Reviews, especially positive ones, make people want to do business with your brand. If you didn’t know this, you do now.
But you probably require some convincing for you to believe how important reviews are. Here are some statistics to put things in the right perspective:
- 94% of consumers online make purchase decisions only after they have read customer reviews, according to Fan & Fuel (2016).
- 95% of shoppers go through reviews before buying something, according to Spiegel Research Centre (2017).
- According to a 2017 BrightLocal study, 97% of consumers use customer review as a metric to choose local businesses.
- 60% of people read up on reviews before dining out in a restaurant or going to a café; 40% before using a Bed & Breakfast service; and 33% before booking an appointment with a medical service.
- 68% of customers are more likely to engage with a brand with positive reviews. Plus, 93% of them will use online reviews to determine if a brand has a good reputation, according to brightLocal.
Notice how most of the figures are above 90%? Let’s see a couple more:
- Did you know that 83% of job seekers use reviews to make a decision on which firm to apply to?
- 84% of patients check customer reviews before signing up with a healthcare provider.
From the numbers above, you can see that customer reviews have the ability to sway customer decisions. They can build a company’s reputation and encourage customers to engage with and do business with them.
On the other hand, negative reviews can be pretty detrimental to a brand. It can destroy a brand’s reputation in a mere matter of days or even hours. According to Review Tracker (2018), 94% of customers report that they would avoid a business because of negative reviews.
Small Business Trends ran a census that found that 1 negative review can cost a business 22% of their customers, 3 negative reviews can cost them 59% of their customers, and 4 negative reviews can cost them 70% of their customers.
With all these numbers, it is easy to see why some businesses might be tempted to buy fake reviews. Who wouldn’t?
However, it’s a bad idea.
For those who may be thinking of buying fake reviews, here are three major reasons why it’s a no-no:
It’s Now A Crime
Yes, you read that right. Apparently buying fake reviews is now a serious offence in the eyes of the law. Currently, a lot of countries take legal actions against brands that use fake customer reviews.
A few reasons why fake customer reviews are a crime now…
First of all, they are misleading. When potential customers see fake positive reviews, they believe the business has happy customers. But in reality there aren’t any happy customers, or no customers at all. The content of the testimonials also misleads others using false claims.
Second of all, fake customer reviews are just that, fake. They are not a reflection of a real customer experience, which is what actual reviews are.
Thirdly, since customer reviews can influence a person’s decision to buy, fake reviews make people spend money they normally would not. This is regarded as fraud.
Therefore, buying and displaying fake reviews is the same as deceptive advertising and is punishable by law.
It Can Get Your Business Censored
Review site like Google, TripAdvisor, and Yelp are also going after businesses that post fake customer reviews. Google will delete any fake review they find, and then, proceed to remove the brand involved from their local search box. Thus, they won’t be found by potential customers.
Review sites will go so far as to delete the account of any brand found using fake testimonials. This will mean that whatever advertising dollars that business has spent on the platform will be wasted.
It Damages Your Credibility
Credibility is an incredible asset to any company (no pun intended). Ask any business that has gone through issues caused by customer mistrust, you will find this is true. Nobody wants to do business with a shady company.
Buying fake reviews puts you in the position where potential customers lose trust in your brand. And when they spread the word that your customer reviews are fake, your brand reputation will be damaged forever.
Keep in mind that people can spot a fake review from a mile away. By comparing them with a number of platforms, certain irregularities in your fake reviews will give them away.
Seeing how potentially dangerous buying fake customer reviews is, do you think it is worth it? You have put in years of hard work to build your business; do you want to throw it all away all because of a few fake reviews?
I hope not.
Fortunately, it is easy to get real positive reviews. All you need to do is to offer excellent products/services. Provide great customer experience. And simply send them a request to write you a review. Read our article on how to get positive reviews on Google to learn more.
Don’t forget to go through your reviews on a regular (every day possibly) basis and respond to them.POSTED ON November 13, 2019