Your Business Has a Negative Review, Now What?  4 Steps to Handle It Properly

You take pride in your work. When someone says something bad about one of your products, your employees, or a service you provided them, it hurts. It’s only natural to react emotionally, but that could be very bad for business.

If you've just received a negative review, take a deep breath, and then take these four steps to best handle it, which will limit its impact on your business and your SEO efforts:



Realize you can't make everybody happy

First, you need to accept what sounds unacceptable – you cannot make every customer happy.

All businesses get negative reviews, and no business can completely satisfy everyone. Yes, the negative review stinks and might impact your business, but what you do next will determine how the review affects your business. The best approach is a calm and caring one, and in order to take that approach, you have to accept that not everyone is a perfect fit for what your business offers.

Take care of the customer

The service and experience that’s related to your services or products doesn’t end after a customer has made a purchase. This customer is still your customer.

Your service didn't live up to their expectation. How you treat and react to them will have a much bigger impact on your business than trying to simply hide their review. By still showing care and working to make the situation right, you may be able to change their review, and more importantly, earn a loyal customer for life.


  • Call to apologize for their negative experience.
  • Ask the customer for advice on how you can avoid this with current and future customers.
  • Ask the customer how you can make it up to them.

Note: This should be done on a personal level through either an email or phone call. You want to show them that you care about them and are working to make it right, and make sure this doesn’t happen again.

Draft a response, and get a second opinion

If you've contacted your customer and tried to work with them to come to a favorable conclusion and the review still remains unchanged, you should prepare a response that you will post directly responding to their negative review online.


  • Be sympathetic
  • Be polite
  • If you offered a potential solution that was turned down, feel free to re-offer it here.

Example Response: "Mary, I am very sorry for your experience. I appreciate you taking the time to speak with me about this last week. My offer to give us another chance at no charge still stands if you change your mind. We are always working to improve what we provide to our customers, and your review and feedback help us accomplish this. Thank you."

Note: Keep in mind that this response may be viewed by thousands of potential customers. Before you post, get feedback from a trusted friend, spouse, or mentor. If your satisfied with your response and someone you trust agrees, go ahead and post it.

Encourage new reviews

Few customers leave reviews. By encouraging your customers, both existing and new, to review your business, you'll be able to minimize the impact of your negative review and any future ones.


  • When speaking with a satisfied customer (on phone, email, or in-person), ask "Would you mind leaving me a review online?"
  • If you use an email list to send customers information, consider adding a short call to action in your next email. Ex: "We appreciate your feedback. Would you be willing to rate (business name) on Google and tell us about your experience?"

By following the steps above, you'll have a great chance at pleasing your once angry customer, show potential customers that you care, and move forward to decrease the chance that this will happen again.

Need help improving your website's SEO? I'd love to help. Tell me a little bit about your business and I can send you some free SEO tips today: Jason.Lerblance@mavidea.com

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Kim James

First Federated Church: Before + After Website Design by Mavidea

First Federated Church of Peoria's mission: "Making Disciples through worship, as we praise and glorify God; mission, as we embody God's love; fellowship, as we love and care for one another; giving, as we express gratitude to God."


Founded in 1937, First Federated Church has been a dedicated and consistent presence in the Peoria community. They are proud of their ongoing efforts to reach out to their community through missions. On Sundays, they have two services as well as separate activities for children and youth.

It was important to First Federated Church that their website was a welcoming place for new, current, and curious church visitors to find the information they needed about the church and their weekly activities.


The primary reason First Federated Church needed a new site was that the previous design was becoming dated and the overall dark feel of the site was not as inviting as they wanted.

After choosing Mavidea for the new website design, they began the process of building a website with Mavidea - which starts with a "mega meeting". The purpose of the mega meeting is to help you think beyond the design of your site, and think about how together, we can leverage your site to grow your organization/business.

After hearing their vision, we got to work building their new website!

First Fed Church_before


The new site is bright, clean, and uses a lot of natural colors. Their beautiful church building is the background on the homepage. The orange call outs take your eyes directly to the service times and location.

