By: David Ensing
This week I saw an interesting article in Automotive News here. It talks about Edmunds.com suing a social media reputation management firm for allegedly posting false reviews for 25 of its automotive dealer clients at Edmunds.com. If you don’t know Edmunds, it is one of the premier automobile review sites and they also have a section for dealership reviews. Apparently Edmunds is concerned that posting false reviews will discredit the information at their site. They are right to be concerned. At Maritz Research we just completed a study of 3404 people asking about their use and perceptions of information at customer rating and reviews sites (Edmunds.com was one of these). Briefly, we found that about 25% of people thought the information presented at reviews sites was an unfair representation of customers’ actual experiences. Also, even those who said the information seemed fair noted that they have to weed out fake reviews and highly biased reviews. Finally, across 13 high-profile rating and review sites, only between 36% and 59% of customers said that they trust most or all the information presented there. You can see the full write-up here.
I’m feeling that rating sites really need to get a handle on this problem or their information is essentially going to become worthless. One way to do that might be to work with companies to post results from their well-sampled and hopefully minimally manipulated customer experience studies. I know some companies are doing this, but I’m also seeing companies only wanting to share positive reviews rather than all reviews. I understand the marketing aspect of that, but it seems like it will backfire in the end as people discount sites that have only positive reviews. What are your thoughts? Is the posting of customer experience survey results to rating sites a good idea? Can you think of any other ways rating sites can ensure their reviews are valid?
- July 25, 2013
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- Customer Experience, Industry Research, Social Media, automotive news, customer experience, Dave Ensing, dealership reviews, Edmunds, edmunds.com, Fake, false reviews, maritz research, online ratings, online review sites, product reviews, Review Sites, Social Media, social media reputation, trust