FTC Targets Fake Online Reviews: Embracing Authentic Feedback for Business Success

In today’s digital landscape, customer feedback and reviews play an enormous role in a business’s success. Positive reviews can build trust and credibility, attracting new customers through word-of-mouth, while negative reviews can tarnish a company’s brand and negatively impact revenue. Knowing this, many businesses across all industries choose to cherry-pick or falsify reviews or use other tactics to positively skew their brand’s reputation.  

In response to growing frustration about review validity, the Federal Trade Commission recently proposed a new rule to reduce the number of fake or paid positive online reviews. The proposed rule would penalize: 

  • Selling or obtaining fake reviews and testimonials 
  • Review hijacking 
  • Buying positive or negative reviews 
  • Insider reviews and testimonials 
  • Company-controlled review websites 
  • Illegal review suppression 
  • Selling fake social media indicators 

Whether this rule passes or not, this issue is top-of-mind for consumers, which means you should take it very seriously. In fact, according to Speigel Research Center, “68% of consumers put more trust in reviews when there is a mixture of positive and negative feedback,” indicating that they’re skeptical of perfection.  

Having an authentic and trustworthy online presence is far more valuable than thousands of fake or only positive reviews. Consumers, especially those seeking a service that involves inviting someone into their home, want to engage with businesses they can trust, and online reviews influence those decisions. Home service providers who want to build confidence with their clients must embrace the idea of collecting and publishing feedback from all customers.    

The value of negative feedback 

Negative reviews can be especially valuable as they give you an opportunity to showcase excellent customer service and correct what went wrong. Addressing them publicly reinforces the fact that you value your customers’ opinions and consider how they feel when making decisions about improvement. And the faster you can respond to negative feedback, the better. According to Search Engine Journal, “Consumers expect a response to negative reviews within seven days.” In short, your response to reviews can drastically change how consumers view your business, making it a critical aspect of reputation management and customer satisfaction. 

Related: How to respond to negative reviews

Empowering your business with authentic reviews 

One of the best ways to gauge customer satisfaction is to speak with them directly. PulseM allows you to ask your customers for honest feedback immediately after a service is completed, curating a seamless customer experience from start to finish.  

By allowing your customers to reflect on their experience with you, not only do you prompt new interaction, but you also identify areas of improvement and strengthen the relationship with your customers. Embracing customer reviews allows your customers to feel appreciated and heard, demonstrates transparency, and sets you apart from competitors while creating an authentic online reputation.  

Reviews lead to more trust and credibility between you and your customers and potentially increased sales. To learn how you can get started with pulseM, visit our website.