Carefully select a reviews platform or review site
Maintain a reputable presence online and reap the benefits of valid customer feedback by hosting your reviews on a credible third-party site. Ensure that platform has a dedicated team of investigators who manually review each and every online customer review submitted. The review site should safeguard against business reviews that violate an established set of guidelines and it should take a systematic approach to validate each reviewer’s identity.
Here are three things any reputable third-party platform or review site should validate:
Whether the reviewer exists, and is not a false or spoofed identity
Whether the reviewer has conflicts of interest, or if conflicts exist between the reviewer and the software provider (such as being an employee or competitor of the product’s company)
Whether the review was submitted on the reviewer’s behalf by the software provider or another party
At Gartner Digital Markets, we’ve found that products with zero reviews have conversion rates 37% lower compared to those with a single verified review. And products with 10 or more authentic reviews double their conversion rates through an increase in site traffic by 127% compared to products with zero reviews.
A negative review beats a fake review 100% of the time
Don’t let the fear of negative customer feedback encourage you to collect falsified positive reviews. Even a negative review can provide an opportunity to identify, and resolve, customer challenges before they escalate. Negative reviews serve as a valuable social proof, and increase buyer perception of the authenticity of your reviews collectively, as well as your business. Publicly respond to feedback left in a negative review as an opportunity to highlight the quality of your team’s customer service. Prioritize legitimate online review collection over positive reviews to guide better-informed, qualified leads — with a higher chance of conversion — to your site.
Learn more about how to ensure the overall quality of your customer reviews, and all that goes into a high-quality, authentic review with our “Reviews Quality Comes First” white paper.
Ryan Kent is the Director of Reviews Operations for Gartner Digital Markets. Ryan helped create, implement and scale Digital Markets’ Reviews Quality Assurance and Compliance programs. When he’s not working on improving the quality of our reviews, he and his wife have their hands full of kids, cats and dogs! Connect with Ryan on LinkedIn.