If you have a business, chances are your business is able to be reviewed online whether you like it or not. Even if you do not create a Google Business Page or Facebook Business Page, etc., they will do you the great service of going ahead and creating one for you! Since there is no stopping it, and it is public, it is important to take control and monitor it.

The most common fear I hear from business owners is the dreaded negative review. In my opinion, you should not fear negative reviews. Simply treat all your customers well and produce a good service or product and everything will work out. Of course, there is still the chance that an impossible client, immoral competitor, or disgruntled employee won’t try to take your business down a notch by leaving a negative review. This is why it is important to know how to handle them.

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Don’t get all pouty and curse Google as a terrible product, write and call them threatening to sue if they do not take it down. They likely will not. Instead wait until your blood pressure goes down to a normal level and write an intelligent, calm, professional reply. I would argue that a good reply to a negative review can sometimes be more important than some of the positive reviews. It shows that you, the business owner, care about your business enough to address negative reviews because you take them seriously. Regardless of if it is a disgruntled employee, competitor, or actual dissatisfied client – it is important not to be snarky, rude, or insulting. This will only turn customers off. Customers want a business owner to always be level headed and professional even when dealing with adversity.

It is highly likely that you will experience a negative review online. Do not make the mistake of blowing them off – reviews are critically important to your business. People under 35 do not know what phonebooks are! Everyone Googles your business and reads your reviews. The choice to patronize your business is made long before they come in contact with you. With this in mind, it is important to respond to negative reviews in a professional manner and address their concerns. Negative reviews will not matter when mixed in with all the great reviews and your perfect responses to the negative ones.