“Most people want to see you do better, but not doing better than them”
Customers are the real mirror of the brand or any product. But what if their opinions are manipulated and presented as the real thoughts? Reviews and comments are the base of any opinion generated by the customer. But here it is important to mention the REAL and GENUINE customers. A new visitor on the review section is not aware of the authenticity of the reviews or rating. Since there are no grounds for verification, it becomes very easy to forge them and show them in a pleasing manner.
So, for any product just scrolling through the reviews will not benefit you with the right purchases. There is a need to read through all the reviews individually and track down how they have emotionally written, when they have posted and what they intend to focus on(company, product or competitors). Spotting fake reviews becomes mandatory to segregate the true views of the reviewer. This is because they can be misleading and affect the image of the organisations. So, here is an attempt from Rannkly to give you some quick and easy tips on how to highlight the fake reviews. It is an important pillar of brand building that has to be focused with all special care either through technology or manual approaches.
HOW CAN YOU PINPOINT THE FAKE REVIEWS?
There are many companies and organisations that ask for review generation and rating them on different platforms. But there are many such organisations that reward the people if they write fake reviews. They reward them with cashback offers , vouchers and other incentives.
Due to such fraud practices going on in the market, many big companies like Amazon, ebay and Facebook have induced special programs in their websites and platforms to spot fake reviewers and take necessary actions against them. Such reviews not just disrepute the company or its products but also build a disbelief among the genuine customers of the companies. Let us look at some methods that can help us to spot out the fake reviews with a perspective of a business owner:-
“After all, it's all your hard earned money that you have invested”
# READ REVIEWS THOROUGHLY #
It seems quite impossible for most of the business owners to read all the reviews that are in the count of thousands. But what if one of those fake reviews is read by new customers online? It can definitely affect the position of the product which was actually good but portrayed as unfit for use.
So for that very reason, a team of two to three people can be appointed for this purpose to highlight fake reviews among the genuine ones. This process can be done with certain steps:-
- 5* ratings can be doubtful ( how can anybody like a product with no flaw?)
- Lots of pictures in the reviews (can be incentivised reviews)
- Something specific about their own experience (do you really need to share your experience?)
- Check out the dates on which maximum reviews have been posted.
# HIGHLY EMOTIONAL REVIEWS #
Writing down about the product that a customer has used to satisfy its needs will majorly write about the functionality, features and drawbacks of its services. But if any review with high emotional expressions is spotted, then it calls for suspicion in the mind.
People who deliver their extreme emotions either positive or negative on such a wide platform and that too, online, is not just explaining the product but also some exaggeration either to make it popular or defame it. People may use their personal stories to express their opinion and views. They come down to deep levels that need not to be expressed on a public platform. So this draws suspicion of being either true or false.
Rannkly also allows its users to manage such activities on their different platforms and maintain their brand position. If any business owner spots such activity on their page then they can handle that to their personal level before posting it worldwide.
“ An opinion is a generated thought of just one person but it affect the thoughts of many others”
# EMPHASISED ON IRRELEVANT DETAILS #
While looking out the details of the reviews deeply, one can identify whether the written thoughts are for the actual product or to promote some other product. Such pointers can allow the manager to rectify the review section and present the ideas of the people who have genuinely written about the service or quality of the product.
A fake reviewer will not only defame the product of a particular company but also promote other company products to disdain it indirectly. But there are many other circumstances where the buyer is not not aware that the product is not of that brand which he/she is thinking of. There are many copy products of the big commercial companies and customers mistake them to be one of them. So here, the buyer must be extra aware of unknown brands and buy them with full verification. They can do this by doing all the necessary research about the product from different websites before buying it.
Fake reviewers can also be identified when they refer to competitive products in their reviews. They do not actually review about the product which they have used but they just show their disregard to it in an unethical manner. Fake reviewers deliberately overstate about other brand products and services by defaming the main product. This is a representation of their antisocial behaviour that does not support the growing brands and highlights the features of such brands that are not relevant to that platform.
