4 common mistakes after a bad online review

4 common mistakes after a bad online review

Jay Shek, CEO, co-founder of Locality

Jay Shek, CEO, co-founder of Locality

As any local business owner knows a bad online review can have a huge impact on future business.  But what should you do when you get the inevitable less-than-positive review?  Ignore it?  Respond and risk becoming the next Amy’s Baking Company” horror story (as featured on the show Kitchen Nightmares)?

Based on an analysis of thousands of local businesses featured on the Locality.com platform, Locality CEO Jay Shek has developed a list of four crucial mistakes that small business owners frequently make when responding to negative online reviews:

Local neighborhood guides often have red flags in place to find out when a business owner posts fake reviews. Don’t run the risk of being publicly shamed. It’s not worth it.

Negative responses, finger-pointing, and customer-blaming is a quick way to turn a bad online conversation into really bad buzz that hurts your bottom line. Instead, be constructive and find a solution.

Ask your loyal followers to review you online. Target red flags in customer service and nip them in the bud before they find their way to a review.

Don’t get stuck online — move the conversation offline. Contact the customer behind the negative review, hear them out, and offer a positive solution.

“Knowing how to deal with online reviews is just one step local business owners should take in creating the perfect online identity.” Jay Shek, CEO, Locality.com


Founded in 2011, Locality  is a service that businesses can use to create an online profile and publish their information for free. To sign up, visit locality.com/merchants.  Previously, CEO and co-founder Jay Shek managed finance and analytics at Snapfish, an online photo company acquired by Hewlett-Packard.  Locality is currently funded by Lightbank, ffVC, Cowboy Ventures, Founder Collective, and others.

1 Comment
  • Lee
    Posted at 17:14h, 06 January Reply

    Thanks for your post, I see a lot of these mistakes all the time. A bad online review can cause no end of trouble. I know of some local businesses that actually created bad reviews of local competitors. I used to run a local web site for Bromley in the UK and I noticed this type of thing all the time. Now I run a classifieds site Kaboodleclassifieds.com , where people can promote a business and reviews are now moderated. It is the only way effective online reviews can work.

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