As you know online reviews are an essential part of every accommodation business, responding to and communicating back to past guests is a big part of this. But, how do you know if a review is legitimate or not? To the untrained eye this can be quite tricky to determine however, by following this simple checklist you will be able to identify fake online reviews.
Before we start, if you haven’t already read last week’s article, check it out below:
1. Evaluate the Author
When evaluating the legitimacy of an online review this is always the first place to start, fraudulent reviewers will not review with their own personal name or account. So, do some detective work here:
Firstly, check if the reviewer is actually on your records, did they stay at your property? If yes, the review is probably legitimate. If no, continue with your detective work.
– Look them up on social media – does the account exist? How many friends do they have? Do they have a profile picture? Etc.
– Are they writing any other online reviews, if so can you see a pattern or trend?
2. Increased Volume
If you see an unusual trend or influx in negative reviews that do not align with your regular reviews, this can be a good indication that something is out of the ordinary.
3. Read the Content
Be sure to monitor the actual content in the review, this is often a fantastic way of determining who is reviewing your property.
– Short reviews with a poor use of the English language (namely grammar and Punctuation) scream fake – these reviews are often composed overseas.
– On the other hand, overly complicated reviews with technical lingo a regular guest wouldn’t write are also signs of a fraudulent review.
4. Look for Duplicates
Duplicate or similar reviews on other sites often indicate that the review is fabricated; a simple Google search will help you discover any duplicate or similar reviews.
What do you do about fraudulent reviews?
Ok, now you’ve discovered you have fake or fraudulent reviews what can you do about them?
So, these steps will vary depending on the platform the fraudulent reviews are on however, as a general rule reporting them is usually the first step – the reviewing platform will be able to assist you here.
Finally, it is essential for businesses and especially hotels to encourage past guests to complete online reviews; this should be a standard procedure in all hotels. By encouraging past guests to review your property you will automatically take over any fake review by real and positive ones.