Reviews in the "post-truth" age: Why genuine feedback is crucial | DMA

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Reviews in the "post-truth" age: Why genuine feedback is crucial


In the age of ‘fake news’, authentic customer reviews are not just vital to boost confidence and loyalty in a brand, they are also an incredibly valuable source of business insight.

We live in the post-truth age, where facts are easily cherry-picked and people can find it hard to trust what they read. Feefo’s latest research reveals that 75% of consumers are worried about fake feedback.

This presents a huge problem for businesses: every time a brand shouts about a positive piece of feedback, or shares an impressive testimonial, there is a risk that people are only taking those comments with a pinch of salt.

When practically everyone shopping online uses reviews to guide their decisions, what can businesses do to build trust with their most important asset, the customer?

Verification can go some way to increasing confidence, with four in ten consumers stating this is an important trust factor. If businesses can prove that all its reviews come from genuine customers, consumers will feel more at ease in the early stages of the buying cycle.

Interestingly, negative reviews can also build trust. The majority of consumers (81%) read several negative reviews, alongside the positive ones, to judge the consistency of feedback and gain a balanced view. If there aren’t any negatives, more than half (54%) said they would be suspicious.

While some companies may be fearful of receiving bad reviews, having the ability to garner this insight and respond to negative feedback can ensure problems are resolved so they don’t happen again. Both positive and negative reviews can be used to make improvements to your business, whether internal or external. Brands can even use feedback to reward sales or support staff who helped to deliver an exceptional service.

The improvements made won’t just affect future customers either - if existing clients can see the company is making meaningful changes, based on their feedback, they’re more likely to do business with them again.

What’s clear is that today’s post-truth age has forced all of us to become more aware of fake content, which can only be a good thing. With consumers becoming more adept at spotting fake feedback, businesses need to demonstrate that the reviews they display are real, and ensure the they can garner valuable insights from feedback, ultimately boosting business success.


Matt West speaks at Customer Engagement 2017, at the British Museum on 27 June. For more information and to book your place, click here.

Interested in the research provided? Download the ‘Feefo Consumer Report: Online Reviews’ today.

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