All it takes is one bad review online and your business could suffer. Your customers have never had so much potential power in their fingertips.
Many business owners I speak to have had a bad review put online, and most of them believe that the rating they received was undeserved.
A few of my customers even firmly believe that the people who most benefit from this are the review sites themselves, who often seem to push down positive comments, raising the bad ones – often quickly followed by a call from the site offering a reputation management service.
Reputation Management Matters
A bad review is particularly powerful if you don’t have man good ones, and if someone sees 1 or 2 gold starts instead of 4 or 5 chances are they will be less likely to even click to check out your website.
In the face of this some business owners and unscrupulous reputation management companies try and get fake reviews online. This may seem like a short term answer to a business problem, but like most short-term “solutions” it can come at a high cost.
Google etc are getting more sophisticated at detecting fake reviews, and the days when someone could post anonymous review (good or bad) are fading fast.
Often what happens in the United States ends up showing itself here in the UK. Well, if you are egaging in fake reviews then, be warned, it could cost you hard cash.
The New York Times reports that companies who fake reviews are now being fined, sometimes tens of thousands of dollars. (There’s a link to their website at the bottom of this post).
So, what to do? Is it hopeless? Far from it, but you need to know that the best way to combat negative reviews online is to do so without resorting to fakery.
Fortunately the next issue of my customer magazine (due out in 7 days) will cover this, so if you can wait a week, then check back.