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As users of the internet, we are allowed to publish any content we choose, as long as it’s truthful and appropriate. There are many who don’t handle this privilege responsibly and forget that their post or comment can have a significant impact on an individual's livelihood. 


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Trends, like everything else, come and go. Every year, there are new trends to be on the lookout for, and trends in reviews are no different.


Here are some local review trends to keep an eye on in 2021.


Fake reviews are increasing.

Unfortunately, fake reviews will always be here to stay. But fortunately enough, people have become better at spotting fake reviews compared to real, genuine reviews. Google My Business, for example, allows you to ask Google to review comments that you may deem false, inappropriate, or irrelevant to your business.


Most users give one-star or five-star reviews; there is no in between.

There seems to be a pattern of reviews that are either only given one star or all five stars. It’s no surprise that people often leave reviews when they had an excellent experience or a horrible one. If this pattern continues, many companies will have a hard time distinguishing what they need to improve on.


Opinions that aren’t politically correct can impact your reviews and company.

Opinions that might be controversial can have a long-lasting impact on both your reviews and your company as a whole. An example of this is a now permanently closed restaurant called Cup It Up, which was located in Tucson, Arizona. Two of the owners posted contentious opinions on their Facebook pages that led to their business closing. Be careful what you voice on behalf of your company as it may have consequences that won’t only affect your reviews but your overall business.


The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically affected reviews.

It’s safe to say that people are spending less money and time out because of the pandemic. This can have a detrimental impact on companies, especially local businesses that are not only experiencing a dip in sales but also rely on reviews to boost their exposure and customer engagement.


There is no doubt that reviews are important to companies. Take these trends into consideration as they can help your company do things differently to better thrive.

 

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels


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Before you can address fake reviews, you must be able to spot them. A fake review is commonly written in an angry or malicious tone and will not feature specific criticism. Authentic negative reviews will usually include specific reasons for leaving the review and what the customer disliked about his or her visit or experience. 


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Studies show that 86% of customers read reviews on local establishments and a minimum of 10 reviews before making their decision. With this data, it’s important to make sure your online presence isn’t marked with negative reviews as they could drive away potential clients.   


A current trend revolves around people intentionally creating fake 4-star reviews to pull down a perfect 5-star rating. Four-star reviews don’t automatically appear as false, but in an abundance, they can pull the Google rating down. With a lower rating, a company will be further down the webpage and, therefore, will have trouble getting business. 


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Bad reviews are bound to happen, and they don’t have to keep you down. With a few simple actions, you can turn bad reviews around to work for you rather than against you. Here are six ways to survive those negative reviews.


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Living in a digital age comes with its ups and downs and in the land of customer reviews, it's hard to ensure that your organization is represented accurately. The power of word-of-mouth is paramount for any business but online, your customers can see the good, the bad, and the ugly — and that's okay! It's how you respond as a company that matters.

According to Glance, it takes 12 positive customer experiences to make up for one negative experience.

So how do you turn a negative comment into a positive outcome? 


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