So your business got a bad review or a nasty comment left on the social media account. It’s not the end of the world; you’re going to make it.

Bad reviews are a fact of life. Maybe you made a mistake; maybe the client was ill-informed, maybe someone was determined to have a bad experience; it doesn’t matter. A bad review looks the same to everyone, the glaring 1-star review.

There are a few things to keep in mind in these situations and it’s important to act very carefully. A bad review that’s dealt with poorly is a disaster waiting to happen and a bad mark on the face of your company. So, what do you do? How can you fix this? How do you keep this from scaring off potential customers?

Keep Cool and Respond Quickly

Rules number one and two respectively. First, keep calm, as mentioned earlier, we’re going to get through this. After you count to five, issue the response. You don’t want a bad review just sitting there with no response. To anyone checking you out, you look either lazy, apathetic, or guilty of something.

Before you punch in your defense, keep a couple of other things in mind.

Stay Factual, Don’t Get Emotional

If they start slinging some inappropriate attacks, brush those off. Stick to the facts. If you feel like some aspects of the transaction aren’t being fairly represented, make the amendment. If there was a problem on your end that led to late delivery or something along those lines, explain yourself.

Doing this makes you the bigger person. It will also help ease a potential clients fears; you even have a good shot of them siding with you. We all know that special kind of person who’s perpetually dissatisfied, and we also know they love to leave (especially anonymous) reviews.

Apologize and Offer a Solution

It’s alright to accept responsibility, even if you don’t feel it’s entirely deserved. At the very least apologize for the person’s inconvenience and try to remedy the situation with some sort of solution.

Going that extra mile to try to bring an unhappy customer to a level of satisfaction is well worth the effort. Not to mention when it’s on a public forum like Yelp or Google Reviews. Your response to these situations can mean the difference between losing or gaining a new customer that’s perusing reviews.

Bonus: Get Off-Platform

As a quick bonus tip, if things escalate or you just can’t steer that ship into clearer waters, get off the platform if possible.

Reaching out via email or phone can help clear up quite a bit. This is especially true for the phone. Sometimes it’s just a lot easier to explain things with your own voice and the ability to hear directly from the upset party. Of course, this is only really an option if they were a customer and you have this information already. Do not try to hunt someone down.

Get More Positive Reviews

If you’re still in the early stages of amassing reviews, reach out to some past customers. Preferably happy ones that will leave an honest review of the product or service they received.

One bad review looks a lot better in a group of 30 versus a group of 4.


Follow the rules listed out above and you shouldn’t even really run in to any of these. Either way, we’d just like to make sure you know to not do these few tempting things.


Don’t ever ignore a bad review. We mentioned it earlier; this is sure to harm you much more than help. This gives a look of unresolved issues floating around. You have unhappy customers and you don’t care. Rule number two is to respond quickly. Always get right on those bad reviews, don’t let them just mature like a cursed wine.


There aren’t many platforms that allow for a completely clean eradication of bad reviews. At the very least, there will be a breadcrumb or something showing a review was removed. This leaves far more to a potential customer’s imagination than I’d care to gamble. Instead of deleting, just respond. Show the angry reviewer and the world you stand behind your service and your brand.

Lose Cool

Scathing reviews have a tendency to pull punches and seem to try to pull an emotional response. Some of the nastiest even get personal. Customers that don’t have a reputation to maintain are afforded the luxury of being able to look like a child. Unfortunately, most businesses aren’t so lucky. Maintain your composure and be professional all the time.

That’s pretty much it! Follow this guideline and you’re sure to pull out untouched. You’ll even get a chance to show people reading reviews what kind of person they might be dealing with!

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