How to deal with a bad review

If you’ve been in business long enough, you would have by now experienced a bad review. Whether it’s on Facebook or Google or any other platform, it is one of the most disheartening experiences you’ll face in your business journey.

If you are a sole owner and small business, it is particularly challenging, as it is virtually impossible not to take it personally.

In this blog post I offer some do’s and don’ts of dealing with a bad review, which is something I have had to learn the hard way.

In the moment, we get clouded with lots of emotions, especially if it was someone we knew, or someone we really tried our best with. The reality is, people can totally misinterpret our intentions. Or perhaps there was a lack of communication which caused the issue and could have been easily avoided. People are all so different, they have different expectations, different viewpoints and unfortunately there are also those who are very self entitled and will cause a big drama for nothing.

Nomatter how you are feeling right now, it is so crucial to respond in a professional manner and put your feelings aside. Simply because your response can make you look even worse, despite who’s wrong or right.

5 Simple Do’s and Don’ts of dealing with a bad review:


  1. Take a moment to breathe and even sleep on it before you respond if you are feeling very angry or upset
  2. Respond professionally, politely and concisely
  3. Check your contract or verbal agreement. Crucial to stick to your word, if it was written or spoken, you have to keep your word to build a good reputation and integrity.
  4. Offer to rectify the issue as best as you can even just out of courtesy (A bad review is really not worth the money especially if the amount is insignificant)
  5. Learn from it, accept it, do not take it to heart and move on, quickly!


  1. Respond emotionally, or with long winded explanation in a public forum
  2. Rush the response
  3. Take it personally (You are not everyone’s cup of tea and that’s so ok!)
  4. Be stubborn. Decide what’s more important, potential bad review and reputation or money
  5. Bad-mouth customer publicly (Not cool and not a good look unless you’re speaking privately to a trusted friend)

Here are some truths I learned after I received my first and only bad review which ruined my perfect score. It definitely shattered me but I chose to move on, learn from it, put things in place to avoid future issues arising, and I now hold my head up high because I am confident in my value and identify.

5 truths about a bad review:

  1. It is not the end of the world, people are intelligent and can see through it
  2. Every business will have at least one bad review
  3. It does not define you or your business
  4. It can be rectified, or it will blow over in time
  5. You are not everyone’s cup of tea and that’s ok!

I’d love to hear your stories and be a support if you are struggling to overcome a bad review, please connect with me on Facebook or Instagram!

Kate Johnson

Be Authentic, Be Kind


%d bloggers like this: