Fake online customer reviews!

11 August 2014

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The ongoing saga and court case over fake reviews on ‘Yelp’ have shone a spotlight on the growing importance (and hazards) of online reviews for brand reputation. The power of such customer reviews is undeniable. A recent study from the Nielsen Company found that 84% of people trust online recommendations from friends and 68% trust consumer opinions posted online, which rank highly in terms of trusted advertising sources. Question is should people and businesses be trusting these resources?

The emergence of these review sites can be good on the one hand, however it is not unknown for reviews to come from non-customers, with their quality questionable at best. The power of online comments can either make or break a business’s reputation, whether deserved or not. This is scary stuff and seemingly out of the control of the business being targeted. What’s to stop a competitor from loading a review site with negative comments about their opposition?

We are in a cycle of trial and error with yet to be written laws to govern some of the newer aspects of the technological revolution. In the meantime businesses need to choose wisely when it comes to putting in place a customer feedback loop. Vigil Immediate offers such a service.

Richard J Potton MD Vigil Limited

richard@vigil.net.nz

 


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