Recently I had the unfortunate opportunity to witness the effects negative comments can have on a small organization. A small group of people took it upon themselves to use a publically available list of members to insinuate impropriety without actually coming out and accusing anyone of anything. The negativity lead directly to a loss of membership – and income for the organization causing an immediate financial crisis without any facts to back up what they were saying. By the time the organization was able to respond with the true facts, the damage had already been done.

Fortunately, the other members pulled together and are determined to make the organization stronger than before but they have an upward battle thanks to rumors still being propagated. Could your business survive one customer who was unhappy even if it was not warranted who used a public forum such as social media to blast your company with negative publicity? The problem is that most people who are happy with your services have to be asked repeatedly to give you reviews or recommendations. It also takes approximately five good reviews to outweigh one negative comment. People in general want to think of themselves as being objective but that one negative comment is often assumed to have more merit than positive reviews.

It is often easy to see this with movie and restaurant reviews. Are you willing to spend money on a movie or take your date to a new restaurant if you see a negative review?  Even if you see 20 good reviews that one negative will make you question the wisdom of going to that business, movie, or even hair dresser. Sites such as can destroy a business when loyal customers don’t take the time to write positive reviews.

When was the last time you asked your customers to write a review or recommendation for you? Ask today, these positive reviews could be the salvation of your business when one person is unhappy. On the other hand when was the last time you wrote a review or recommendation for a business you truly enjoyed interacting with? Make it a habit to write a review for someone or ask for a recommendation at least once a month.