You might be onto something… FAKE REVIEWS!
We all know that reviews of products or services heavily influence our decision-making, 95% of shoppers read reviews before making a purchase. As business owners, we also know the importance of reviews, 92% of B2B customers rely on trusted reviews to conduct business. Here’s a quick FAQ for dealing with fake reviews.
How do fake reviews happen?
- Customers – to be perfectly honest, there are customers out there who post reviews in order to gain from the business reacting to their reviews, with refunds, or free products, etc. and those reviews have no bearing on the actual quality of the product or service.
- Former Employees – simple, it’s revenge, some ex-employees post reviews to diminish the reputation of the business that parted ways, for whatever reason.
- Friends, Family, Current Employees – these are often used to do the opposite of the above, bolster the reputation of a business by being positive about the experience of working there or being part of the family. These reviews are positive, but they are not reliable in terms of unbiasedly gauging quality.
- Business Owners and Marketers – this happens more often than not, businesses do this themselves or have their marketers generate reviews to rapidly set up a new business’s reputation online. Competing business may also spoil your rating with negative reviews, pushing themselves higher.
- Review Vendors – these service providers literally sell reviews, businesses can buy positive reviews for themselves or negative reviews for their competition.
- Black Market – there is now an overwhelming black market for fake reviews, the buying, selling, and trading of fake reviews posted by fake accounts that look and feel real. These can either be positive or negative, helping businesses or hurting competitors.
Avoiding the first 4 types is easy, JUST. DON’T. DO. IT. The last one is a bit harder because, as genuine as you can be about your business, someone else might be out to get you.
How do you know it’s a fake review?
- Check the user’s profile – make sure that this person at the very least lives nearby your business and if they could genuinely be a customer. Check to see that they have other reviews posted, and when their account was created (how close is that date to the date of the review).
- Look for specifics – is the person actually talking about your products or services or are they making general comments? If you can’t recognize what or who they’re talking about, that is a huge red flag.
- Wording is everything – if the reviewer is using jargon, or insider terminology, likely they aren’t a customer and more likely a marketer or a competitor. Look out for repetition, if you sell refrigerators, a customer is unlikely to buy more than one at a time, and therefore unlikely to review 10 different ones at the same time.
- Be wary of the black and white – when a customer has an authentic reaction to something it usually entails a level of detail, and in-between-ness, so if reviews are sounding too good to be true, or extremely awful, they’re likely to be conjured up.
What do you do once you have a suspicion?
- Report it – report it to the review website, false reviews or unverifiable reviews often break the terms of service on most sites, flagged reviews will be removed promptly.
That’s it, there’s only one thing you can do. Unfortunately, this process isn’t always timely and if you’ve got multiple review sites, like Google, Facebook, Yelp, TrustPilot, etc. you’ll have to be vigilant of all reviews on all sites.
How to avoid fake reviews in the future?
- Plan – Develop a strategy for earning those positive reviews, and encouraging satisfied customer to leave authentic and candid reviews.
- Claim your listings – If you find reviews of your business on review sites, go and claim them as the business owner, this will allow you to manage those reviews.
- Respond – 75% of businesses don’t respond to reviews, even though 89% of consumers read responses from business owners on review sites. AND 7 out of 10 customers change their opinion about a business after the business responds.
How can we help?
- Strategize – Refinery Lab specializes in marketing strategy, we can help you come up with a plan to gather authentic reviews, and manage them in a way that benefits your business.
- Simplify – Refinery Lab offers customers a platform to help businesses manage their location presence and reviews, powered by Mobilosoft. You’ll be able to manage your location pages, campaigns/posts, and your customer reviews from Facebook, Google, Apple Maps, etc. all in one simple inbox!
Contact us for your free Mobilosoft demo, today
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