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Luxury skincare company Sunday Riley settled with the Federal Trade Commission after an accusation that it had been posting fake online reviews to Sephora’s website for years.

A user on Reddit exposed the company back in October 2018. The whistleblower was allegedly an employee at Sunday Riley and posted an email from an executive in the company encouraging employees to post fake positive reviews on Sephora’s website. Employees used a VPN so their computers were untraceable. The company also requested that employees dislike any negative reviews, because with enough dislikes, Sephora would remove the negative reviews.

Many skincare brands don’t test their products long enough to have solid scientific evidence that they work, so they rely on online reviews to build brand recognition and loyalty. What Sunday Riley did was deceptive and unethical. Companies should earn authentic positive reviews from customers.

What brands can learn from this

Sunday Riley should have focused on reaching out to customers instead of its employees to write reviews. The brand has hundreds of thousands of followers on social media as well as customer emails it could market to. Additionally, since the focus was on obtaining online reviews, Sunday Riley could have posted signs in stores asking for feedback on review sites including Sephora.

From this scandal brands can learn that customer service should come before reviews. By giving the best experience possible to a customer, good reviews will flow in on their own. And ReviewMaxer can help make that happen.

What consumers can learn from this

Customers are getting better at evaluating the credibility of online reviews. Buying a product based on glowing reviews and then finding out it was all a lie is infuriating. Ultimately, when companies try to trick consumers, it turns them into smarter shoppers. Consumers should learn not to trust reviews at face value and how to spot when a review is fake, so in the future, they can find a brand they can trust.


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When customers are choosing between products, the one with the better reviews wins

With today’s technology, it’s easy for consumers to check online reviews before making a purchase. It’s no surprise that products with the better reviews get purchased and brands with the better reviews attract customers. For this reason, it’s crucial for you to motivate your customers to leave online reviews, thereby giving your company a competitive edge.

Often consumers are wary of marketing that claims best results. Online reviews give consumers real results and opinions about the products they’re considering purchasing.

How can online reviews impact a customer’s purchasing decisions?

When comparing purchase options, a customer is going to lean toward the brand that has more and better reviews. Consumers search for online reviews while shopping in store or online to help them make purchasing decisions. Reading independent personal reviews of how a product has benefitted others will motivate unsure buyers to make the final purchase.

How can I improve my brand’s online reputation?

It’s important for brands to establish and promote a positive reputation online to build trust with consumers. Brands are becoming more aware that their customers are interested in real-life results and personal recommendations. This has led to the increase of influencer marketing. Brands collaborate with social media influencers who have strong followings to test new products. These social media stars promote their honest opinions to their large audiences, which can then lead to increased awareness and sales. 

It’s important to manage online reviews about your products and brand to protect your company’s reputation and help grow your sales. By gaining positive online reviews, you raise your company’s ratings on review websites and increase your brand awareness to potential customers. ReviewMaxer is an easy tool for companies of all sizes to use. This powerful, cloud-based software provides a proactive strategy to efficiently manage online reviews and improve your ratings on review websites.

Watch this free demonstration to see how ReviewMaxer software works and read the ReviewMaxer blog for more tips!

Photo credit: Pablo

Written by: Amanda Murguido


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How you can motivate your customers to review your company

Negative online reviews hurt. They hurt your reputation, your company’s sales and even your feelings. You work hard, and you know your employees do too. So why is it that you’re receiving mostly negative online reviews? Where are all the reviews from customers who’ve had a positive experience?

Unfortunately, customers who have negative experiences are more motivated to leave online reviews. They’re frustrated, and they want to be heard. So how can your company motivate or encourage customers who’ve had positive experiences with your company to leave reviews?

Here are four ways to motivate your customers to leave your company positive online reviews:

  1. Reach out to your customers via email.

Proactively reaching out to all your customers and asking for their feedback is the best way to gain more positive reviews. If customers receive a simple email asking about their experience and requesting their opinion, they’ll be more likely to review your company on important review websites and social media platforms. It’s critical to import new customer emails at least once a week (even better, daily) to ensure you’re consistently gaining more reviews.

  1. Request an online review via text message.

Send your review request directly to your customers’ phones. With your customers’ permission, simply text them, “How are we doing?” and include the URL that directs them to your review and social media websites.

  1. Order printed review invites.

These cards work best placed at a front desk or at your registers. Another way to utilize them? Have your field representatives use them as a leave-behind with customers. Include them in your presentations, packets, packaging and gift bags. These cards are a tangible way to direct your customers to the review sites you’d like to receive more positive reviews.

  1. Ask for feedback via social media.

Remind your fans and followers that you appreciate their feedback and that their experiences with your company are important to you. Simply request a review through Facebook or Twitter.

After your customers leave your company online reviews, don’t forget to thank them! Some companies offer a coupon as a thank you for leaving a review, while others make a charitable donation for an online review. Every company should reply to every new review.  

Review management software is a great product that helps you manage and increase your online reviews. Among other tasks, it can:

  1. Email and text message your customers.
  2. Order review invites.
  3. Create your custom URL that directs your customers to the review and social media sites you’re listed on.

ReviewMaxer is the secret tool for accomplishing it all.

Watch this free demonstration to see how ReviewMaxer software works and contact us if you have questions.

Photo credit: Pablo


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