Any review that is not written by an actual customer of a business is fake and untrue. A true review should be from a customer that directly used a product or experiences a business.
A review is a feedback from personal experience or the use of a product. Any review short of this is fake and untrue. You should not buy reviews just to manipulate and increase your ratings.
Some businesses in an effort to look good in the eyes of the public buy reviews online which are untrue and fake.
It could be tempting to take the short cut and buy well-written positive reviews written by someone or people who are not actually your customers in an effort to entice potential customers and look good in the eyes of the public.
Even if you have only a few reviews or negative reviews on your review page, it is wrong to buy Google reviews.
If you are thinking of buying Google reviews, you need to remove such thoughts from your mind. It is a bad idea to buy reviews, no matter how desperately you need positive reviews on your review page.
Let’s take a look at why you should not buy Google reviews:
It is against Google’s review guidelines
Buying reviews is against Google’s review guidelines. Google made it clear that a review should reflect a person’s genuine experience with a business.
Google warns that businesses should not post fake reviews on the Google review platform. Any business that is caught with fake reviews could be penalized or Google may delete the reviews.
Your business listing could be totally taken off from Google if you are found violating Google’s review guidelines.
Google has actually taken down the reviews of businesses that were found to have violated the review policy and they are very serious about this.
It is illegal and you could be fined
Buying fake reviews is illegal in many countries around the world. There are strict laws against fake or untrue reviews.
In the UK, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has strict laws against fake or untrue reviews. Any business found posting fake reviews has breached the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations and may face civil and criminal charges.
The Federal Trade Commission in the United States has similar rules against fake reviews.
Nine California-based car dealerships paid a total of $3.6 million in FTC fines for posting fake reviews on Google, Facebook, and Yelp.
Aura Labs ended up paying FTC fines amounting to $10,000 for posting fake reviews of its app.
Some other countries take reviews very seriously and any business found violation review guidelines will face criminal charges and if found guilty could end up paying hefty fines.
Fake and untrue reviews are easily spotted
Fake reviews are not so difficult to spot. Most fake reviews sound too good to be true. When something is too good to be true, it is actually not true.
Most fake reviews don’t bear any specific relevance with the company or product. This is because they are already written and not written specifically for the company or product.
You may find reviews that have absolutely nothing to do with the product or company. We may find reviews on different products. You may find too many reviews written in a short period of time.
Reviews that are badly written. All these are signs of fake reviews and can be easily spotted.
Fake reviews can harm your business reputation
If you are caught using fake reviews, consumers will lose faith in your business. They will not believe whatever they read or hear about your business.
The reputation of your business will be ruined because you have abused the sincerity that is supposed to be inherent with reviews.
Consumers won’t trust your business and you will begin to lose customers. People will begin to talk bad against your business and your competitors will have an edge over you.
It will be difficult to improve your business
Fake reviews are untrue, they don’t reflect the true nature of your business, hence you wouldn’t know the actual thoughts of customers.
Businesses use reviews to know where they are lacking and how to improve but when you have fake reviews, that wouldn’t be possible because you don’t have authentic and true customer’s feedback.
You cannot really understand the customers and know exactly what they want. You will likely lose sight of customer experience and management. We won’t know anything true about what people are actually saying about your business.
You won’t know the areas that need improvements. Also, you will be left in the dark and this will affect the growth of your business.
You will lose money
Buying fake reviews is an extra expense for your business. Some of these people or agencies that sell fake reviews actually charge a hefty amount to sell these reviews.
Imagine buying these reviews for a hefty amount and in the end, the reviews are useless to your business. You would have ended up losing money.
Apart from the money used in buying the fake reviews, you could also lose a huge amount of money as fine if found guilty of using fake reviews.
Fake reviews are bad; they should not be bought or used. You can generate genuine reviews from your customers by requesting reviews from them.
It is quite easy to generate genuine reviews from your customers. The good thing is you do not need to spend money to buy these reviews. They are provided by your customers for free.
How to generate genuine online reviews
There are different ways you can request and generate reviews. We are going to show you some workable ways to generate genuine reviews from your customers.
Some business owners feel shy to ask their customers for reviews. That shouldn’t be so. You should be very free and comfortable to ask your customers for reviews.
According to a survey, 7 people out of every 10 people will leave you a review if you ask. Imagine having 100 customers in a day and 70 of them leave reviews on your review page. That is a whole lot of reviews you will be generating every day.
However, you should ask at the right time. Don’t ask a customer for a review when the customer has not completely experienced your product or services.
Wait until the customer is ready to leave before asking him/her to leave a review or feedback. Always ask with a smile on your face because people are easily moved to do your bidding when you smile.
Automated a request email campaign
A request email automation campaign is a system put in place that automatically sends request emails to customers asking them to leave reviews or feedback.
When you have this system in place, all your customers will be contacted via email for reviews. All you need to do is to have a list of the email address of every customer and add the list to your system.
The system will automatically send an email to each customer asking them to leave a review on your review page.
Use request cards
You can create a request card and give each card to every customer. The card will serve as a reminder for them to leave a review.
You can give the cards to your receptionist or someone at the front desk to give to every customer leaving.
Use banners and posters
You can place request banners and posters in strategic locations around your office or building. You can place banners at the entrance of your office and in your reception hall. The banners and posters will remind your customers to leave reviews.
Some people may see incentives as a bribe but if done right it is not actually a bribe. Incentives are something you give to someone to encourage the person to do something.
Giving incentives is a way to encourage more customers to leave genuine reviews. You are not giving them incentives so they can write false reviews.
You can give discounts as incentives, coupons, gifts, gift cards or special prices. Inform your customers that any who leave a review will be given incentives. By doing this, you will see that you are generating more reviews.
Use social media
Social media is a way to reach out to a higher number of people. Almost everyone is on social media these days. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram are all filled with billions of users.
You can reach out to your customers who are on any of these social media platforms to request reviews.
Facebook is one of the best review platforms in the world today. Get your business on Facebook so you can get more reviews from your customers.
Make it easy for customers to leave reviews
Some customers may want to leave reviews but if they find the process difficult, they might not complete the process. To prevent a situation like this from happening, ensure that it is very easy for customers to leave reviews on your review page.