The principles by which the LegallyBetter client feedback service and website is run
A summary of our modus operandi
- We currently provide a range of free and paid-for services to assist law firms with the collection, administration and promotion of feedback.
- At present LegallyBetter is simply an online portal to allow law firms to selectively publish feedback as they see fit.
- Only genuine client reviews are added - law firms can check all reviews before they go on site.
- LegallyBetter is not a lead generation site for law firms and search results are not linked to law firms paying for services.
- We are completely independent of any other organisation.
Our focus is on marketing the site to law firms to get reviews, case studies etc added to the site. First and foremost we want to encourage the participation of law firms of all sizes into using the LegallyBetter website so they become more proactively involved in asking clients for feedback and discovering the commercial benefits of doing so. Collaboration and changing attitudes is vital.
- We are in dialogue with many law firms, adding new listings on a weekly basis encouraging them to actively request genuine feedback from clients and publish the evidence (good and bad).
- There are a great many commercial and business development benefits to doing a great deal more, but as stated above many law firms quite simply do not (yet) see the commercial benefits of finding out what their clients genuinely think of the service levels delivered let alone using the positive feedback to feed reputation-based marketing activities.
- Once we feel we have engaged with law firms and demonstrated the value of requesting and using client feedback (and addressed specific issues such as perceptions about negative reviews – particularly important in an era of social media) then our policies may change to reflect as accurately as possible the views of clients and their experience with the legal services sector.
The consumer’s perspective – the public in general trust review sites, and there is no reason why law firms should not be subject to the same assessment of their service as other industry sectors such as hospitality and online retailers. Legal advice is not an everyday purchase, reviews are particular helpful in these circumstances and the internet is most peoples starting point when they are searching for a new product or service provider.
However, given that we are dealing with lawyers, LegallyBetter has no wish to be sued because we have inadvertently published a review that may be regarded as libellous, factually incorrect or breaches confidentiality. At the present time it is the law firm’s decision on what is or isn’t published.
- We know from experience that consumers rarely bother to provide feedback and those that do tend to be at the polarised extremes of opinion. The vast majority of ‘normal’ consumers (including business clients) that sit in the middle of the ‘satisfaction extremes’ quite simply don’t bother.
- Example: The use of postage pre-paid cards (one of LegallyBetter feedback ‘tools’) results in a 15% response rate AT BEST. Electronic feedback requests achieve much lower response rates. A managed service (also offered by Legally Better) where an independent third party obtains the feedback frequently achieves better than 90% response rates. Ironically the larger sample typically includes more mediocre reviews and average client satisfaction.
- In the course of our work we have seen some developments in the reviews sector that could have the potential to improve outcomes for consumers.
REVIEWS RECEIVED BY LEGALLYBETTER
- We bring to the attention of the law firm named all reviews received – but it is their decision whether to publish. Our systems provide an automated reminder when a review is received. In certain circumstances, where agreed in advance, if the review is positive we may publish the review for the law firm and advise them that that has happened. We encourage law firms to publish all feedback that can be verified as genuine and not offensive in any way.
- An email address is required for a review to be submitted to the LegallyBetter site. Sites such as Amazon are able to promote ‘verified purchase’ reviews to offer added credibility, something that is not always possible in a legal transaction.
- Reviews can be submitted for any law firm - they don’t need to have a listing already set up on the site. The reviewer can either provide their name or submit their views anonymously. All feedback received is reviewed by our admin team and the law firm involved is always advised.
- All reviews are treated equally, but a law firm’s listing on the site will be prioritised according to the number of reviews they have and the average client satisfaction score. Our human admin team is able to detect reviews that might appear not at they should be – this could include suspicious looking email addresses. We make the law firm aware of all reviews that are received.
- Any review received independently of the law firm by a client is forwarded onto the law firm so that they are aware of what is being said about them. Anonymous reviews remain anonymous though if the review is submitted then it is intended for publication and the law firm may well be able to identify who the reviewer is.
- Clients have every right to provide feedback and remain anonymous. It is relatively easy to identify genuine but anonymous feedback from the improvement suggestions that are made. Where this is accompanied by an equally genuine and heartfelt positive statement it is logical that this should be published to aid other consumers in their quest to know what level of service they can expect to receive.
- Publication of anonymous reviews - we are working with participating law firms regarding the publication of anonymous reviews – many reviewers prefer to remain anonymous, but the issue of verification remains an issue. Where a review is submitted anonymously we cannot make a rational decision as to what to do with this feedback. If we don’t know the source, the decision to publish is down to the law firm in question.
PROCEDURES TO DETECT AND REMOVE FAKE REVIEWS
- The LegallyBetter site does not yet have to handle large quantities of reviews at the present time; therefore we use human beings as our preferred technology and analyse every review received. At the moment it’s the one that works best, and our team are highly experienced in identifying anything suspicious looking. Any feedback that is believed to be false is not published does not get included in any average score rating statistics that are published in order to ensure that false feedback or feedback not from a genuine client does not end up published in error.
OTHER SERVICES OFFERED BY LEGALLYBETTER
- Managing the collection, verification and publication of reviews for law firms. This is a service offered by LegallyBetter. With the best will in the world the average law firm is not going to have the time or inclination to realistically get involved in requesting, administering and verifying client feedback. We take on this role for them for obvious reasons – it is in everyone’s interest for law firms to have their reputation being actively promoted online – not least for prospective clients looking for legal advice.
OTHER INFORMATION ABOUT LEGALLYBETTER
- LegallyBetter does not claim to be a directory of law firms; it displays feedback from those law firms that choose to make use of the site.
- There are no adverts or paid promotions on the site and there are no plans to change this position for the foreseeable future.
- The LegallyBetter site is based on a template used by http://business-advisor.org.uk and where relevant reviews are shared between the sites. Service providers to law firms are also listed on both sites and their feedback displayed as well.
- LegallyBetter has signed up to the good-practice standards for legal comparison websites, developed by the Legal Services Consumer Panel. This site has assessed itself against the Legal Services Consumer Panel’s standards for comparison websites, and considers that it complies with those standards. The standards reflect best practice in areas such as accessibility, independence, choice, accuracy, use of personal information and complaints handling. Please note that the website has not been independently assessed to check compliance. For more information on the standards visit the Legal Services Consumer Panel's website.