Reviews are a vital sign of mutual trust between brands and consumers. This means that your law firm needs reviews to signal to potential clients that you are trustworthy and will provide superb services. In previous blog posts we mentioned the danger of negative reviews and neglecting your reviews, but today we’ll be looking at review fraud.
Where there is an opportunity to build trust, there is an opportunity to lose trust. This is the case with reviews. We’ve all seen the listings for restaurants that only have 15 reviews, 10 of which are five stars and seem to just be repeats of each other. We usually steer clear of those places.
This is because consumers are immediately significantly less likely to purchase a product or use services of a business they suspect of violating their trust. In a survey done by Bazaarvoice, 54% of consumers said they wouldn’t buy a product if they suspected reviews of being fake. 82% said they would buy from a brand again if they lost their trust.
And how can a review lose the trust of a consumer? Well, there are a few main red flags. The top warning sign for consumers is multiple reviews with similar wording, which 55% of consumers said was telling. Other red flags include content of the review not matching the product, bad grammar and/or misspellings, and an overwhelming number of positive reviews. I mean, you wouldn’t trust Mockingbird if we had 150 reviews all saying a variation of “Their sandwiches are delicious. Great service!”
So how can you fight review fraud?
A large percentage of review fraud is perpetrated by the business owner, so you are your own best defense. Avoid the temptation to write your own reviews, even if your clients haven’t been following through on their end.
Another good way to fight review fraud is by regularly checking your reviews. Make sure you know who they are coming from, whether it’s from clients, competitors, or the clients of your competitors. If you see a positive review from an unknown source, don’t blindly accept it. Not all good news is actually good news. A positive review from an unknown source could actually be a deterrent for potential clients.
The final way to show your trustworthiness is to respond to the reviews you know to be true. If a client leaves a positive review, respond showing your appreciation. If a competitor leaves a negative review, respond calmly and deliberately, encouraging them to rethink their negativity.