Fake Reviews could cost you big time!

Jul 11, 2019 | Reputation

In early 2019, the Federal Trade Commission launched the first official case against a company who sold products on Amazon and used fake reviews to obtain annual sales of $28 million. The fine for the company, who sold their weight loss pills on Amazon exclusively, could be as much as $28 million. This type of activity falls under the definition of “fraud” and it’s a serious crime.

Reviews are a big deal these days and anything less than the whole truth is not good for anyone in the long term. Any business can go through a period when they are just not operating well and the result is unhappy customers. They get bad reviews and the business deserves it. Hiding them is not the way to handle it. We see companies who post only their good reviews…and to us that’s less than the truth. If you look at the statistics of reviews you will see that no one believes a company with 500 5-star reviews. Would you believe that?

Potential customers want to work with companies who are trustworthy. The key to reviews is how you respond. And there’s more to reviews than just making your business look good online. Reviews should be the feedback for how your business is performing. Take that information and look at it objectively. If you’re getting bad reviews and you think it’s because all your customers are jerks, then you’re not facing reality. What you are at your core is going to come out at some point regardless of what you “say” you are online.

There are many issues regarding reviews and the lack of standardization. Ever seen a great review that only got 2 stars? It happens and it hurts you. And how do you get rid of a review from a customer that never did business with you? The damage is real but the companies who manage these reviews on their sites offer little help with incorrect or fake reviews.

The best solution is a professional and appropriate response. Keep it short, professional and apologetic. It’s not the time to vent your frustrations. It’s best to have two people review your response before you post. Remember, that response might stay up there for a long time.