Fake news is now a common saying, but what about fake reviews! A huge burden on honest businesses.

Unfortunately, it is extremely easy for someone to create a new account and leave both positive and negative reviews about a business – even if they have had no interaction with your business.

A number of online platforms - Google, Twitter and Facebook to name a few – all have policies for reviews, however, many fake reviews have managed to slip through the cracks.

Why is it so hard to get fake reviews removed?

To put it simply, fake reviews are hard to remove as platforms like Google, Twitter and Facebook do not know who is a customer and who isn’t a customer.

With reviewers having the ability to leave reviews anonymously, proving who someone is online is extremely difficult.

On top of this, those that can leave reviews don’t have to have been a paying customer, these platforms class anyone who has had a customer experience as a customer. This includes people who have left a voice mail that was not returned and even someone who has attempted to email but was using an email address that was incorrectly listed on your website.

Further highlighting the need for accuracy online – why not check out our previous blog post on 'The Importance of Accuracy'.

How to Handle Fake reviews

Whilst fake reviews are annoying its important to stay calm and keep a professional front. If you can see these reviews then so can others, they will also see your response to the review left.

Flag as Abuse

On all review platforms there are options to flag a review, often the option is to ‘Flag Abuse’. By following the steps presented by the platform in question for removing the review you can often get the review taken down, granted it is not always the fastest process.

Google has finally updated its review policy and it is now against guidelines for ex-employees to leave reviews. Believe it or not, previously it was only against guidelines for current employees to leave reviews.

Take a Direct Approach

There are many advocates online for taking a more direct approach to fake reviews. Hitting reply on the review and responding with a professional message stating that the company takes all feedback seriously and if they can get in contact via youremailaddress@yourcompany.co.uk you would love to resolve the situation.

This shows prospective customers who see the negative fake review that you are a proactive company who cares about its customers. At the same time, it separates the facts from the fakes. The fake reviewers won’t take you up on the offer, whilst the legitimate reviewers will get in touch and give you the chance to right a wrong.

Drown the Fake Reviews Out

Otherwise your option is to simply fight against these fake reviews with real reviews.

This can be done by encouraging your actual customers to leave reviews for your company, drowning out the fake reviews both in volume but also in legitimacy. Quite often its very clear which reviews are fake and which are truths when they are side by side.

Digital Nachos’ Recommendation for Handling Fake Reviews

No one likes fake reviews, but be smart about them.

Remain calm, remain professional and flag these fake reviews whenever possible to the platform provider.

Published: 1st Mar 2018

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