she gets to leave a damaging, unfair, harmful review.
I would have no difficulty with a poor review if it came from a client and was fair.
I do have a difficulty with a random caller calling the office in the middle of a busy working day and expecting to have a query answered or receive free legal advice.
That is not how I run my business, and I have no apology to make about that.
But damaging reviews from non clients or customers is manifestly unfair to any small business which works hard to get positive reviews from clients or customers and tries to ensure that the average rating for the business is as high as possible.
Fair procedures and natural justice cuts both ways.