Have you ever read a review about your restaurant and wondered if the person had even been in your restaurant? Typically fake positive online reviews are written by friends, family, employees or even the owner of the business themselves. On the other hand, competitors are usually blamed for fake negative reviews online, but a new academic study indicates another source for these reviews.
The New York Times recently wrote an article on the study conducted by Eric Anderson of Northwestern University and Duncan Simester of the MIT Sloan School of Management, which evaluated where negative reviews could be coming from and why. Their findings were not what you would expect. They found that loyal customers are giving out unfavorable reviews on products they have not purchased or experienced.
The study believes these customers are being, “self-appointed brand managers,” or simply put, venting. The ability to review products and services gives them an environment to do so. According to Simester, “Your best friends are your worst critics.”
Fake negative reviews online only make managing your business’s online reputation even more difficult; so how do you overcome it? The New York Times article suggests only allowing customers that have made a purchase to write reviews. Rewards Network applies this rule to all diner reviews on all dining program websites. After a purchase, customers receive a survey link where they can review the restaurant, and that is the only way customer feedback is posted on the sites. The Rewards Network verified reviews confirm that the review is coming from a recent and authentic customer.
If you are interested in learning more about the products and services Rewards Network can provide please visit the Rewards Network Business Solutions website.