We implemented a hamburger menu and reorganized the content. A hamburger menu allows for a lot of content, without compromising a clean and attractive homepage.

Before reorganizing the content, we spent time with them in order to understand the areas they wanted site visitors to see first. From that meeting, we created the three primary top buttons "I'm New", "Services", and "Give". Primary buttons are an excellent complement to a hamburger menu, as they provide a way to focus on core areas, and also create space for additional content.

Desktop & Laptop

FFC of Peoria_desktop_homepage

Mobile Website Design

Responsive Design

Thanks again to First Federated Church of Peoria!

Do you need a new website? Don't wait any longer - get a quote today from Mavidea.

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Kim James

12 Email Productivity Tips to Get More Done Every Day


Congratulations, you've made it through the first quarter! Hopefully, you started the year out strong and are well on your way to meeting your goals.

If that's not you and you're feeling a bit behind and unorganized. Don't worry! You still have three more quarters to make this a great year.

One way to get your year back on track - take control of your inbox and your time.

Notes: Some of these tips are for Outlook, but I'm sure your email service has an equivalent for each of these. If they don't then I highly recommend Microsoft Office 365 - it's well worth the money.

Lastly, this list is a compilation of tips from other Mavideans, productivity books, and all around smarter/wiser people than myself - so you can trust it.

Here are the most helpful email productivity tips to find the bottom of your inbox and be more successful in 2017:

Read Getting Things Done by David Allen

Several years ago we read this book at Mavidea and for many of us it has changed the way that we handle our email and tasks every day.

He outlines the process for capturing all your tasks into an easy to use system that keeps your brain from stressing that you forgot something. He has a 2015 version of his book that we highly recommend.

One big takeaway: When you receive a new task, ask yourself "will this take less than 5 minutes to complete?" if you answer "yes" then complete that task right away so that it's done and off your list.

Minimize Your Inbox

Another piece of advice from David Allen is to follow Inbox Zero.

Mavideans love Inbox Zero – it's the holy grail of inbox productivity.

True inbox zero can be incredibly hard to achieve. If you haven’t heard about inbox zero, it’s when your inbox is literally empty. All emails have been filed, delegated, or deleted.

Personally, I operate a somewhat cheated version of inbox zero, but it works for me. I keep my main inbox at zero – every email that I receive has a home. Because I like to hold onto emails that I MIGHT need again, I have a "Reference" folder for the “just in case” part of me that can’t part with them. It still makes email management so much easier for me and keeps my schedule organized by moving unimportant emails that have no tasks attached to them to that “Reference” folder.

Zero Inbox CHEAT How To: Go through the last three months of email - delete whatever you don't need anymore, move the emails that you may need to a "Reference" folder, and the emails that require some sort of action from you to an "Actions" folder.  Then, move ALL the rest of your old email to that same “Reference” folder (if you are like me and rely heavily on your email to find PDFs from 2 years ago). I'm sure the Archive feature in Outlook would work as well...

Schedule 3ish Times a Day to Check Email

Create specific times in your day (you get to decide...it can be 1, 2, 5...you get the idea) that you plan to check your email, and don't open your email between those times. Scheduling specific times to check your email does a couple things, one it allows you to focus on your priorities and two, it puts your mind at ease because you've decided on set times to check email and you know that you'll get to it soon enough.

(I'm still working on this one, but I know several people at Mavidea who do a great job checking email sparingly throughout their day - and they seem very productive and on task.)

Setup Quick Step Folders in Outlook

Whether you are ready to conquer inbox zero or not, creating quick step folders in Outlook is very useful, to quickly filter emails that require an action from you into one folder. Or for situations where you have an important client and you like to keep all their emails, you can quickly filter those emails into a folder.

(you can find the quick steps folders under "Home" in Outlook).

Setup Rules in Outlook

You can setup rules in Outlook to move certain emails into folders automatically, among other things.

