Just how important are online reviews to customers? Very, says our digital expert Ash Young from Evoluted


Let’s start with the stats:

67.7% of purchasing decisions are impacted by online reviews. (Moz)

68% say positive reviews make them more likely to use a local business. (BrightLocal)

40% say negative reviews stop them using a business. (BrightLocal)


Gaining positive online reviews


Alongside Google and Facebook, there are plenty of review platforms to sign up to, including Feefo, TrustPilot and Reviews.co.uk.


You can promote positive reviews with the following strategies:


Create incentives – discount codes, competitions.

Ask at positive times in their purchasing journey – when they re-order, demonstrate success with your service, refer a friend.

Optimise your content – ask via emails, add quick links to your website e.g. ‘Review us on Google’.

Inspire customers by sharing positive reviews you’ve received.

Dealing with negative reviews

It’s vital to always reply to all reviews, including negative ones. According to BrightLocal, 89% of consumers read business’ responses to reviews.


Minimise the impact of negative feedback by:


  • Replying ASAP
  • Offering an email address/phone number to discuss further, away from the reviews page.
  • Writing like a human, rather than a faceless organisation.
  • Apologising for and acknowledging a real mistake.
  • Providing a solution with any of the following:
  • Compensation where warranted.
  • Promising to take the feedback on board.
  • Investigating further.
  • Correcting falsities.
  • Spotting and dealing with fake reviews.


Fake reviews might be false allegations, competitors attempting to sabotage or individuals who haven’t actually interacted with your service.


How to spot a fake review:


The reviewer’s name is not in your database.

The same person has left similar reviews elsewhere.

It refers to products you do not offer.

It’s vague, offering no elaboration about the experience.

There is false information.


What’s the best way to deal with this?


Respond, acknowledging that you cannot find their details in your database or by asking them to elaborate further, whilst offering the opportunity to email your customer service team. This makes it clear there is something fishy about the review, and still shows you care.

Report it to the review platform.

On Google, flag this as inappropriate. The more flags, the more likely Google is to take action – so get your colleagues reporting this too.

Most review platforms have systems in place to report potential fake reviews, such as Trust Pilot, so they can investigate.


For help in setting up reviews for your business, contact the Evoluted team.