Consumer power is everything. All of your hard work marketing your product online can be quickly undermined by a web backlash or a series of negative reviews that are not dealt with professionally. That’s why empty marketing is useless if you don’t have the goods and the customer service to back it up. It’s also why you need to be on top of fake bad reviews before they happen. As well, learn to deal with what transpires when they do.
You can prepare yourself in advance by making sure you’re on top of your web presence. That includes being part of the conversation around your company. Set up Google alerts to get an inbox notification every time the search engine picks up a new mention of your company or product name. Switch on your notifications in Yellow Pages and Yelp. Search Facebook and Twitter daily for ‘sub-Tweets’ – mentions of your brand in which you’ve not been tagged. Then deal with negative reviews with calm professionalism.
Spotting a Fake Negative Review
Fake complaints require a particular manner of handling. In the first place, you need to make sure it’s fake. Ask yourself:
- Is the tone of the review unusually vicious and unreasonable?
- Does the complaint seem vague – and can you verify the transaction?
- Has the review left multiple bad reviews for other sites or good reviews for one particular competitor?
If you’re sure it’s a hoax, report it to the host company (Yelp, Twitter, Amazon or whoever). Make a note of the occurrence in an Excel sheet so you can track a hate campaign if it should continue. In the meantime, leave a polite comment explaining that you can’t verify the transaction and that you’d be happy to continue the discussion by email or phone.
And follow-up by letting your genuine followers know that there’s been an incident. Make light of it and don’t get personal. Additionally, invite your real fans to leave genuine positive reviews to put the balance back in your favor.
Sounds doable? If your business is attracting attention, dealing with fake bad reviews is something you’ll likely have to do again in the future. Save this new step-by-step guide to squashing bad fake reviews to your desktop, and you’ll always be armed to defend the good name of your business.
Thanks to HeadwayCapital.com for this helpful infographic.