Online reviews and comments are the new lifeblood of any modern business. Many retail jewellers mistakenly believe that these are mostly used in the travel and hospitality fields and not all that important for their own business. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is true that hotels and restaurants live or die by reviews on sites like Tripadvisor.com But did you know that Tripadvisor also has reviews of jewellery stores? If your store is in a tourist market this should be a vital part of your marketing.< For non-tourist areas there are an increasing number of review sites and business directories like Yelp.com that offer consumer comments. Getting good reviews is easy. Just ask your happy customers write reviews and make comments on their favourite social media. You can even offer an incentive like a small gift or a discount on a future purchase.But what happens when you get a bad review or someone blasts your store on social media or an online forum? How should you respond? This can be a very delicate situation. You may feel very emotional and want to fight back and that is the worst thing you can possibly do. Check this out to see a disastrous response to Facebook feedback: epic brand meltdown Of course this is an extreme example that went viral but it certainly demonstrates what not to do.< If you get a bad review, the first thing you should do is wait a while. Often your happy customers will jump in and defend you. Your loyal following will do more for you than you could ever do yourself so just let it happen and stay out of it. You may also want to take a hard, objective look at the complaint. It may be valid, pointing out a true problem that needs to be addressed, especially if multiple reviewers say similar things. Take it as constructive criticism. Use negative reviews to improve your business by correcting any problems and training your staff to present a better experience. You may want to respond online to the reviewer and thank them for pointing it out to you. Let them know that you will take care of them and will implement a plan to make sure it does not happen again in the future. Even if the actual complaint is not valid, the customer's frustration is real. In this case it may be best to not respond at all and just let them vent their feelings. At most, just give a simple, professional response like: “We are sincerely wish to make you happy. Please come in or call us so we can resolve this for you” If they don't contact you and keep blasting you then your response should be one simple reminder that you offered to help them. After that, just put it out of your mind and move on. If a review is truly offensive or contains false and damaging accusations, you can often contact the site that it is on and see about having the posting removed. But this would only apply to extreme situations. An occasional bad review won't kill your business. Stay professional and always take the high road. In most cases, less is more. Offer solutions, not arguments. Invite them to come in and talk. Just whatever you do, don't have an online meltdown.