Online reviews help you build credibility and trust with your audience, and In this week’s Tech News Tuesday episode we’re discussing the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) proposal for a ban on fake reviews, how it can impact your business, and some best practices for getting reviews.
What Not to Do
The FTC has proposed a new rule to combat fake reviews and it will expose you to fines and penalties if you are guilty of any of the following:
- Selling or soliciting fake reviews, including those from fake profiles or generated by AI.
- Using reviews from individuals who haven’t actually used your product or service.
- Buying positive or negative reviews for your own or other products.
- Allowing reviews from company leadership, related individuals, or employees without disclosing their affiliation.
- Attempting to suppress negative reviews through legal threats or intimidation.
- Claiming defamation because of a bad review.
The impetus for this rule comes in part from the broad range of examples of clearly deceptive practices involving consumer reviews and testimonials submitted by consumers, small businesses, advocacy organizations, and trade associations.
What You Should Do
Your audience is looking for an authentic experience and user reviews are a great way to build trust and give them a taste of what your experience is like. Here are some positive steps you can take to improve your review profile:
Consistently Ask for Reviews
It’s important to have a consistent process for asking all your new customers for reviews. Avoid the temptation to batch them all at once, as it can give the impression that you’re buying reviews. Instead, make review requests part of your regular customer interactions.
Timing is Key
When it comes to asking for reviews, timing is crucial. You don’t want to ask for feedback immediately after a purchase because customers need time to experience your product or service. Find the sweet spot where they’ve had a chance to use what you offer, but haven’t forgotten the details.
Engage with All Reviews
Always respond to both positive and negative reviews in a professional and courteous manner. Take the time to acknowledge and appreciate the positive feedback.
The bottom line is this: improving your online reviews can have a significant impact on your small business’s reputation and success. Remember to stay authentic and transparent, and avoid any practices that may lead to fines or penalties from the FTC. By following the right steps, consistently soliciting reviews, and engaging with your customers, you’ll build trust, strengthen your online presence, and attract more potential customers.
Links in this episode: