We’ve all had a disappointing experience with a business before, and with the advent of social media, it’s easier than ever to express our opinions about those experiences and those businesses. All it takes is some typing and a single click, and we can let the business- and potential customers of that business- know exactly what we think. It always seems like a great idea at first, but we often don’t stop to think about the effects our comments have on others. This is true in our daily lives, and it’s still true when we have a bad experience with a business. Here’s why you should think twice before putting a business on blast.

The Business Could Suffer, Especially If It’s a Small One

We tend to trust our friends and family and their opinions about businesses in our communities. So if one of our friends claims that they had the “worst experience ever” at a business, it’ll likely discourage us from visiting that business in the future. Even if it’s a business we know and love in our community, one disappointing experience posted by our friends or family could turn us off to them for good. Especially if you have a large list of friends, your words could spread further than you intend them to. Before you know it, the post has been shared many times and the business has lost a significant number of customers, which could be catastrophic for a small business. Because to them, every single customer matters. Losing your business alone is bad enough, but if you create a post that causes them to lose even more members of the community as customers, this could land a small business in a very bad spot. Try to put yourself in the owner’s shoes. If you had a small, family-owned business that you’ve worked hard to build and then your reputation was damaged due to a single social post, you’d be devastated financially and emotionally. Even more so if it were your sole source of income. 

Don’t put someone through that without cooling off first. 

Give Them Another Chance

Keep in mind that everyone has “off days,” and unfortunately, sometimes your first interaction with a business happens to land on one of those off days. It’s never a good idea to judge someone on your first interaction with them, and that includes businesses. If the person at the front desk was rude, maybe they were having a bad day. If the food was mediocre, maybe the cook had twelve other dishes they were trying to pay attention to at the same time as yours. You just never know- so try going back one more time before solidifying your opinion and sharing it with others. 

What’s Your First Step?

If you have a bad or disappointing experience with a business, you might be wondering what your first step should be, rather than slamming them on social media. The first step would be to contact the manager or owner of the business. Let them know about the experience in as much detail as possible. Tell them what day and time you came in, if you remember- that way, they’ll know who was working at the time and if any action needs to be taken with employees, they can do so. Provide specific names if possible. Try to maintain a respectful tone, even if you had an experience that was really disappointing. You’ll get further with respect and kindness than you will by being nasty. You know the old saying- you’ll attract more flies with honey than with vinegar. If you received a product, food, etc. that wasn’t up to the standards it should’ve been, provide photos. Remember that the employees, manager, and owner of the business are human too. 

Mistakes happen. Give the business a chance