You work hard to give your customers a great experience and earn their trust. You’ve built a great reputation in your industry, but out of nowhere, comes this scorching online review. Aside from its negative connotation, you’re baffled by the fact that you have absolutely no idea who this person is or any recollection of this particular transaction. You quickly conclude that it’s a fake. Even so, others will surely see it and that’s just not good for business. So, what can you do about a bad, fake review?
Why Online Reviews Matter
Online reviews matter. They matter because people use them to judge the quality of a product or service. This is especially true on the internet because there’s no interpersonal input. Let’s face it, it’s a whole lot easier to read reviews than call and email dozens of people to get their feedback on something they might not even have purchased before.
These attacks can have huge consequences for a company’s bottom line. Eighty-five percent of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation and every one-star increase can lead to a 5 to 9 percent increase in revenue. Online reviews are also an important ranking signal in Google’s algorithm. —Forbes
This is widely understood and is the exact reason why nefarious individuals write bad, fake reviews. They are obviously trying to discourage others from doing business with the victim company. It’s probably a rival but it could be just about anyone — even someone who is just engaging in a malicious prank.
How to Deal with Bad, Fake Reviews
Regardless of who it is, you can’t let a bad, fake review hurt your reputation. You must do something about it. But, that doesn’t mean angrily snapping back. Here are a few helpful suggestions for how to deal with a bad, fake review:
- Report the fake review. If you are certain it’s fraudulent, then contact the website where the review was left, whether it’s Facebook, Google, Yelp, or another. You’ll have to go through a process and it might take a bit of time and effort. So, be prepared for dedicating some resources.
- Look for more bad impostors. Although you spotted this one, that doesn’t mean it’s the only one floating on the web. Search around to see if there are more because if it’s a concerted effort, chances are excellent there are more. (It might even be duplicated word-for-word on other sites.)
- Respond, but do so strategically. When you do reply, write something like, “We take our customers’ experiences to heart. Unfortunately, we have no record or recollection of any transaction. If you’ve done business with us, we’ll be more than happy to look into the matter. Please contact [name] at [email] so we can mutually resolve this issue.” This probably won’t cause the fraudster to respond, but it does show you’re willing to take the matter seriously to others.
What other suggestions do you have for dealing with bad, fake reviews? Please take a moment to comment so others can learn about your thoughts and experiences!
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