# LOOK FOR VERIFIED PURCHASES #
Due to such unethical activities going on to affront the popular and even growing brands, many stable companies have taken actions against them with either legal methods or with their inbuilt features to identify such fake reviews. Many companies have developed the option in their websites to confront such fraud reviewers with a reporting feature to highlight such people and their malicious activities. Like:-
- Amazon has a “report button” in their review section so that if anybody finds such activity they can report to the view of the authority.
- ebay has a small “!” mark in their review section to report negative activity.
But along with these features, the company now also mentions the mark as “VERIFIED” along with a review given by the customer to mention the authenticity of the review as well as the customer. This makes the other new viewers trust over the reviews and get the exact report of the product. According to Amazon prime day survey, 78% of the purchases done by the Amazon platform are affected by the reviews made by the customers. So this can be calculated by how much is the business affected by the opinions of the consumers that are presented on a social platform. And there are around 45% fake reviews on all the major websites that are affecting the business growth of all big companies.
# OTHER FRAUDULENT ACTIVITIES #
People are promoted to such activities due to the incentives that are provided by the fraud companies. They either promote other companies or they just write irrelevant details about the product. According to the Huffpost Story report, Fovera, an Ahmedabad based startup, gives 100 rs Paytm cashback offers to the people who review negatively on the product of some other company. Though it was fully denied by Fovera, but how will you know who is telling the truth?
Other than this, there is a huge list of jobs present on Fiverr with the name “Product Reviewer”. They review the product without actually buying or using it. And ofcourse, they get paid for this simple and easy job! Amazon has also started penalising and suing such fake reviewers in the posts. Facebook is also facing such problems due to the tedious task of identifying the reviewers and punishing them for these activities.
How can anyone tackle these fake reviewers?
According to Flipkart, they are able to tackle this issue by adopting both Systemic as well as Manual approaches to identify fake reviews and rating on their platforms. It simply means that there has to be an amalgamation of both technology and human intelligence to deal with this obstacle. A review is not a computer language that the computer can understand easily. This is a human emotional language that has been used on an online platform. So it can be dealt with by some manual labour to understand the base of such language and provide its solution technologically.
There are many online tools available that help to give the correct data of the product and genuine reviews without any scope of intruder. One can check the correct reviews on those platforms and make decisions thereafter. These platforms are, like:-
- Fakespot- its database allows no fake reviewer to comment on the product because it identifies it with a strong algorithm.
- ReviewMeta- here you can paste the URL and get the whole list of genuine reviews with complete authenticity
- ReviewIndex- this also gives the reviews details without a scope of infallacy. It presents the data with utmost accuracy.
This also becomes a duty of the new visitors or customers to check the complete detail of the product thoroughly not by the customer reviews but a deep research on the websites and even from the product owners. One can also verify about the product by talking to someone who had actually used it. This will give the better picture of the product through different and real sources.
One can also look for the most recent rating in the reviews to get a clear understanding of the product and services of that company. Going back to older comments may disguise the viewer by creating a wrong picture in their minds.there is always an update in the services by the companies. And this update is evidence of their regular improvement and growth. Along with recent reviews, one must try to go for the 3 star or 4 star rating to get the real understanding of the product. 1 or 5 star rating will only emphasise on the brand image but the ratings in between will try to elaborate on the quality of the product.
Grammar of the review also plays a good role in identifying the fake explanations of the product. Very poor or excellent (with terminological words) grammar points that they have been written exaggeratedly.
Dealing with such problems on the online platforms is handled by the companies but by the regulatory bodies also. Under 15 US code 45, there is a regulation to penalise such parties who promote fake reviews. This power has been given to the Federal Trade commission (FTC). They can take strict action against such an offence.
But even with all these legalities, this is the responsibility of the organisation to take special measures against such intruders and have some inbuilt features on their platforms to control such activities before they publish and create unnecessary chaos among the potential customers.