Thank You for the One Star Review

September 3, 2019 | 4 minute read
Posted by Andrew Homan on September 3, 2019
"Losing is just an opportunity to win later." - Me. I said that a while ago. We can date it today. Let's do that. 9/3/2019

Starting a new business involves way more than I ever anticipated. From the actual practice of law to the bookkeeping to the marketing to the implementation of office policies to management to yadda yadda yadda...

There is a lot to do.

One thing I didn't anticipate is how the adventure feels like an extension of me. So much time energy and money has gone into getting where we are, it feels like a part of me.

So when I got my first one star online review (which at the time was my only review), I was upset.

It was years ago in the early months of our practice. I was the only employee of the firm at the time doing everything (answering all the calls, doing all the drafting, making all the court appearances, and so on).

I was on a family vacation and since I didn't have help at the time, I had all of the calls to the main line forwarded to my cell phone. I was taking calls throughout the entire vacation.

One of the calls I received was from someone looking for a lawyer.

Whenever I get initial calls I make it a point to pay special attention to the stories I hear. I know people usually think about their legal problems for a long time before they decide to pick up the phone and call a lawyer (especially one that they have never met before).

In this particular case, I listened to the story, asked a few questions, and came to the conclusion that I wasn't aware of any remedy this person had under the law, and if there were a remedy, I didn't know what it was. I told this person I couldn't take their case and that they should seek a second opinion.

From there, the caller continued to plead her case to me and got upset when I told her I wasn't the lawyer for her. Why you would want a lawyer to represent you that has just told you there isn't a case is beyond me, but I digress.

Time passes.

I get a notification from Google that I have a review. I read the review.

"Terrible service from his office. Awful to speak to, zero respect for people who are EMPLOYING him"

First of all, this is factually inaccurate. This person never employed my services.

I had hope that Google would be responsive because it was just simply false but their policies on removing reviews revolve around the statements being inappropriate.

So there I was with my entire online reputation with one shinning star from someone I never met who I never represented.

As it turns out, this was a blessing.

I have a positive relationship with the vast majority of my clients. I started this firm to help people. With some of them I discussed the one star review and asked for a candid assessment of how things were going with their case and if they were satisfied with the representation.

To my delight, not only did they tell me they were pleased, some took to the internet to counter the twinkling twinkling little star with overwhelming positive reviews.

That one star of negativity blossomed into stars everywhere.

There have been some negative reviews since. One such review was on my partner, Attorney Matthew Zentz. The review claims that Matt "ruined his life."

Think about that...

This person's life was at minimum tolerable but then he hired Matt and now his life is ruined.

This post was intriguing to me for multiple reasons. This same person had previously sent correspondence saying how great Matt was and how thankful he was that Matt was fighting so hard.

In addition, Matt had a particularly demanding judge, some complicated facts, and evidentiary issues. Nevertheless, he prevailed and got this client something above and beyond what was likely customary. Why? Because he cares and he is a GREAT lawyer.

So while I initially was very worried how the reviews would impact us, it turns out if you do the right thing, provide candid advice, and do your job, it turns out OK in the end.

That one star review did a lot for me. I am grateful for it. I am better for it.