Reputation makes or breaks the company. No matter what kind of product or service you provide, customers usually look at reviews of your company during the buying process. Previous customer reviews and testimonials are among the top decision-making considerations prospects rely on, more so than ever with the use of the web. Positive reviews are among your greatest assets of a company, but listing fake reviews are among the most toxic and damaging things you can do to your brand. Let’s look at why you don’t want to publish fake reviews and how you can use any type of review to your advantage.
Fake reviews cost more than you realize
One of the most important milestones for gaining and keeping a customer is trust. Fake reviews hurt your company by totally eliminating brand trust right from the start. 90% of customers look at online reviews before even visiting your business. Seeing a fake review sends the dangerous message that your organization is distrustful, deceitful, and probably can’t address their needs effectively. This is a major turn off for your brand for the simple fact that people don’t like to be lied to or tried to be made fool of. Fake reviews also give red flags to prospects and other professionals that you could even be doing illegal activities.
While you may have posted a fake review to try and make your company stand out and shine, it does the opposite. The reality is that fake reviews are usually quite obvious at a glance, but definitely detectable if the consumer is doing their research. Additionally, online resources like fakespot can easily help online customers discover review authenticity. There’s no way to hide it and by relying on fake reviews, you’re basically inviting the customer to think your company is dishonest and has nothing to offer. You will lose interest in your brand and turn off business partnerships – even employees too. Additionally, you could invite legal repercussions. Backlash from valuable review and search sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor are also highly likely. Google even penalizes businesses that request their employees to write favorable reviews for the company.
So yes. Fake reviews cost your business, more so than a legitimate bad review. The good news is that instead of fake reviews, you can harness the power of real reviews to empower your brand and land new customers.
Why bad reviews aren’t the end of the world
Myth: bad reviews damage your brand and ruin business. Unless you are only getting bad reviews and are not addressing them, this may be the case, but generally no, bad reviews aren’t the end of the world. They can actually be good for business. This is because they show that your business is legit. No one’s perfect so not every customer is going to walk away happy or 100% satisfied. That’s okay. The fact that you are not hiding this information speaks to the authenticity of your brand and builds trust in customers.
Bad reviews also give you opportunities to address customer problems and deliver solutions. You can salvage the experience. There are several examples of companies turning a bad customer experience into a good outcome through good service and a sincere attempt to secure customer satisfaction. If prospects read about these efforts and see you delivered a better outcome for the customer, this goes a long way in showing how your company values maintaining customer relationships. This is huge for building trust. This trust, of course, is critical for the sale. Instead of hiding negative reviews, work with your team and customer to turn it into a positive review on how you came through in the end!
Real, positive reviews generate real interest and success for your business
Build your organization around improving the lives of your customers and you will keep getting business. Engage with your customers. Ask how your products or services helped their business or solved previous problems. You should also survey customers on how you can improve. Odds are, if you have recurring, loyal customers, they will likely be more than happy to write positive reviews and even provide success stories you can promote on your website. Once you have them, there are several ways to use reviews to promote your brand and SEO ranking. Once they’re acquired, you’ll also want to include the structured metadata to help search engines properly index those excellent reviews.
Publish the most detailed and exciting reviews directly on your site in positions that highlight your best attributes. It can be tricky to determine the best ways to highlight these positive reviews and deal with negative ones. This is when working experienced creative professionals will get the best results from your company’s reviews.