Most businesses fret about bad reviews online and do their utmost to avoid them.

However, I was reading The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin the other day and saw a picture (p. 97) of one business owner’s response to a negative online review that made me laugh out loud (literally).

Sandwich Shop Advertises Worst Meatball Sandwich Of Yelper's Life

The story originally appeared in The Huffington post in Sandwich Shop Advertises Worst Meatball Sandwich Of Yelper’s Life.

In this case, the business owner responded with humour and a realisation that you can’t please all of the people all of the time.

It also strikes me as being a typical New York deli sort of response (the sandwich shop in question is, in fact, Joe Dough’s Sandwich Shop in the East Village in Manhattan, New York).

Now, I’m not advocating that everyone goes out and does something like this.

But, what I think is important here is the fact that the business actually responded to it’s negative online review and how it responded.

Why? Because, many businesses don’t respond to negative reviews or feedback. In fact, many businesses dread getting negative online reviews, do nothing and the negative feedback just sits there.

However, if you want to avoid bad reviews or negative feedback I think you only have one option and that is:

  • Be perfect to all of the people all of the time.

Personally, I don’t think that’s a real option at all. To be perfect and please all of the people all of the time is something to aim for but, in reality, is not something that we are likely to achieve.

Therefore, we have to get used to the idea that negative reviews and feedback are likely to come our way sometime. So, the important thing is not to ignore the negative reviews and feedback but to be ready to deal with them. Often, how we respond to complaints and negative feedback can show the side of our business that does not get seen or talked about much:

How we respond when things go wrong?

Most customers are pragmatic and realise that sometimes things will go wrong. So, going out of your way to show how you respond when things do go wrong, can (assuming that you do it well) have a hugely positive effect on your reputation.

Photo Credit: jaysk via Compfight cc

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