How To Deal With Dubious Online Reviews

| Online marketing

How To Deal With Dubious Online Reviews

Your reputation online is fundamental if you wish to be an industry leader. When a company provides a good service, their customers will occasionally leave reviews that helps their online reputation but even the best businesses can end up receiving poor online reviews.

But according to a study, around 20% of Yelp reviews are fake, which is very worrying considering your online reputation is primarily built on reviews.

But how do you deal with these questionable reviews?

First you need to ask yourself, what is a questionable review?

A questionable review is simple one that is fake. This means a negative review doesn’t necessarily qualify as a questionable one.

A genuine negative review has to be dealt with in a completely different way to a questionable one. It’s very easy to become defensive or even dismissive of a negative review but how you handle it provides a glimpse into your business culture that can influence future potential customers.

Instead, you should show that you are aware of the situation and try to make things right. This is usually enough to protect your reputation when people read your reviews in the future.

You should also encourage more customers to leave reviews in order to bury the negative ones amongst a mass of positive reviews.

However, if you suspect the review to be fake, then you may be able to get it removed from the reviews platform completely.  

But a review won’t be taken down unless it violates the Terms of Service of the review site or platform. Each platform has their own Terms of Service and if a review doesn’t break this agreement, it won’t be taken off the site.

Most review sites and platforms follow the same type of Terms of Service so if any review violates any of the following then you are a real chance of getting them removed.

These are -

  • Reviews that directly advertise something else or include other websites or phone numbers.
  • Reviews that are regarded as Spam
  • Reviews that are off-topic or based on someone else’s experience.
  • Reviews that use inappropriate material or that advocate against people based on their race, religion, disability, gender, age, sexual orientation, veteran status or gender identity.

Some review sites may have other more specific violation of their Terms of Service so it is always worth reading through them.

If the review doesn’t violate any of the terms or you can’t prove that the review has violated the terms then there is no chance of you getting the review removed.

Dealing with negative reviews is never fun but it is crucial. If you receive one it’s important that you keep a cool, professional head and deal with it with care. 

Luke Stanley