Online reviews are being increasingly relied on by consumers to make more informed buying decisions and by businesses for sales growth.
This has resulted in a boom for businesses that provide excellent service. They are now effectively harnessing goodwill online through their websites by using social media to leverage other review platforms like UrbanSpoon and TripAdvisor.
There has been an increase in comments and reviews that are false or misleading.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission released a new guide outlining best practices for online product reviews.
Businesses have been notified that deceptive or misleading conduct can be punished with fines of up to $1.1 Million.
It is easy to avoid issues with your online presence. These five principles can be summarized in the following.
- Transparency in commercial relationships
- Do not post or publish false reviews.
- Negative reviews are just as misleading as fake reviews.
- Participate in the manipulation of review results for commercial relationships.
- Don’t offer incentives for positive reviews to increase review numbers artificially.
These may seem common sense. But do you have a policy regarding using online reviews by your business? It’s worth spending a few minutes to ensure you follow the best business practices and reduce your chances of being sued under consumer laws.