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October 2022 Edition


Are Your Company's Online Reviews Frightening Potential Customers?

Reposting of article written 

by Dawn Varga

September 23, 2019

You have probably heard that 95% of shoppers read reviews before making a purchase. But did you know that 8 out of 10 shoppers will change their mind about a purchasing decision because of a negative review they read online?

That’s scary, especially if you’re like most companies and occasionally receive not-so-happy online comments from consumers. I’m sure you would agree that one customer lost due to a negative review is one too many!

But a negative review doesn’t have to always mean lost business. There are ways to turn a ghastly review into an opportunity. For example, responding to the review and addressing the issues right away is a great way to show potential customers that you are concerned about your customer’s experience. In fact, 78% of consumers feel that if a business responds to reviews,it shows they care, and 67% of customer who receive a response to a negative review will either update or remove their original review.

Another way is to gather more positive reviews from your customers. The comments left by satisfied customers are one of the best kinds of referrals your business can get. Not every customer will be satisfied, but hopefully the majority are happy with the products and services they received from your company. You should put an efficient and simple process in place to ask your customers for feedback. 68% of consumers left an online review for a business when asked, so the odds are in your favor.

Stay vigilant and know what is being said about your business online. Monitor your review listings and social media pages for new consumer posts. Don’t let bad comments spook your potential customers from doing business with you. And you don’t have to do it alone.  Enlist the help of OnTarget Digital Services, and let us manage your reputation, monitor your business online and respond on your behalf. Let us provide you with the tools to gather reviews and the reporting keep your abreast of what is being said about your company. 

Online reviews can seem nightmarish for a business, but if managed professionally it can be a great referral source for potential customers.


To Spot Fake Online Reviews, Target the Reviewers

Article from UCLA Anderson Review

A test was 93% accurate; more efficient than analyzing reviews

Anyone who shops online comes to rely on customer reviews to help separate the solid offerings from the duds. Trouble is, too many of those ratings are fake, paid for by the seller. And it isn’t easy to tell which is which. 

Estimates of the share of fake reviews range from 4% to more than 30%. Whatever the number, it can be bad news for e-commerce companies, damaging consumer trust and hurting sales. Amazon and other online sellers try to filter out fakes, and experienced shoppers use a handful of tips for spotting them — lots of five-star reviews in a few days or eerily similar review photos. 

Finding a Way to Ferret Out Fake Reviews

A working paper from UCLA Anderson’s Sherry He and Brett Hollenbeck, Rochester Institute of Technology’s Gijs Overgoor and Ali Tosyali, and USC’s Davide Proserpio proposes a solution: Forget the reviews and target the network of products and reviewers most likely to post phony ones.

In a previous study, He, Hollenbeck and Proserpio identified a large and thriving online marketplace where sellers hire people to buy their products and post positive reviews. The researchers singled out more than 20 private Facebook groups used by sellers on, documenting the products that purchased high ratings. (Similar groups exist for Walmart and Wayfair, the authors say.)

The Federal Trade Commission and other regulators are investigating this market, and the firms involved have started to take it more seriously as well. In July Amazon sued administrators of more than 10,000 of the Facebook groups. Facebook removed one of the groups that had more than 43,000 members earlier in 2022.

One feature of these markets is that a relatively small number of sellers and reviewers participate so that products with phony ratings tend to rely heavily on the same reviewers. By zeroing in on this limited product-reviewer network, the new paper suggests, online platforms can more easily identify fake reviews than the methods that analyze the text, images, metadata and other features. What’s more, it can’t be easily evaded by efforts to make fake reviews seem more realistic.

“While no method can identify fake reviews with 100% accuracy, [the researchers’ method] would allow rating platforms to apply greater scrutiny to these products, add warning flags for customers or otherwise selectively reduce their incentive to manipulate their ratings,” the authors write.

Today, detecting fake reviews mainly relies on machine learning to analyze the reviews themselves — ratings, votes from shoppers who have found the reviews helpful, and the language of the text. The problem is that these algorithms have to be trained on reviews that have already been identified as fake. The algorithms are also relatively easy to deceive with fake reviews that are indistinguishable from real ones.



Pumpkin Ravioli

Recipe by Ree Drummond

View Recipe on The Pioneer Woman

This quick-and-easy pumpkin ravioli is made with browned butter, pine nuts and sage. Serve as a Thanksgiving appetizer or a weeknight fall meal!


For the filling:

    • 2 tbsp. salted butter
    • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    • 1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
    • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
    • 1/4 tsp. chili powder, plus more to taste

    For the ravioli:

    • 1/4 c. pine nuts
    • 1/2 c. salted butter
    • 36 whole wonton wrappers
    • egg
    • Black pepper, to taste
    • Fresh parmesan cheese, optional
    • Thinly sliced fresh sage leaves

    1. For the filling: Melt the butter with the garlic in a skillet over medium heat and cook for 1-2 minutes to release the garlic flavor. Add the pumpkin puree, salt and chili powder. Stir and cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, until the puree is less watery and slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
    2. For the ravioli: Toast the pine nuts in a small skillet over medium-low heat, tossing occasionally, until golden, 6-8 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour the pine nuts onto a small plate.
    3. In a small skillet (you can use the same one you toasted the pine nuts in) brown the butter by melting it over medium-high heat, then let it cook and bubble for an additional 4-6 minutes or until the foam is golden brown. Transfer it to a heatproof bowl.
    4. Lay out 18 wonton wrappers and put 1 tablespoon of the pumpkin filling in the center. Beat the egg with 1 tablespoon of water. Using your finger, smear the egg mixture all over the surface of one of the wrappers surrounding the pumpkin. Place a clean wrapper on top, matching up the edges. Press the edges together and use your fingers to press out any air pockets that form. Repeat with the rest of the wrappers. (Keep in mind the wrappers dry out quickly, so you might want to assemble 9 ravioli at a time, keeping the other wrappers covered. If you like, you can trim the raviolis using a circular or square cutter to make the edges uniform. Totally optional!)
    5. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Drop 3 ravioli at a time into the water and cook for about 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spatula and put the ravioli on a plate. Continue cooking the ravioli in batches of 3.
    6. To serve, spoon a little browned butter onto each plate and smear it around. Place 3-4 ravioli on each plate, then spoon a little more browned butter over the top. Sprinkle on the toasted pine nuts, black pepper, and shaved Parmesan, if desired. Finally, sprinkle on the sage and serve!

    Have a recipe you want to share? Drop us a line at
    Tina and Dawn OnTarget

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