How to Handle a Bad Review From a Client

September 7, 2020

So… it’s happened to all of us. A bad review pops up on our Facebook page or website. It hurts and it’s confusing, especially when you put SO much of who you are into your business. But today, I’m here to remind you: bad reviews do NOT define your business. And I want to share how to handle a bad review from a client today with you! Check out my latest YouTube video or read on to learn my tips! 

How to Handle a Bad Review from a Client


The first thing I want to say is that this is going to be different for every review you get. It definitely depends on the situation – if you’ve been in contact with them, had a session, or maybe never even worked with them at all. But, when you get a bad review, the first thing to do? NOT RESPOND!

Wait, what? Not respond to a bad review?

I know that sounds like the wrong suggestion, but trust me on this. Don’t respond immediately. Give yourself 24 hours to process the situation and determine what you want to say. If you respond any sooner than that, you’ll be responding out of emotions. You won’t be thinking about it from a business perspective. You need to allow yourself the time to process and determine what exactly to do. For me, it can take a full day to just sit in the emotions, ask my close friends/business owners and determine what I need to do with that bad review and situation.

If a client has not reached out to you about the experience and the first time you’re hearing about it is in a review, I’d encourage you to reach out to the client first. Make it a private conversation and see how you can handle it between the two of you before you write back on the review. Ask the client what you can do to make it right – and see if there’s anything they’re willing to accept or work with you on. There’s TONS of options depending on the situation – and you’ll find the right one. Most clients just want to know they’re cared about. Taking the time to handle the situation (and not argue about who’s right or wrong) will remind them that they are cared about by you and your business!!!

Respond to the review publicly!

After you’ve talked with your client, it’s time to respond to your review publicly. It’s really important that you respond to the review without any defensiveness. Take the time to craft a response that is filled with grace and compassion. You can mention that you’ve talked to them privately and you’re sorry for the bad experience, but don’t get defensive! Remember, your clients just want to know that they’ve been heard and seen. Showing in both a public and private platform that you can do that will truly make a difference. (And hey, don’t forget to respond to ALL of your reviews so it doesn’t look like you’re just answering the negative ones!). 

The last thing I want to say is that: one negative review in a sea of amazing reviews won’t hurt you!! I know how devastating it can be to receive those negative reviews, especially when you pour so much of yourself into your business and loving on your clients!!! But, remember: it doesn’t define your worth. It definitely doesn’t define your success and you will do amazing things. Honestly, I think it makes you look more human! We all make mistakes and learn from them. Take these moments as opportunities for growth… and remember, it will NOT define you!!! I know it can be hard to handle this, but you’ve got this!! I’m here for you!!

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