Don’t Let a Fake Review Ruin Your Day. Learn How to Combat These Pesky Attacks and Come Out on Top.
As a business owner, online reviews are an essential piece to your business’s prosperity. Aiming for all positive reviews is normal, however, it isn’t realistic for everyone to think highly of you or your business. A graceful business owner responds to these less than glowing reviews amicably and apologetically, but what happens when you receive a negative review you know is clearly fake? Unfortunately, fake reviews are on the rise as online reputation grows in importance. As experts in online reputation, Kydos offers a few tips in dealing with this frustrating inconvenience.
The Growing Fake Review Issue
It’s nearly impossible to remember every customer you’ve ever served, but as a business owner, you likely have either a written record or some documentation of each of your customers. If someone you don’t recognize leaves you a review with one or two stars and no comment, you might find it fishy or question what the issue was.
Competing businesses will sometimes resort to this unethical method of sabotage, just like this owner discovered when his business was viciously attacked by a competitor. It’s important to note, however, that not all one- or two-star reviews are from a fake customer or competing business owner. Many reviewers don’t leave comments when they’re unhappy and yet, their reviews are still legitimate.
While Google and Facebook are lagging behind in effectively and efficiently eliminating these harmful attacks, they are getting better at combatting them each day. Google has its own approach to dealing with them and you can report posts on Facebook that don’t meet their community standards.
Effectively Responding to False Criticism
Your knee-jerk reaction when you read a blatantly false review will be to panic. You’ll want to defend yourself and your business in a confrontational manner. However, fight every urge in your body and don’t do this. It doesn’t matter if you want to write a scathing response or curse out the world, doing so will hurt your company even more.
Take a walk or fly a kite or whatever it is you do to relax and do not return to your keyboard until you can respond to the fake review in a calm, cool, and collected manner. The absolute best way you can respond is with a sympathetic and apologetic tone. Offer a full personal apology to the “customer” and drop your personal extension so they can contact you directly. You can even state that you have no record of them as a customer in your apology. By being apologetic and open to the response, you’re ensuring future perspective that you will not be outwardly aggressive toward them as a customer, and they’ll be more likely to patronize your business. Remember, when they go low, you go high.
Asking Google or Facebook to Remove Reviews
Removing a fake review is the optimal solution as the fake review is wiped completely from view and will no longer affect your average rating. Unfortunately, Google and Facebook can be difficult to contact regarding the removal of fake reviews entirely. But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try!
For Google, first flag the review and go through Google’s small business owner online help center. If this yields no results, contact Google’s small business Twitter account (@GoogleSmallBiz). Other businesses have had success in contacting Google through their Twitter account.
Facebook struggles in this department as several business owners have expressed frustration at its lack of response. Try flagging the review and using Facebook’s online forum to contact a rep. If that doesn’t work, reach out to Facebook’s social media.
Keep Calm and Get Kydos
In a perfectly ethical world, fake reviews wouldn’t exist. Sadly, in our world they do, and if you come into contact with one, simply stay calm and address the matter professionally and respectfully. The worst possible scenario is one where you miss a negative review and allow it to go unaddressed. With Kydos, this won’t happen since all your reviews are gathered in one clean interface. This allows you to catch any review that could potentially slip through the cracks and hurt your bottom line.
Get Kydos today so you can respond to all your reviews and remember what really matters – your authentic customers, both current and prospective.