Depending on your job role, you may receive a lot of emails from a certain vendor, CRM notifications, or maybe an industry newsletter. Whatever it is, you can setup rules in Outlook for those emails to automatically into a specific folder - this keeps your inbox more manageable and allows you to go through those emails when you need to.

This video is an example of how the tool works and where to find it in Outlook. I used an example if I wanted to move all emails from one specific person to a folder automatically.

Turn Off All Email Alerts

All of those "ding!" noises, little red circles, and mail signs on your email make it impossible to forget your email long enough to really focus.

For Outlook: Go to File and then Options:

Deselect all the "Message arrival" notifications. You don't need these in your life!

Same goes for email on your phone - for an iPhone, go to Settings - Notifications - Mail, and turn that off! It took me a few days to get used to this one, but now it's very helpful in keeping me from auto-piloting to those little red circles...the curiosity was just too much!

Use Wunderlist to Organize Your Tasks

Using the little red flags and tasks section in Outlook or the stars in Gmail are good ways to keep track of your important emails, but it means that you have to keep referring back to your inbox, which is very distracting. If you use a different list app then you can stick to your rule of only checking your emailing a select few times per day.

There are a lot of good ones to choose from, here are a few of the most popular:

Try Unroll.me

Subscribing to email lists is both a blessing and a curse - it allows you to keep up with your favorite company, brands, and thought leaders - but it also crowds your inbox. When you create an account with unroll.me, it gathers all of the lists you are subscribed to and asks you which emails you want to unsubscribe from, which you want to see in your inbox each day, and which you would like rolled into one concise email.

Depending on how many lists you are subscribed to, this can take anywhere from 5-20 minutes initially to set up - after that, virtually no time at all.

Stop Sending Unnecessary Emails

In 95% of situations, it's unnecessary to send an email to a colleague to let them know that you received their email - you can cut down on a lot of extra email by not sending those one to five word emails. Ex. "Thanks for the info", "Got it.", "Ok"

If your organization does this a lot, then you can communicate that you are no longer going to send these confirmation emails - most likely others in your organization will do the same, saving you and your colleagues time and inbox space.

When Sending Email, Think Through the Process

To piggyback on the last tip, take an extra minute to think about why you are sending an email before you do so - and then think through how you can write the most effective email that will not create seven more emails. Think through what additional information you could add to your email to give the recipient as much of the information they need in one email to make a decision. Add "if this, then that" scenarios to your emails - cutting down on the recipient having to ask you additional questions.

Stop Checking Your Email First Thing in the Morning

Nothing is more stressful and more disruptive than checking your email first thing in the morning and starting your day with multiple fires.

Instead, begin by reviewing your weekly goals and top priorities - make a list of things you'd like to accomplish that day. After you have your list, pick something to make progress on or an easy win to start your day right.

THEN check your email and tackle that long list of people who need your attention! You'll be focused and energized instead of stressed and disoriented.  Some people would argue that their job does not allow for this type of system - but it will surprise you how little time it takes to review goals, make a priority list for the day, and tackle a small task that gets you closer to your goals...I'm guessing you'll be tackling your inbox 30 minutes later.

Incorporate Time Blocking

Okay admittedly this last one has nothing to do with your email, but it's a great tip for organizing your day and not relying on your inbox to tell you what to do next.

There are many ways to use time blocking. Once you know what's most important for you to work on then you can block out time for those tasks - ensuring that you spend adequate time thinking, researching, and completing that work.

Time blocking is for job roles that require a lot of strategy and creative thinking. Depending on your job, maybe not every day needs to include time blocking, but if you're working on something that needs a lot of your mental energy then it's a good way to make great progress.

Learn how Gary Keller, The co-founder and chairman of Austin, Texas-based Keller Williams Realty, uses time blocking with his schedule

Information on adding time blocking to your schedule

If you love the idea of time blocking, Ink+Volt makes a great planner for scheduling your day/time blocking:

I hope you've found a few things in this post to make your time more productive! Check back regularly to see more from us!

