Fake reviews cost UK businesses millions

Everyday in the UK, businesses are losing out due to fake and unjust reviews, which in turn is having a knock on effect on the local economies and unemployment figures.

Review websites such as Yelp, Trip Advisor and Qype encourage the consumer to leave reviews, but then make no attempts to authenticate the review or who is writing them.

The latest estimate is that 1 out of every 10 of the reviews posted on these sites are fakes and considering that the internet is very much a part of our everyday lives and millions turn first to these sites that is a scary statistic. 85% of consumers now check online for reviews of hotels, restaurants, tradesmen etc and determining the fakes from the genuine is not easy.

Mark Hall managing director of Got Juice commented, “A single bad review can ruin the chances of gaining new customers and create a long standing, horrible word of mouth campaign offline.  If left, the review could quickly lead the company to bankruptcy”.

“Although the UK defamation law is in place to protect businesses and individuals from unjust mentions online, this law is difficult to enforce, as the vast majority of review sites are based overseas and do not acknowledge the UK law”

“If your business receives a negative review or mention it is very important to respond to the customer online, always remain calm and do not take it personally. A good response would be to offer an apology and a invitation to discuss things in more detail”

“For example: Thanks for alerting us to this. We work very hard to offer good (food/product/service) and a friendly service, I was sorry to hear on this occasion we didn’t meet your expectations. If you would like to contact me directly then please call xxxxxxx and ask for xxxxxx or email xxxxx@XYZbusinessname”

“It may be possible in some cases to remove the negative review or comment, but in many cases this requires professional guidance and management”

“What ever you do, do not argue or defend your business, as this will only lead to more negative comments and an increased chance of the content appearing on the first page of the search engine results pages”

“Even If a business has no reviews, that can be equally as harmful as a negative one; with over 70% of new business inquiries coming from reviews, referrals and word of mouth, it has never been as important to have a good online reputation”

Got Juice is an online reputation management company that focuses on helping businesses gain positive reviews and to fight back and remove unwanted negative press from review sites and from the first page of Google.

Committed to helping business improve their online reputations, they provide free advice on their website www.gotjuice.co.uk/blog on how to improve a company’s online reputation.