Your small business is personal. You invest time, talent and money. You put great thought into colors and layouts, ingredients, fonts or fabrics. You strive to provide the best possible service or product.
In business, specifically service industries, it's not possible to please everyone all of the time. Tastes are subjective, an employee might exercise poor judgment or a supplier might deliver sub-par services. The internet, usually your best vehicle for promotion, can suddenly become hostile, where faceless, nameless customers sling mud.
So when you log into Yelp or Facebook, Twitter, Bing, CitySearch, Wize, TripAdvisor, OpenTable or Local.com and discover a venomous review by a dissatisfied customer. What do you do?
Remain calm! Launching into a passionate rebuttal or defense is rarely a good idea. Breathe, walk away, calm your head. Then craft a response that is as unbiased and reasonable as possible. Let it sit. Re-read. Let a trusted source read. Then post. It is a good idea to respond to your "haters," but your response must carry respect.
Rely on the site administrators to monitor for reviews or comments that do not adhere to the site's guidelines. Generally, use of profanity, offensive statements and impartial rants are removed and don't require (or deserve) your attention.
Be transparent and open. Criticism can be tough, but it can also help you redefine your business or realign your message. Celebrate the positive comments and use the negative ones to better your service line or product.
Has a negative review opened up the possibility for improvement? Maybe it's an operational adjustment or a new product line. Perhaps you need to invest in your staff or team, hire more help or provide additional training. If cash flow is a detriment to making those changes and you don't have time or credit to apply for a loan, think about a business cash advance or merchant cash advance with Bizlender. Call 855-404-3070 to talk to a professional about your funding options.
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