Need a new website? Don't wait any longer - get a quote today.


Other Fun Posts:

Points of Bright Light in a Challenging Year

Why You Absolutely Need to Replenish Your Life

Facebook Live and Instagram Stories: New Social Media Tools Grow Your Business

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Jake Davis

The Positive Side of Millennials

A lot of small business owners are lamenting their experiences with hiring and working with Millennials.  Small business owners are struggling with how to bridge the generational gap and get through to this new generation of workers.

I hear a lot about how "they just don't get it" or how "they are entitled".

Many articles have been written about what is wrong with this next generation of workers, but I thought it would be worthwhile to talk about what is good about them.

I have had the pleasure of interviewing and hiring many Millennials over the years.  While this generation presents some challenges, they also present opportunities:

More than any other generation, they are looking for meaning in their work.

Many small business owners struggle with this one, thinking "you get a paycheck, that was meaning enough for me in my first job."  I have come to believe this is the best thing about this generation of workers.

As small business owners, we are being challenged to provide meaningful work and to explain the "why" behind what we do.  This represents a tremendous opportunity.  All work has meaning.  Service to others is a deep and meaningful calling that enriches our lives.  Any time we step outside of our own selfishness to provide service or value to others, we are becoming the best version of ourselves.

Show them and explain to them how their work makes an impact.  Challenge them to make that impact even greater by delivering excellence to their coworkers and your customers.

Millennials also expect flexibility in how and when they work.

This goes against the grain for many of us who have experienced the 9-5 expectations of the past.  Again, I see this as a positive.  Be flexible.  Give them the opportunity to work in a way that creates a meaningful life.

As a small business owner, you want your staff to thrive.  You want them to get married, have kids, volunteer, have meaningful hobbies.  You want a well-rounded staff.  It's good for business.

I think that if you hire good people, you will be rewarded by being a part of the meaningful story of a life well lived.

Millennials are idealistic.

They bring the (maybe unrealistic) expectations of their upbringing and experiences into your business.

Instead of constantly fighting to reset these expectations to your definition of "normal", let them inspire you to better processes, customer experiences and better thinking.  Be open to their new ideas.  Let them help you think about how things might be better.

Harness the power of youthful idealism in your business.  Instead of thinking how things have "always been done", spend time thinking about "what might be" and then work to make it happen for your staff and your customers.

In my experience interviewing and hiring Millennials, this generation has a lot to offer.  But I think when we look only at what they have to offer our business we are missing out.  Instead, if we look for what our business has to offer and work on that, we can create the kind of place we want our kids to work at.

I once heard the story of a CEO who attended a wedding.  As the father of the bride gave his daughter away, the CEO realized that was what happened every time a new employee began working for him.  Each time we add a new staff member, we are given the opportunity to love and care for that person the way we would want our son or daughter to be loved and cared for.

It's a tremendous opportunity and responsibility.  One I am excited to take on.  When I am able to take a step back and look at our business, that is what excites me most.  The people.  The impact we are making on the people who are entrusted to us for however long they work here.

More articles by Jake:

Good Design is Good Business

Choosing to Cheat

Why Interns and Internships are the Coolest

Subscribe to Jake's Daily Attitude Email


Contact us today for help with your website, marketing, or IT network.

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Michael Guarienti

Website Checklist: 10 of The Most Common Mistakes

Website mistakes are a silent business killer. They're so dangerous because the majority of them go unnoticed by the business owner for days, weeks, months, and even years. And just because a visitor to your website doesn't personally point out a problem on your website doesn't mean that it's not having a very real and negative impact on your attempt to gain sales and contacts from visitors.

When seemingly small mistakes wreak havoc on your business' website, visitors are turned off and go elsewhere and you sacrifice website visits, sales, and who knows what else just because of an honest oversight, grammatical error, or broken link.

