With easy access to world-wide platforms such as Yelp, Facebook, and Twitter, your consumers can quickly become loud-mouth critics. It hurts to read bad reviews about your business, but the tactics you take to respond to these discouraging posts can hurt your business far worse.

If you receive a harsh review in the future (and hate to break it to you, you most likely will) we encourage you to avoid these 3 mistakes:

Mistake #1: Letting Your Temper Fly

It's a knee-jerk reaction and it's perfectly natural to become defensive when a customer publicizes a complaint to the world. You've built this company from the ground up! This is your baby he's talking about! Whether the review is 'right? or not, you must “use the force” to reign in that temper. Your angry response is also being publicly broadcasted. The last thing you want to do is scare away potential clients. Brush them shoulders off!

Mistake #2: Taking Legal Action

We've all seen them in the news. Business owners suing people for writing negative reviews. But notice the amount of BAD publicity they received for doing so! Freedom of speech is a tough one to swallow when it comes to criticism about your company, but taking legal action will more than likely end in disaster.

Mistake #3: Is It Too Late Now to Say Sorry? (Justin Beiber reference, for you old folk)

The answer is NO! It's never too late to say sorry. The biggest mistake you can make would be completely ignoring the comments altogether. But responding with an apology earns you BIG points with eavesdropping customers and potential customers. Most of the time, these irate reviewers simply want to be heard and acknowledged. Sending back a sincere response in a timely fashion can turn that frown upside down and maybe create a lasting relationship.

Yes, negative reviews can be challenging, but staying away from the mistakes listed above can cancel them out and keep your reputation at a 5-star level. May the force be with you!