According to a survey conducted by BrightLocal, 90 percent of consumers read less than 10 reviews before forming an opinion about a business. As a result, if there are negative customer reviews on your studio’s Facebook, Google+ or Yelp! pages, this can be detrimental to gaining new customers.

With this in mind, here are strategies for responding to negative customer reviews that can shed your studio in a positive light.

Take a Step Back

 Before you jump into writing a long-winded paragraph about why the customer’s negative review is wrong, take a step back and consider the person’s comment carefully. Be mindful and collect your thoughts. Only when you’re calm, cool and collected should you respond.

But, you should respond! See next point.

 Respond

As a small business owner, it should be a priority to respond to any negative reviews that appear on your studio’s Facebook, Google+ or Yelp! pages. Negative reviews without a response from the owner only share one side of the story — and a negative one at that.

However, when responding, be wary of making your response defensive. Avoid critiquing the customer, and instead focus on the experience that particular customer had. Own up to any mistakes (if there were any made). And, even if there weren’t mistake made, say you’re sorry the customer had a bad experience.

Now, if other potential customers see the negative review, they’ll also see your response — providing two sides to the story.

Offer to Discuss the Issue Offline

At the end of your response to a negative review, offer to discuss the matter offline. That way, you can work to resolve the situation in a non-public forum. Typically, customers are more agreeable over the phone or via email than they are when writing a one-sided review.

If you’re able to come to a solution, ask the customer to edit or update their review (or remove it completely), stating the situation has been resolved.

Take Action

Not all negative reviews are credible — some customers just like to complain. However, if you’re getting similar comments from multiple people complaining about the same thing, then you should take the feedback seriously and make changes. Doing so will improve your customer experience, and ultimately lead to more positive customer reviews.

Finally, keep in mind that when you’re responding to negative reviews online, you’re not just responding to the one customer — everyone can see your response. So, be sure to write in a way that appropriately represents you and your studio’s culture.

For 3 steps to generating positive online reviews, click here.