As the influence of social media continues to grow exponentially, no business can hide from reviewers. Every business at one time or another has experienced a negative review. Usually these reviews are seen as a hostile act or an attempt to tarnish the reputation of a business.

We believe that a negative review does not always have to be a bad thing. In fact, we argue that all reviews can be used to help a business improve management and processes that can help them become more customer-centric and efficient.

That being said, receiving a bad review is not a simple matter that can be glossed over. When you receive a bad review, you have to step back and evaluate what’s at stake.

Did your company just receive a negative review? Here is what you need to do:

· Don’t become defensive – Instead of hiring a lawyer, take a deep breath and evaluate how it can actually help your business.

· Investigate internally: The first step is to research the root cause and figure out how to fix it. For example, a complaint about slow delivery may lead you to reassess your suppliers and their shipping speed. A complaint about a rude customer service rep may be a result of excessively rigid policies and processes that should be re-evaluated.

· Engage in open communication: While you’re doing your examination, let the reviewer know – write a response that you’re sorry about the experience and that you are looking into it.

· Find a solution: When you arrive at the solution, post it – so you’re not only letting the reviewer know that you’ve addressed the issue, you’re making it public.

How to handle false reviews

Unfortunately false reviews are not that uncommon. We recommend that you write a balanced and well thought out response denying the accusations. Leaving a scathing review unanswered simply because it is false will negatively affect your credibility.

In cases where the reviewer is maliciously spreading lies in order to harm your business, consider asking the reviewer to remove the post. In some cases, however, where reviews are nonsensical or abusive, not responding at all becomes the best policy.