It’s well recognised in today’s consumer market place that positive customer feedback is essential in making a retailer attractive to other consumers but it’s been reported recently that some unscrupulous retailers have been manipulating reviews to give them an unfair advantage. So who can you really trust?
With the explosion of Social Media came the whole phenomenon of ‘Social Proof’; the understanding that if enough people, especially if they were my friends, had enjoyed a good experience from a supplier of a product or service, then I would be likely to enjoy it too. Likewise, if I’d had a bad experience, I’d be likely to tell all my friends to beware!
Digital marketers quickly learned that positive feedback was essential to attracting new customers for all sorts of products or services and a whole industry grew up around the collection and promotion of customer reviews, enabling companies to manage their reputation through on-line means.
Of course, as with any medium that tries to achieve commercial advantage, it very quickly becomes open to abuse, through unscrupulous manipulation of the truth. Apparently some retailers have ‘paid’ people professing to be legitimate consumers, or used other people’s details, to post false reviews and feedback to influence public opinion favourably towards their products and services.
Of course this leaves us all wondering just whose reviews and opinions we can trust at all? But I’m pleased to say that in the midst of all this jiggery pokery, we at thebestof Bolton put our weight fully behind an initiative championed by thebestof UK to ensure that all reviews collected and promoted on our websites would be 100% verified by the people leaving them, making it very difficult for any mass fraud to be achieved using our websites.
Thebestof Bolton is part of a national network of businesses, dedicated to finding and promoting the best businesses in local areas, based on the feedback they receive from their customers and using a fully verified review system hopes to ensure that all feedback left for a company is honest and true.
Of course, all this comes at a price; some of the hard work which goes into collecting customer reviews is wasted due to the review failing to be verified by the person leaving it – human nature really!
But I for one am proud to be a supporter of the stance taken by ‘thebestof’ as I know for sure that all reviews featured on thebestof Bolton website are fully verified and consumers can truly rely on the feedback we post.
I hope all other review based websites will take a leaf out of our book!
For honest reliable reviews of local independent businesses visit www.thebestof.co.uk/bolton
Member since: 4th July 2012
I am David Ramsden, owner of thebestof bolton.