Reviews are an essential part of online business which can help to set you apart from competitors.
At a time of uncertainty due to Covid19 now more than ever it is important to keep on top of your online reputation.
If your reviews are positive, that’s great but negative ones can wreck your credibility and reputation. Fake reviews are even worse.
In 2017 the British Hospitality Association (BHA) found that 85% of hotels and restaurants in the UK had been hit with fake and malicious online reviews – up 20% on its survey from 2015.
In the current climate Google and Yelp both suspended reviews to stop poor ratings being left which may not reflect the business’ true reputation in normal circumstances but there is still the risk of people leaving reviews via Facebook or elsewhere.
To tackle negative reviews the best approach is to regularly inspect your reviews and identify any which are fake and those which are genuine but simply negative.
If the reviews are genuine then address rather than ignore the feedback – you may actually be able to turn a bad review into a positive situation if, for example, you can show great customer service in responding to the reviewer. If the reviews are fake then the situation is different.
The first step should be to ask for the review to be removed. If it was posted to Google visit here and mark it as inappropriate, or if it is with Facebook you will need to flag it up via your account. You will need to show that it is fake.
If someone has made comments online but not as a review then if the comments are factually incorrect and cause reputational harm then you may have a claim for defamation against the maker of the statement and sometimes the search engine or online platform. Claims for defamation are notoriously complicated and expensive and you should only take this route if you absolutely have to.
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 01980 676875