You have worked hard to build your business. You take your time with every transaction and make sure that customers are happy. So, why did someone leave a bogus fake review about your product? Most likely it’s an unsavory SEO company working for your competitor.
In addition, Google has been penalizing companies for fake positive reviews. The search engine has numerous policies against faking or offering incentives for positive reviews. The other issue is that it takes the search engine too long to respond to flags for inappropriate or fake negative reviews.
Reputation management company reviews need to be utilized to take action against fake reviews by monitoring their ratings and tracking reviews down. There are some great tools available to make this even easier by alerting you as soon as a review is posted in some cases.
Why People Leave Fake Negative Reviews
When clients come to us with online reputation management issues, we often find that they have negative spam or fake negative reviews. Sometimes these are left by disgruntled employees, and in other cases, it may be a company trying to drag you down with negative SEO.
One of the biggest challenges is that Google doesn’t have the best system for determining what is or isn’t a fake review. In addition, Google allows anyone to leave a review, even if they didn’t buy anything. While they do need to have a customer experience, this could simply mean talking to you over the phone or live chatting with your customer service team.
What to Do with Fake Reviews
There are a couple ways to handle fake reviews. Some suggest calling out fake negative reviewers on Twitter with a screenshot, cleverly pointing out fake usernames with half-humorous quips like: “Looks like our haters are all from Indiana. We don’t even have a store there! You should have done your research before leaving fake reviews.”
That response may be better suited to a smaller, local business or a personal Facebook with your close friends and family. They may even see your post and leave a positive review to negate the fake reviews.
If you have someone out there purposefully trying to harm your business, then you need to do the following:
- Flag and report the fake review to Google
- Respond to negative reviews and offer a 100% refund, you won’t lose anything since they aren’t real customers
- Be clear and concise in your response
- Wait for Google to remove the fake reviews, which typically takes 2 to 4 weeks
When responding to these reviews, you may feel compelled to point out their mistakes, such as seeing their location is set to a different country or they mention a product that you don’t even sell. If it’s obvious enough that other customers reading the review will recognize the mistake, then you should point this out in your response. However, it’s still best to offer a customer service line and privatize the conversation. These fake reviewers rarely reply, however.
Beat Fake Reviews with Real Reviews
If you are confident in your product and service, then you should have no issues with sending an email asking for a review from recent customers. While Google doesn’t want their users to offer incentives for positive reviews or re-route negative reviews, it doesn’t matter if you want honest, truthful reviews of your product to push down fake content.
In the end, you’ll win if your products and services are satisfying customers. At the worst, you may get a couple of low ratings or poor reviews, in which case you can shine by offering a refund or further help to the customer to make it right. This also gives you some insight into how customers are experiencing your products.
Tools that Help with Negative Reviews
There are a few third party tools that we recommend for businesses that want to monitor negative and positive business reviews closely and fix reputation management problems as soon as they occur.
- Try SocialReport.com to track all brand mentions in real-time. You can even automate your responses and assign tasks to team members.
- Set up Google alerts to track your brand name or any keywords related to your products and industry, you’ll instantly receive them in your email inbox.
- Social Mention is another tool for tracking your brand’s reputation across all networks.
- SentiOne offers real-time insights into what customers are saying about your brand, but it also offers historical data and shows you what has been trending about your trend across the web.
- Invest in Reputology to help you manage and monitor all reviews online.
These tools can drastically help your business and diminish the time you spend responding to reviews, comments, and fake complaints.