Busting Fake Online Reviews: How You Should Handle it in 2022

“Word-of-mouth” marketing nowadays exists on online reviews. When customers have a positive experience with a product or service, they are more likely to tell their friends about it. 

Pre-purchase research shows that 95% of buyers read customer reviews online. Customers are more likely to stay away from a brand or company after reading a negative internet review. 

Of course, your company will suffer if you have too many bad ratings. Unfortunately, fake reviews exist!

Your bad internet reviews aren’t always accurate. Spammers, rivals, and dissatisfied consumers can post fake reviews that are difficult to delete. 

However, it is possible to rectify the situation by resolving customer service difficulties and product failures so that future customers will post more favorable evaluations. So, how exactly do you do it?

The following are some suggestions for dealing with these negative reviews and guidance on how to contact Google about them.

Step 1: Spot Your Fake Reviews

It’s not a smart idea to pay for internet reviews to boost your reputation. Legal ramifications might arise if these evaluations are published. Amazon, on the other hand, has been known to sue sellers who post fake reviews.

Now that you know not to buy false reviews, here’s how to identify them if they appear on search engines, review sites, or social media.

Lack of Clarity

First of all, it lacks clarity. A product or an experience is difficult to explain if you haven’t used it or had the opportunity to participate in it. 

It’s common for fake reviews to laud a product in generic terms rather than concentrating on its unique features. “Hotel evaluations that are honest tend to include specific terms, such as “bathroom,” “check-in,” and “pricing,” in their descriptions. ‘Vacation,’ ‘Business Trip,’ or ‘My Husband’ is more often mentioned by deceivers in their writings “explains a Cornell study in this field.

Full of verbs

Verbs predominate, but there aren’t quite as many nouns. Genuine reviews are more likely to use nouns to describe a scenario, while false reviews use verbs instead. Instead of making the reviews more believable, this “activity” actually backfires.

Contains More Pronouns of the First-Person

First-person pronouns like “I” and “me” are often used by reviewers who wish to seem honest but aren’t. In general, the review is either 1 star or 5. Someone and five-star reviews may be fake.

An exceptionally favourable or unfavourable review might be a fraudulent reviewer attempting to manipulate the average rating of a product or service.

The Reviewer's Past Isn't All That Clear.

They might be fraudsters if the reviewer has no past reviews or uses the same phrase in many reviews. In most cases, you may look into a reviewer’s background by visiting their profile page.

Step 2: Pause for a moment and reflect

Don’t rush into anything.

When someone lies about your company, it’s understandable to be furious and protective, but taking action when irrational thought takes over might backfire

Meanwhile, you don’t want to let the fakes review exist for too long since you risk consumers seeing it and believing it to be true.
Once you’ve had some time to cool down, you may go on to the next step.

Attempt to get the review removed if possible.

Step 3: Getting Fake Reviews Deleted

The ideal situation is to erase the review before anybody can see it.

In certain cases, though, you may be able to request that a thorough review check.

This is how a handful of the top review sites handle similar situations:

Facebook

According to Facebook’s Community Standards (which ban sexual harassment, bullying, and threats), reviews may only be removed if they don’t conform to those standards.

These rules apply to everyone on Facebook, not just companies, so keep that in mind.

  • You may find the review by searching.
  • Click the three dots or v-shaped symbol at the upper right of the review.
  • Follow the on-screen directions after clicking “Report Post.”

Yelp

It is only when the reviewer has a blatant conflict of interest, does not concentrate on their own customer experience, or includes harsh language/private information that Yelp will delete a review.

  • Go to your Yelp account and log in.
  • You may find the review by searching.
  • The flag symbol at the bottom right of the review should be clicked to flag the review for deletion.
  • Identify the specific reason why you’re reporting the post, and write it down. Because Yelp censors can’t be sure that the reviewer wasn’t objective, the review will likely remain up if you don’t have any proof that the reviewer was prejudiced.

Google

Although an independent administrator will assess whether or not the review is fake, Google will delete reviews that have been posted by people who have conflicts of interest or those who are impersonating others.

The Google Small Company Support Team may be reached through Twitter and the Google Community if you are a small business owner and need assistance. On the Google Support forum, you may get solutions to your questions.

  • Go to Google My Business’ Spam & Policy Forum.
  • Either look for questions like yours or ask a new one. On the forum, you may be able to find an answer.
  • Although these procedures won’t ensure that a fake review will be deleted, they should at least make it more difficult for it to happen.

 

Other social media networks, including Linkedin or Instagram, have similar measures, and you should never be afraid to ask for assistance from a customer service representative. 

Keep in mind that you should react to all reviews, even if they are wrong. Maintain your composure and speak about the problem respectfully. To ensure that your consumers are pleased, you need to do all in your power to make them happy and show that you’re doing so.

Step 4: Consider a Public Response in the Future

When reacting to incorrect or bogus reviews, it’s essential to consider the following: responding to them publicly to backfire the culprit.

As a result of consumers seeing your reply to one unfavorable post. They may infer that the other negative postings are factual and you’re not responding because you believe them true.

If you get a lot of negative internet reviews, responding to each one might take a long time. So before you respond to fake reviews, consider making a public announcement.

Draft a respectful answer that addresses the concerns stated in the review you wish to speak up about. Don’t use insults or accusations against the reviewer.

Always leave the door open for the chance that the review isn’t a hoax and ask the reviewer to get in touch with you to remedy the problem, regardless of how you reply. This shows that you are concerned about your clients’ needs.

There are many ways you may approach this:

  • Consider the possibility that the reviewer filed a review for the incorrect business: “You’re welcome to leave a review, but we’re not sure whether we’ve ever met you since we don’t have any record of you ever visiting us. Is it possible that you’ve mistaken us for another business? We’d cherish the chance to put things right if it was really our fault.”
  • Highlight your dedication to client satisfaction: “My sincere apologies for the way our employees handled you. As much as we try, we can’t always live up to our own high standards in treating our customers. This problem can be solved if you take the time to get in touch with me.”
  • False assertions should be politely called into question. “You said that we closed early on Sunday so that you couldn’t get in, but we don’t open on Sundays. I believe there’s a misunderstanding here. Is it possible that it was a different day or a different company? The problem can be solved if you give us a call so we can have a better understanding of it.”

Step 5: Increase the Number of Positive Reviews

When your company has just one negative or phony review, it doesn’t look very pleasant. It’s hard to believe a bad review when you have a hundred positive ones. 

As a result, that one unfavourable review quickly fades into the background when you constantly get more positive ones.

Final Thoughts

If you know how to react to misleading internet reviews, one unhappy customer or an envious rival cannot harm your business. You may demonstrate your professionalism by replying positively if you cannot get the negative review deleted.

It’s critical to remove the bad reviews before they harm your business. If you have a company, you should stay involved in the review area. It’s the only way to learn from the mistakes of others and make adjustments based on what you’ve learned. When you read poor reviews, don’t become discouraged. These are the many components of the company.

It would be best if you kept up the excellent job to enhance your company’s positive reviews. However, if it doesn’t provide the intended results, we are here to help you expand your business. 

Sign up to receive special promotions and the latest digital marketing news!