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Contractors: How to Handle Bad Google Reviews

Bad Google reviews; we don’t want to get them but occasionally we do!

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marketing, painting contractor

I am Ron Ramsden and I am a DYB Coach, also a painting contractor.

I have received a bad Google review, and it got my blood boiling up to here.

But what do we do?

It is bound to happen now and then, hopefully very, very few times, but it’s bound to happen.

False Bad Review

Well, first of all, let’s get that errant review out of the way…

Let’s say you’ve never done any work for this person yet they leave a bad review on your site.

Well, Google has a way to respond to that, if you go on to their site, you can hit report a review and you can dispute it.

Then follow up with Google on their phone number, they have listed there.

Legitimate Bad Reviews

Let’s go back to legitimate reviews.

In my case, I have a 1-star review, I was appalled, I was working so hard getting 5-star reviews, this one popped up and it was a legitimate review from about 4 years prior!

We didn’t show up on a house when we were supposed to, we double booked, we didn’t have cell phones back then, and that’s telling you how far it was back and we dropped the ball big time.

Here is how it goes down and some tips on how you can handle legitimate bad Google reviews:

Walk away! Don’t reply immediately.

So, I responded to the review. But, this is what you do when you get to the bad Google review, walk away from the computer.

Your blood is boiling, you want to let them know what you think, and this is not the time to do that.

Back up, relax, go for a walk, then come back and think about it.

Reply Within 24 hours and Offer to Fix the Problem

Respond quickly, before 24 hours, respond as quickly as you can, and as to the point as you can, but offer a way to remedy it.

Some clients aren’t going to take you up on it, and some clients you have to understand are just venting.

Maybe they came back from a long day at work, maybe something happened that is totally out of your control.

Maybe they came home to find paint in their kitchen sink, and now they are mad, so when you leave for the day, they are going to write the review.

Give them a response, and offer to fix the problem.

Respond to Good Reviews as Well.

Don’t respond to the bad reviews only… you should be leaving replies on your good reviews, let the customers know that you appreciate the review.

Maybe write what I write quite often,

“Thank you for your kind words, it was a pleasure working for you and we look forward to working for you again”.

Or you can make it more personal,

“Thank you for the kind words, it was great to be painting in your large family room, and we love your dog, also we are going to miss them, please tell the dog we said hello!”

You can make it more personalized, when people are looking for a painter, looking for a contractor, they look for reviews, that’s how we get found quite often.

So, what you want to do is you personalize this, you don’t want to have people just leaving reviews with no response, so it’s great to personalize.

But on the bad review, respond quickly, apologize, offer a solution, if they take you up on it, that’s a different thing.

If You Make an Offer, Follow Through.

If you are going to promise them something, please follow through because they are going to leave a second, or they are going to edit their review.

And if you get a 2 or a 3-star review, email that client and ask them what you could have done better.

We want to keep this up and up and we want to improve, we all want our clients to leave 5-star reviews, but we are not all perfect, we are human…

And I think sometimes when we get a lower review, that people looking on these sites, the Google review site, they are going to realize that we didn’t pay someone for these reviews, these are actual reviews and nobody is perfect.

In Summary

If it’s a bad review, walk away, don’t respond immediately, and when you do, offer a solution for it.

Reply to reviews too, and for 2 and 3-star reviews, email them and ask what you could have done better.

Reviews are gold, treat them like that.

If you want help getting out of the bucket, touch base with me at

I would love to talk with you, we can chat on the phone or via messenger.

I love helping painters work on their business so they don’t have to work in their business!

About the Author

Ron Ramsden is the owner of the successful Ramsden 1-800-PAINTING, who implemented the DYB SYSTEM, and crushed it in 2015, and now coaches other painting contractors around the nation to do the same.