Customer reviews on any website that deals with selling goods or services are a good tool to increase sales and promotion. But to collect real reviews from real people, and even to obtain their consent to publish photos – not that much difficult task as rather troublesome. And then entrepreneurs or their staff marketing simply fabricate these reviews. The worst thing about this situation is that the phenomenon is quite massive, which means that this practice undermines consumer confidence in the feedback as an effective promotion tool.
Various reputation management companies as Trustanalytica help small and large businesses to avoid using this practice and gain solely positive reviews by increasing the responsiveness and competitiveness of the business at the global market.
However, quite often opponents use negative customer reviews to create a negative image for their concurrent. This cheating practice unfortunately quite often influences respectable businesses and spoils their business strategies sowing distrust among customers.
Keep Track of New Reviews
This is the main rule that applies to work with both real and fake reviews. The sooner the company knows what happened, the sooner it can react and make things right. It will also be useful to track the feedback dynamics through monitoring systems: if the number of negative reactions increases, the company needs to seriously engage in reputation management. A sharp, leapfrogging increase in negative reviews will mean that an information attack has begun, meaning you have very little time left to properly extinguish possible negative consequences.
Distinguishing Fake Negative Reviews
If a person has deliberately registered to leave a review and does not specify any specifics; if a customer talks about products and services that your company doesn’t have, or conversely knows about the inside processes and employees more than a regular customer — than you’ve probably encountered the brightest example of a fake review ordered by your opponents.
However, this is not always the only cause. The client may have had too many negative emotions and wanted to spill them out rather than describe the situation in detail or ask the company to deal with the problem. At the same time, the customer may have made a sincere mistake, confusing your shop with another.
Therefore, the main rule in reacting to such feedback — respond as well as if they are the real ones. It is not so important who wrote the message – a competitor or your client. If you accuse him of lying, this will bring zero positive effect for your business, which will have an extremely negative impact on the reputation. You can’t let that happen.
Instead, gently ask your client what happened and try to solve the issue. Remember that you work not only with this only negative feedback but also with those everyone else who will read it.
Algorithm of Actions
- Apologise to the client. Find out whose side is wrong. Ask for details that are missing in the review to accurately identify the client and his problem, promise to solve it. If the review is fake, the person you’re talking to won’t answer or will only continue complaining. In this case:
- Still, express willingness to fix the problem if the client provides the necessary data. Once again doubt that the customer purchased from you. If the author of the review will once again neglect answering — repeat the same actions. This way other feedback readers will realise that you are looking for cooperation.
Offer the author of negative review some bonus. If this is a fake review promise this person a full refund? You will safe your reputation but won’t spend a dollar.