All business owners know the value of having positive reviews about your business online. Just as important as having those positive reviews, is making sure you are avoiding gaining negative reviews on those same online profiles. People want to be heard when they are unhappy, and if you don’t give them that opportunity before they can get behind their keyboard, they will make sure they are heard online. How can you ensure you catch those negative experiences and unhappy customers before they are able to hurt your business online?


Leave Every Customer with Your Contact Information

Leaving each of your customers with a way to contact you is a great business practice in general. This is because you’re giving them a way to contact you in the future if they need another service completed. It’s also very effective when it comes to avoiding negative reviews, because they won’t have to go to the internet to dig around for your contact information. If they can look at a card that you left them with and use that to call or email in their complaint, chances are they won’t feel the need to vent online as well.


Respond in a Timely Manner

When it comes to an unhappy customer, the last thing you want to do is put their complaint off to the last minute. When they feel that their feelings aren’t being validated, they will go elsewhere to complain. If you haven’t responded, they will likely add that to their review as well, making your business look worse. If a customer is upset enough to contact you, they are likely not willing to wait several days for a response. Be sure to use your best customer service skills, and get back to them as quickly as possible.


Make Things Right

Whether your customer already left you a negative review or not, it’s your job to make things right as quickly as possible. If they’ve already left a bad review online, you will be doing yourself a favor to respond with what was done to make things right with that customer. When you do that, your future customers will see that you care and went out of your way to fix things. If they haven’t left a review yet, even better! Get things taken care of in a way that is fair to both of you as quickly and effectively as possible.


Don’t stress out too much if you do end up with a negative review. It happens to all businesses at one point or another, and the best thing you can do is respond in a professional and understanding way. Use any negative feedback you have received as an opportunity to fix any broken pieces in your business or processes!

For more insights on marketing strategy that actually works for small business, subscribe to the FreshLime Newsletter here. Connect with Jay Bean, Founder of FreshLime and Small Business Marketing Expert on LinkedIn and Twitter. And last of all, if any of these tips have helped you or if you have anything to add please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!