Should I Pay for Fake Reviews?
Real Reviews Trump Faux Ones Every Time
Now that we are full fledgling into the digital era, a business’s reviews are even more important than they were in the days of ole’. A few centuries ago, companies worth could only be determined via word of mouth, or mail that may or may not arrive. Now, word of mouth travels at the push of a button. Some are paid ones, some are honest. Believe it or not, every review we read online is not an honest one.
Fake Reviews, Sad but True
Some people will do anything for a good review. Some businesses have been caught writing things themselves under alternate profiles, or hiring individuals to write ones in their favor. One customer service oriented business even tried “fining” customers for bad reviews. This only served to draw an onslaught of negative Yelp reviews, along with a few others. There are a variety of ways to try and create faux positive ones, and none of them have a positive outcome for long.
Dishonesty Pays… but Not You
Fake Reviews are eventually realized for what they are. New customers quickly figure out the truth, and then the process starts again. Dishonesty pays, but not to the company being untruthful. One example would be New York, where 19 businesses were found guilty of writing dishonest ones, and fined $350,000. Those little white lies can cost a pretty penny, and taint a reputation.
Click, Google Say Nay
Getting caught repeatedly racking up fake reviews and such can cause irreparable damage. After so much negativity is spread around in forums, chat rooms and websites, customers can be unforgiving. Treachery is not easily forgiven in the world of customer service, where the customer is “always right”
Google may have had its share of bad media, but they have been cracking down on fake content within their search engine. They have even more control flexing towards Google reviews to prevent dishonest feedback. If word gets out on the web that a company has faux review work, it is highly likely those Google ratings and pop ups will cease.
Search Engines Review Reviews?
As strange as that sounds, they do. Google search looks for a specific content in Google review, Yelp review and other platforms. Since they basically created the realm of robo surfing the web, their pretty good at finding what they want. Search engines like the big G tend to seek answers to the following questions in order to rank a review, or content as “real”.
So Good Reviews, Bad?
Not all good reviews are bad, nor paid reviews. The fake reviews should be avoided, but how do you get real reviews? Real reviews are determined by predetermined patterns search engines seek out. These patterns primarily contain the following:
- What service or product where you looking for?
- What was your first impression with the company you found?
- Why did you choose this company?
- Did you get what you expected or more?
- Would you recommend this to another person?
How Does One Get Real Reviews?
There are a variety of ways to get real Google reviews and Yelp reviews. There is no need to try dishonest means to get some feedback from an existing customer base. We have 6 suggestions to help entrepreneurs get real reviews to help market their business:
Put the company name out there on local listings, and sites like Google and Yahoo Local, Trip Advisor, LinkedIn, Yelp and Angies List. Utilizing sites like Trustpilot and TrustLink can be beneficial. Trustpilot in particular is good, as Google recognizes it.
There is nothing wrong with asking customers to share their opinions via a real review. It they are satisfied with the service or product received, they are sure to provide some positive comments. Just don’t expect everyone to provide a positive one.
Simplify the Process
Make it easy to review the product or service. Make sure the website or review site is visible on the receipt. Instruct team members to circle the address and encourage the customers to respond.
Incentives can even be given such as a discount on a future purchase via a code, just for giving a real review. This can be positive for both the employee and the customer.
Customers that review can potentially get a future discount, regardless of opinion. Reviews can be anonymous via a number and a coupon can be printed out. Another option is a award card such as some department and grocery stores utilize. Coupons are actually downloaded via a smartphone for use when shopping.
Team Member Review Encouragement
Team members that have a specific number of customer reviews can get some type of bonus. This approach will encourage team members to provide even better customer service in hopes of getting good ones.
Pay for Reviews?
So, should we pay for reviews? Yes, but only by honest means such as team promotions, or anonymous discounts and benefits. Hiring people to provide fake ones will cause more good, then harm. Instead, seek out honest marketing techniques to encourage participation from employees and consumers. Honest Google and Yelp reviews will not only bring new customers, it will bring lasting ones.