What do you think of when you hear the word “review”? It’s likely that your thoughts immediately go towards restaurants, hotels, or other businesses that you interact with on a frequent basis. In this internet-driven world, online reviews are crucial for businesses of all kinds. 

They can make or break the reputation of a company, brand, website, or individual. A single negative review can completely destroy trust among potential customers. When it comes to business owners, identifying whether a review is legit is important if they want to continue building their business and avoid potential pitfalls that may be hidden in unhelpful reviews. 

There are quite a few things to look out for when reading online reviews. If the review is too short or seems like it was written by someone who isn’t fluent in English – these are red flags. Read on to learn more about ways you can identify whether a review is legitimate and what makes a trustworthy review.

Dependence On Online Reviews

Increased dependence on online reviews is due to a couple of factors. The first one is the fact that modern consumers are more likely to trust the opinion of an “average Joe” over that of a company representative. This is especially true when it comes to issues like quality, pricing, and even location, which a company representative can’t control. 

The second factor is the increase in the number of people who write online reviews. It is estimated that more than 47% of online shoppers say they write online reviews. This number has been on the rise since 2005, and it’s not expected to slow down anytime soon. When it comes to online reviews for businesses, you are likely to find reviews for your competitors, as well as for your own business.

The Importance Of Trustworthy Reviews

As we’ve stated, a single bad review can ruin a company’s reputation. And, many companies have found themselves suffering from a negative review that was written without cause or without fact. You can avoid this by making sure that your reviews are trustworthy. 

For example, you may have a customer who isn’t happy with your product or service. They may write a review to inform others about their negative experience with your brand. A bad review may cause other potential customers to shy away from your business. If the review is not trustworthy, you may want to respond. You may want to reach out to the reviewer to let them know that you’re trying to find a fair solution or that you’re working to improve your business. 

If you don’t respond to a bad review, it’s likely that the reviewer will assume that you don’t care or that you’re ignoring them.

Verifying Legitimacy Of Reviews

Verifying The Reviewer’s Identity

An easy way to verify the reviewer’s identity is to ask them to sign in with their social media account. A lot of reviewers will not be happy to provide such information, so you can rule them out as real. 

One way to do this is to ask the reviewer a few short questions, such as their hometown or which sports team they root for. If they don’t answer correctly, they’re likely not who they say they are. If they do, then you can trust that they are the reviewer.

The Reputation Of The Reviewer

The relationship you have with the reviewer is important when verifying their identity. If you don’t have any relationship with the reviewer, it’s difficult to know if they’re trustworthy. One way to tell if a reviewer is legitimate is to see if they have a good relationship with others. 

For example, if a reviewer has a track record of leaving positive reviews for other businesses, there’s a good chance that they are legitimate. If a reviewer has a habit of leaving negative reviews without reason, you may want to factor that into your decision-making process.

Be Wary Of Reviews With No Byline

You may come across a review that is written by “John” or “Jane” and nothing else. This is a red flag because real reviewers want to be honest but they also want to protect themselves. Why would a reviewer hide their real name? There are a few reasons that may be true. 

For example, they may not be a real customer of the business. They may be trying to protect themselves from retaliation from the company. Or, they may be a competitor who wants to harm the business.

Reviews With Vague Language Or Hidden Agendas

Reviews are meant to be helpful for consumers. A reviewer who doesn’t provide you with details about their experience or what made them unhappy is likely trying to damage your reputation. A reviewer may also want to hide their true intentions if they’re trying to drive traffic to their own business or website.

Short, Overly Positive Reviews

Short, overly positive reviews may be fake. They may be written by a competitor who wants to bring your business down. They may be written by the company themselves to boost their reputation. 

Just because a review seems too good to be true doesn’t mean that it is. However, it’s important to consider all factors to make sure that you know what’s real and what isn’t.

Trustworthy Reviews

types of online reviews

Sent From Registered Users

If you’re on social media, you probably unfollowed, blocked, or deleted people who didn’t follow your terms of service. This means that the majority of your social media followers are likely people who care about your business. If a user reviews your product or service, you can rest assured that they have registered and logged in to their account. 

If the review is authentic, you’ll be able to find the user’s information. This is important because you can track the reviewer and see if they have a positive history with your business.

Detailed And Well-Written

Reviews that are well-written and detailed are likely to be real. Reviewers who want to protect your reputation will want to provide as much information as possible. They will want to let you know exactly what they did, what they didn’t like, and what they want you to do to improve. If a review is short and vague, it may be fake.

Final Thoughts

In this article, we’ve discussed what makes a trustworthy review and what to look out for when identifying whether a review is legit. We’ve also discussed how a single bad review can ruin a business reputation and that many companies have found themselves suffering from a negative review that was written without cause or without fact. 

When it comes to business owners, identifying whether a review is legit is important if they want to continue building their business and avoid potential pitfalls that may be hidden in unhelpful reviews.

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