Five Worst Mistakes for Online Reviews

Reputation.com review monitoring, tracking, and improvement tools via a cloud-based Web interface offers businesses the ability to stay up to date on sentiment towards them. Built on best practices for online reviews, Reputation.com for Business guides business owners toward effective and ethical solutions to online review management.

Handling these types of issues is not always straightforward, so Reputation.com has compiled a Top 5 list of the worst online review mistakes made by business owners.

 

1. Astroturfing (writing fake reviews)

Reputation.com categorically discourages business owners from attempting this strategy. If often backfires, even if you manage to create convincing write-ups. Review sites have protocols and algorithms designed specifically to sniff out fakes, and if you get caught, your business could get blacklisted by both customers and review sites.

 

2. Head in the sand

Whether or not you’re active online, your customers probably are. Even if you aren’t being actively reviewed right now, that can change in an instant. It’s not unheard of for competitors to slander other businesses using review sites. The more active you are with online reviews, the more likely you are to look good online.

 

3. Asking for good reviews

Nobody likes to feel manipulated or pressured. Ask for reviews because you value genuine feedback from your customers. Ask for the good and the bad, for an honest write-up. Most people will be flattered that you trust them, which builds loyalty and good feelings, leading to high-quality, positive reviews. Reputation.com for Business makes it easy for you to do this with a range of extensible, ready-made templates.

 

4. Threatening customers

A sure-fire way to exacerbate an online review problem is to get defensive. Accept criticism gracefully, no matter how unfounded the accusations, and respond tactfully to bad reviews. Reputation.com also recommends avoiding legal tactics such as “do not review” agreements, which are unlikely to hold up in court and are not good for customer relations.

 

5. Bribing customers

Offering a small incentive seems like a harmless way to generate positive reviews, but this strategy is risky and usually doesn’t work. Avoid any kind of tactic that could look like a bribe or generate a conflict of interest. Some customers are likely take offense and will post negative reviews in retaliation. When it comes to pay-for-play strategies for online reviews, Reputation.com has found that the costs generally outweigh the benefits.