What exactly are verified reviews and why do they matter?

We all know how much it takes to build your business’ reputation. The time you spent curating only the best products. The hours you spent putting your site together.

So of course you want to make sure your customers are getting the real story about how great your store is.

In order to do that, you need people to leave reviews. Simple, right?

But how do your new customers know which reviews to trust? How do they know the reviews you’re displaying come from people who actually bought from your store?

That’s where verified reviews come in.

What is a verified review?

A verified review is a review that is collected and vetted by a third-party.

Usually, when a customer makes a purchase, the third-party site will send them an email asking how their experience went.

For customers, this guarantees the review they’re reading is from an actual customer who made an actual purchase on your site. It’s a badge of proof that most customers need before shopping on a site. That’s because “authenticity of reviews is the most important factor for consumers to trust the reviews that they read,” according to Bright Local.

It’s also a way to filter out fake reviews and spammers, which can be extremely damaging for website owners.

What’s the matter with fake reviews?

Fake reviews can hurt you in two ways.

If your site has a positive fake review and other customers find out, any trust and goodwill you’ve built up between them vanishes in a second. And honestly, it probably won’t be coming back.

And if your site has a negative fake review, it can damage your site’s overall star rating. This is huge because “58% of consumers pay most attention to overall star rating” according to Bright Local.

Sidebar: How can you tell which reviews are real and which are fake?

If your business is small enough, you likely know exactly who bought what, and what their experience was like (generally).

But if you have a lot of volume, you may be hard-pressed to pinpoint the fake ones. Here are some ways to do it:

  • Is the review inconsistent or vague, and does it avoid details about their experience?
  • Has the reviewer left multiple reviews on other sites with the same negative experience? Google this and find out.
  • Is there a link to a competitor in the review?

Fortunately, all of this can be avoided if you use a third-party review platform.

(In case you’re wondering, a third-party platforms help regulate your your reviews. When you spot a fake, you can flag the review and submit a removal request. This prevents you from deleting the review directly on your website, which would make you look like you’ve got something to hide.)

So how do I collect verified reviews?

The best way to go about getting verified reviews is to send an email through your third-party platform. Bright Local reports that “50% of consumers have been asked to leave a review about a business and actually left a review,” which is a great hit rate.

If you’re really having trouble getting reviews, consider offering customers rewards in exchange for leaving a review. This will definitely increase the likelihood of a customer leaving a review, and helps foster a positive impression of your business.

Wrapping up

Reviews aren’t just critical for business growth; they’re ways to cultivate relationships with customers that can be lucrative for years to come. That’s why it’s so important to be active and involved in your review set-up, and ultimately, why you need your reviews to be verified by a third party.

Looking for a third party review system for your business? Get TrustedSite Reviews free.