Here are 10 small but big website mistakes that you might be making, costing you potential sales and getting in the way of building your business and brand:

Mistake 1: It's All About You

You want to explain to every customer why you're great, but is that what they want to know? Even your most loyal customers don't want to just hear about you, they want to know how you will benefit them.

If your website is bragging about your business instead of appealing and speaking directly to your customers, you're making a very common mistake. Every business is at the mercy of what their market needs and wants, and you can't force things down their throat. Act as a steward instead of a salesman and help website visitors understand how your business will serve them and why your products and services are the best solution to answer their wants and needs.

Mistake 2: Picking a Template Before Analyzing Needs

Discount web hosting services have made creating a new website extremely simple and fast. For a few bucks a month, you can choose a template, upload your pictures and content, and publish your website to the world.

What's often missed is that picking a template before analyzing what you need in a website assumes that you can cram what you want to share with your visitors into any design and space, which isn't true. Templates can work well if you're only looking for a simple landing page that doesn't need to be unique or in-depth, but the majority of templates will not be good fits for your business.

Mistake 3: Putting Design Over Content

Make no mistake about it, the content on your website is more important than the design. That being said, if you have broken links, a site that looks like is was created in 1999, and users can’t understand how to get to your contact page, it doesn't matter how good your introduction is or your "about" page. When working on the design and flow of your website, don't overlook the importance of the words that will tell your website visitors what you have to offer and those words will also be judged by search engines in ranking your site and how relevant your business is to what someone is searching.

Mistake 4: Mobile-Friendly

Having a website that is mobile-enabled is no longer an option, it's a need, and a large percentage of your visitors will come from mobile browsers. Make sure your website works and looks good even on a small smartphone screen.

Mistake 5: Time

Entrepreneurs have an unlimited number of tasks to complete each day, and little time to accomplish them all. Websites take time to build and manage, and many of the websites we're hired to redesign have been left untouched for months of even years. You need time to update your website weekly and reanalyze your design and content every few months to make sure it's representing your business properly.

Mistake 6: SEO Friendly

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and having an SEO friendly website are not the same thing. SEO takes additional time and money to boost your website in search rankings. If your business relies heavily on where you place on search engines, make sure you have both an SEO friendly website and are investing in SEO.

Mistake 7: Tracking

Imagine trying to improve how fast you run a mile without timing yourself. Defining and tracking key performance indicators, like website visits, sales, bounce rate, and how many people are submitting contact forms, will allow you to know if you're getting closer to your goals and what's needed to accomplish them.

Mistake 8: A Warm Welcome

At Mavidea, as soon as you walk in the building, you see Susie's smiling face. Your website needs to give a warm welcome to every visitor. What you want to avoid here is a video or music that starts playing as soon as someone lands on the page. You also want to make sure to say hello and give a short introduction before going into too much detail.

Mistake 9: Visitors Can't Find Contact Information

What good is your website if visitors can't find basic contact information to get in touch with you? Believe it or not, the visibility and placement of your contact information is one of the most important decisions in terms of design and content when creating your website.

For example, when working on a website for a service-based company like an HVAC provider, contact information should be visible from the homepage. Businesses with less reliance on scheduling appointments and phone calls can instead just have a strong contact us page with their address, phone number, email, and social media accounts listed.

Mistake 10: You're Not Frequently Updating Content

Your website is a living representation of your business online. To a website visitor, what they see on your website today will determine their view of your business. If the copyright at the bottom of your page says ©2013, your last blog post was in 2015, and you have old products and services listed that you no longer sell, you're sabotaging your business. Websites should be checked and updated weekly to make sure you're presenting your business properly to visitors.

Let Mavidea find the mistakes that are holding your business and website back! Send your website address to Kim James (kim.james@mavidea.com) and we'll send you personalized ways you can improve your website in less than a week.

Ready to put your website in the capable hands of our professionals? Contact Mavidea today!

More Fun Posts

Dramatically Increase Sales from Your Website with These 7 Tips

The Biggest Mistake Businesses Make When Building a Website

12 Email Productivity Tips to Get More Done Every Day

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