To make their business a success, entrepreneurs will often invest a significant amount of time and resources into building their brand and reputation with the aim to attract and retain customers. However, despite these efforts, businesses are not immune to challenges that can hinder their growth. One of the most common obstacles companies may face is dealing with malicious reviews that can severely damage their image, lead generation and conversion rates. Indeed, negative public feedback can be devastating, and fake reviews can be even more harmful. Fortunately, there are measures that businesses can take to protect themselves from these types of comments. In this blog post, we’ll explore the power of online reviews, the rise of fake and negative feedback and three effective strategies you can implement to safeguard your business from the effects of malicious reviews.
Reviews: Your Golden Ticket to Success
In recent years, reviews have become a vital part of a shopper’s purchasing journey. In fact, consumers heavily rely on this form of public feedback to decide whether to buy the product or service they have their eye on. An appealing image, a great ad, or a descriptive listing won’t work its magic as it did some years ago but instead will need to be further reinforced by past customer validation. Only then will the potential client be assured they are making the right choice.
To understand how shoppers perceive reviews, let’s have a look at some gathered data. One study revealed that 97% of shoppers rely on this feedback to make purchasing decisions – that’s almost every single person in the world. Another survey found that 88% of consumers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations, showing they give the same importance to comments written by strangers as they do to word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family.
Based on the above data, it’s evident that shoppers heavily rely on this feedback to make informed purchasing decisions. Yet, shoppers are not the only ones who can benefit from online reviews.
A million advantages come from a business having a healthy amount of positive reviews and leveraging its customer’s voices. Indeed, this social validation can improve online reputation, increase credibility and trust, achieve a higher click-through rate and, most importantly, help gain new customers and make more sales.
However, it’s also true that the more power reviews have, the more damage they can do if left unchecked.
Fake and Negative Reviews
Receiving negative reviews is never pleasant. It affirms that you didn’t meet a customer’s expectations and, even worse, every internet user will be able to view that content and build a preconceived image of you.
However, negative reviews are not your arch enemy. In fact, having a few can make your business more credible since consumers know brands can’t make everyone happy. Also, receiving this feedback can incentivise you to take action and improve your business to exceed future expectations.
Having said that, a negative review is still bad publicity and, if left alone, can seriously damage your reputation and sales. It’s even worse when dealing with negative fake reviews since this camouflaged past customer feedback is usually written by a competitor who wants to sabotage your business.
So how do you protect yourself from these malicious reviews?
Reply to Negative and Fake Reviews
The most important thing you can do to safeguard your reputation is to reply to negative comments, no matter if they are real or fake. Ultimately, the comment is public, and the only thing you can do about it is to redeem yourself by replying and showing your commitment to customer satisfaction. If it’s a comment from a real customer, they will appreciate that you understand their feelings and are trying to solve the issue raised. Also, did you know that around 30% of consumers reverse negative reviews once their concern has been answered or solved?
If it’s a fake review, it’s still a good idea to reply, mostly to show future customers and review readers that you are a business that works tirelessly to keep its customers happy.
Verified Badges Increase Credibility
A great way to assure potential customers that your reviews are real is by having verified badges. This identification is only given to feedback you requested after the individual has purchased from you, and online users know that. So, this badge of approval will underline your credibility and ability to showcase authentic reviews.
Get Expert Help
However, how do you prevent malicious feedback from appearing online and damaging your reputation? The best way to protect yourself is by joining a third-party platform that specialises in protecting businesses against fake and negative reviews.
Psydro and BrandGrowth safeguard businesses against fake reviews thanks to its manual checks and state-of-the-art software that weeds out this fake content before it goes live. As for negative feedback, the company is contacted before any one or two-star reviews are published, so they can mediate with the customer to try to fix the issue raised.
Protect Your Online Reputation From Malicious Reviews
In today’s digital age, online reputation is critical for the success of any business. Unfortunately, negative feedback (real and fake) can cause significant damage to a company’s image, impacting its customer acquisition and sales.
Whether you have already experienced malicious reviews or are worried about receiving them, taking action is crucial to protecting your brand image and maintaining customer trust. Remember, it can take years to build a strong reputation, but it only takes seconds for it to come crashing down. So, make sure to implement the appropriate measures to protect your business and ensure its long-term success.