Bad press? Losing client confidence? Just CAN’T today? You can’t always avoid mistakes, but there are lots of things you can do to help make them go away faster, and maybe even improve your brand’s image in the process. Probably the first, and best, thing you or your company should do is step away from the situation to help keep a calm, clear head. It’s like the “count to 10” thing your parents always told you to do. Now you can actually use it. Taking your time to respond will help put the incident into perspective, and give you time to plan your response. Don’t take customer (or user) comments personally, and DON’T get defensive. That is an accident waiting to happen. Address negative reviews or comments straight-on, and always be sure to show your customers how you’re responding to the situation and improving. Being transparent about a problem as well as demonstrating your response to it will show your customers you are honest and have integrity. You may not be able to prevent the problem from happening, but your response to it is what is most important. Look at any bad press as an opportunity to receive feedback from your customers and help raise confidence in your brand by solving the problem. If it is just one client’s bad experience, fix it for him and make it better. Word of mouth travels fast, and you want it to be good news if it is about your company! If at all possible, don’t respond publicly on the internet (this goes back to “don’t get defensive”). There are waaaay too many faceless internet users out there just waiting to eat you for dinner.

For fun. Did you hear about the “Amy’s Baking Company” people who appeared on, and got kicked-off, Gordon Ramsay’s “Kitchen Nightmares”? They had a giant internet meltdown on Facebook trying to respond to bad press. They just kept posting and posting, and…posting. Responding in all caps, threatening people, and even invoking God’s wrath on Reddit, Yelp and Facebook users. Holy cats. If you want a great example of what NOT to do, ever, look at what they did. Pretty much in general, just don’t be a jerk. Always listen to your customers and make the necessary changes in your policies or service if the situation warrants. After you take care of the incident, get out there and perform your…face off. Doing great work makes people forget bad situations. If you responded well to the problem and then work hard to do better, you can turn an ugly situation around and make it benefit your company.