When bad reviews are a good thing: Guidelines and checklist of best practices for reviews

For our clients who are using Reviews, we want to revisit best practices around how you are managing your content, what Pixlee TurnTo offers out of the box, and highlight the incredible importance and power of authenticity in all types of reviews.

Pixlee TurnTo has many measures in place to ensure you are collecting authentic content from your customers, such as requiring authentication and limiting the number of reviews from a single email address for a particular SKU so no single person can influence the rating of a product.

The authenticity of our content should also extend what you choose to publish. We encourage the best practice of being as transparent with your reviews as possible. Consumers distrust ratings and reviews that are 100% positive as no single product is going to be loved by everyone who purchases it. Negative reviews should not be suppressed just because they are negative or have a low rating. You should be publishing your negative reviews, but what you may not realize is that you actually have an obligation to do so.

The Consumer Review Fairness Act (CRFA) protects people's ability to share their honest opinions about a business's products, services, or conduct, in any forum, including social media. Like with any rule, there are exceptions. Per the FTC, it is ok to prohibit or remove a review that:

  1. Contains confidential or private information – for example, a person's financial, medical, or personnel file information or a company's trade secrets;

  2. Is libelous, harassing, abusive, obscene, vulgar, sexually explicit, or is inappropriate with respect to race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, or other intrinsic characteristic;

  3. Is unrelated to the company's products or services; or

  4. Is clearly false or misleading.

We put together a best practice checklist to ensure you are not only compliant but also recognizing the value from negative reviews.

Best practice checklist for managing negative reviews

Are you regularly reviewing your hidden reviews and releasing usable content?  ‍

If you are not, you should work through a process to do this regularly. If you do not have the resources to do this, Pixlee TurnTo may be able to support you with our Human Moderation Services team. Reach out to your Pixlee TurnTo Customer Success Manager for a quote. Alternatively, you can work with Pixlee TurnTo to fine-tune your filters so that more of the usable content is auto-published. Reach out to your Pixlee TurnTo CSM to work with you on this.  

‍Have you reviewed your filters recently? Do they need to be fine-tuned? ‍

If you are not regularly checking your hidden reviews, Pixlee TurnTo can work with you to fine-tune your language filters or star rating filters to minimize the content that is hidden, while still hiding sensitive topics like ingredients, competitors, labor practices, medical claims, etc until these can be reviewed manually. Reach out to your Pixlee TurnTo CSM to support you on this.  

‍If you are using Pixlee TurnTo's human moderation services, have you revisited your guidelines recently?

Review your moderation guidelines that are being used by Pixlee TurnTo's moderators to ensure they support the authenticity of your reviews and allow for the publishing of the appropriate negative reviews. If you need access to your human moderation guidelines please email and ask for your guidelines

Editor's Note: Pixlee TurnTo is now Emplifi.

Are you responding to reviews?

Publishing negative reviews not only helps to validate the authenticity of your reviews, but it also gives you the opportunity to respond to negative reviews - which leading brands frequently use as a way to build trust with your consumers. You're not replying to the one reviewer, but connecting with everyone who reads this review. Responding often and promptly to negative reviews shows how you value customer feedback and are a customer-centric company. If you have questions on how to use the Respond to Review feature please reach out to your Pixlee TurnTo CSM

‍Are you taking away learnings from your negative reviews?

You can use negative reviews to help improve the customer experience, product ideation, and eCommerce website. Are you actively reviewing your negative reviews with an eye to learn from them? Just like SEO experts say to look at your most commonly searched terms to figure out what to add in your website header hierarchy, you should be looking at common themes in negative reviews for invaluable customer feedback.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on Any statistics or statements included in this article were current at the time of original publication.

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