No matter how much time you devote to customer service, there is no way of avoiding the inevitable: your business will receive a bad online review at some point in the future.

As disappointing as this may be – especially if you put a lot of time into managing your online visibility – it’s not the end of the world.

Like many, your first thought is to refute everything in the review. Before you start writing, it’s essential to take a deep breath and understand the importance of what you’re doing.

Your job is simple: to address and resolve the person’s complaint in a fast, efficient, and friendly manner.

With this in mind, you must avoid the following mistakes:

  • Blaming the bad experience on the customer. Even if you believe this to be true, you don’t want to travel down this path. Remember, your reply will be published online for current and potential customers to read. Blaming the experience on the customer will get you nowhere.
  • Neglecting to offer a solution. It’s one thing to apologize. It’s another thing entirely to offer a solution, such as a discount on the person’s next purchase. By taking this one small step, you show the person (as well as others) that your business truly cares about providing top-notch customer service.
  • Ignoring the review altogether. It’s only one bad review, right? It won’t drag down your overall score by much, right? Well, even if this is true, it’s never a good idea to ignore a bad review. You need to make things right.

So, there you have it. It’s never easy to come across a bad online review of your company, but there are steps you can take to ease the pain.

By following the above advice, you’ll find it easier to make the customer happy while taking steps to avoid (hopefully) more bad reviews in the future.

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!