In an age of predominant social media influence, consumer praise or complaint can go viral within minutes. Gone are the days of people conversing about their bad experiences with a few close friends. Entire networks are now subject to hear every detail—good and bad—of consumers’ experiences. How your company chooses to handle negative feedback can make or break your business relationships.

At some point every business will face a bad review. That doesn’t mean you have to sign out of social media for fear of potential customers being influenced by one nasty comment. In fact, research shows you shouldn’t. Getting a bad review online is actually a great opportunity to show the personality of your business and how you will work to make things right. Here are a few things to think about before drafting your response.

Take a Breather. Your business is your passion. You put your heart and soul into your work and having those efforts criticized sometimes feels like a personal attack. But instead of responding in the heat of the moment, take a few minutes to gather your thoughts and formulate a response that will paint your company in the best light.

Be Humble. Consumers will eat up a good dose of humble pie. Admitting that there was a mistake, or a miscommunication, shows that you truly care about the kinds of experiences your customers are having. Take the opportunity to make things right. Your customers will respect that.

Stay Positive. Try to turn a negative experience into a positive opportunity. Use your platform to address the issue at hand but also discuss the things your company does well. For every negative there should be three positives.

Don’t Ignore. Not responding at all, or deleting a negative comment as if it never existed, can have serious online and offline repercussions for your business. It tells your customers that their voices are not important to you.

People want to know that they are being heard and being acknowledged and that their patronage matters to you. Let them know that it does. Don’t mute your audience.