If you’re a small business that has any kind of public awareness, you’re bound to get at least some negative reviews. No company is perfect. Even Four Seasons, French Laundry and Nordstrom don’t have perfect scores. First of all, as any social media marketer will tell you, you should definitely personally respond to all negative reviews. But beyond that, there’s an opportunity to dive deeper to find opportunities for your business.

1. Collect all of your negative reviews on Yelp or other review site. Even the stupid untrue ones.

2. Print each review and highlight the main points of each.

3. Assume for a moment that there is some value in the comment. I know it’s hard because most of them are completely unfair. But just for a moment, try to see if there is any truth in it.

4. Write down each point on a post-it note and spread them out on a wall.

5. Gather a core team to gather and brainstorm how you could address each issue. Here are some questions to help you do that.

  • What actions would you need to do more of to fix this issue?
  • What actions would you need to do less of to fix this issue?
  • What things would you need to completely eliminate to fix this issue?
  • What new services or products would need to add to your offerings to fix this issue?

6. Have your team decide which ideas on worth doing and move forward and start creating action plans.