The fear of negative reviews can prevent some businesses from soliciting feedback at all.

head-in-sandThis ‘head in the sand’ approach is irrational and may actually harm your reputation. If you don’t provide a mechanism for your customers to voice their opinion, they will find a way to vent.

It’s far better to know if there’s a problem in your business that can be solved. Having a proactive customer feedback system in place will help you manage negative situations and minimise the risk of having your business publicly criticised.

The simple act of asking for feedback shows your customers that you care and value their opinion. The fact is, the vast majority of reviews will be positive.

If someone’s customer experience falls short, you need to be the first to know so you can empathise and offer to put things right.

Dealing with dissatisfied customers politely and professionally can often turn them into advocates.

Should you decide to be brave enough to publish less than glowing feedback on your website, it actually gives greater authenticity to your reviews. A professional, courteous public response to a negative review demonstrates to the world that you care.

We all know that no business is perfect at all times and make allowances for this. In context, the occasional public negative review will not undermine your reputation and can actually help to inspire trust if properly handled.