Fake reviews are a growing concern for customers as e-commerce transactions continue to rise. 239 million Americans, according to CR’s nationally representative November survey of 2,057 adults in the United States. Read online reviews before making a purchase decision. However, more than three out of four people, or 79 percent, admit to reading fake reviews at times.
Fake Reviews Cause Distrust with Consumers
For years, Amazon has dealt with the problem of fake reviews and continues to crack down on the practice. According to CNET, it removed listings for electronics sold by Aukey and Mpow in May amid reports. The businesses had engaged in incentive review schemes in which customers accept refunds and gift cards in exchange for positive reviews. Amazon has lost some customers’ trust in their reviews as a result of this issue. While smaller retailers cannot afford this, the e-commerce conglomerate can afford some customers’ mistrust.
Before making a purchase decision, consumers want direction and assurance. According to Mintel Director of U.S. Reports Vincenzo DiGiorolamo. This is especially true for categories with a high price point and/or where consumers may have specific needs. As electronics or appliances.” Customers will want to ensure that the reviews they read are truthful and accurate as they rely on reviews more and more.
How to Deal With Fake Reviews
If you come across a fictitious online review about your brand or one of your products, here are some quick ways to deal with it:
One of the most upsetting experiences can be coming across a review that is clearly fake. You put a lot of effort into running your business, so it can feel like a blow to the gut for someone to try to damage your reputation. Always remember to keep your cool and be as professional as possible before handling anything. Even if the fake comment was rude, you are still representing your brand, so you shouldn’t respond to the review in a rude way.
Attempt to Remove the Review.
If the review is on your website, you can easily remove it and have more control over what customers can see. However, if the review is on a different website, like Google or Yelp, it’s not as simple. It is your word against the consumer’s, as review sites cannot simply remove every post that a business does not like. You should still make an effort to get in touch with customer service to see if the review can at least be evaluated. Depending on their procedure, you might eventually be able to get the comment removed.
Respond Publicly to the Review.
Similar to negative reviews, customers will be able to see your customer service skills firsthand if you respond calmly and professionally to a fake post about your brand. Because customers are more likely to believe the other reviews they find about your brand and products if they see that you respond to fake reviews, this will help to build customer trust. Building trust with your customers is essential to avoiding the problem, but there is no real way to prevent fake reviews from affecting your business.
Encourage Positive Reviews.
If you are unable to remove a negative review, it may be overlooked if you receive a steady stream of positive ones from customers. Sending a follow-up email after purchase to remind customers to leave a review or simply include a friendly postcard in a package from online purchases will always encourage customers to leave positive reviews if they are satisfied with your products.
Since fake reviews won’t go away anytime soon, independent retailers need to act quickly on them if they want customers to trust them. Always keep yourself or a coworker checking your brand’s website to spot negative posts and act quickly.
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