Putting customer ratings to the test

Published: September 28, 2022 | Last updated: September 28, 2022

Manipulation protection: What hurdles a customer rating has to overcome before it appears on your ProvenExpert profile.

Action Tips:

  • Note down those reviews that raise concerns on your part.
  • Review if it goes against ProvenExpert's guidelines.
  • Do not delete unwanted reviews, report them.

In our blog post "Fake ratings: Why it doesn't pay to praise yourself" from last week, you learned about the problems that fake reviews can cause. Not only can your own reputation suffer considerable damage when ratings are manipulated, but there are also far-reaching legal consequences. This blog article will give you an insight into the technical side of ProvenExpert's quality assurance and what we do to prevent the manipulation of customer reviews.

Survey access - Who can rate and make recommendations?

Users of ProvenExpert themselves decide who can submit a rating. For this purpose, it is possible to specify in the privacy settings that online surveys are only accessible by invitation via mail and access code. This ensures that the person submitting the rating has actually used the service of the profile owner and, for example, cannot simply rate a competitor with harmful intent. Anyone who has enabled their profile to receive visitor feedback can deactivate surveys that are no longer up to date. This means that no additional ratings can be submitted for this survey.

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The good ones go into your pot, the lazy ones into your crop

Before a customer rating appears on your profile, it is verified for authenticity. This prevents fake reviews from competitors or trolls, as well as self-ratings by the profile owner. The traditional method of verifying a rating is by e-mail. In this case, a confirmation email is sent to the email address provided by the person submitting the rating, which must be answered. It is also possible to confirm the rating with the account in a social network (LinkedIn, Xing, Facebook, Google+). Without this verification, the rating will not be released. Double or "joke ratings" are prevented in this way.

Additionally, there are two versions of indirect verification that make it easier for the rater to provide feedback:
o Users who have been invited by email to submit a rating are considered verified because they have already actively clicked on a link in an email.
o Users who already have an account with ProvenExpert and are logged in to visit another user's survey are also considered verified.

All ratings must be approved by the user in order to be displayed on the publicly accessible profile. If not all ratings are released, the public profile and the expert seal will no longer display an overall result, but only the number of released ratings.

Regardless of whether ratings are released by the user or not: Ratings that contradict our rating guidelines or quality assurance criteria do not appear on the profile and are not included in the rating. However, they are stored in our database and documented as a result.

Ratings: Report yes, delete no

Despite all the care and precautions taken, there is never 100% certainty of a manipulated rating not being released. In addition to the automatic verification, ratings can also be reported by users and visitors to the profile. These reports are sent to us and are reviewed personally.

If the rating violates our terms of use, it will be deactivated. This means that the rating in question will no longer appear on the profile and will no longer be included in the rating.

However, it is not possible to delete a rating. This could lead to legal action being taken against our users for engaging in dishonest competition. Users can, however, use the above-mentioned reporting function to report violations of our user guidelines. In this case, the ratings will be deactivated and archived with a note. This means that they are still available for later review, but are no longer publicly visible on the profile.

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ABOUT PROVENEXPERT

ProvenExpert is the online platform for qualified customer feedback and review aggregation. A tool that enables business owners and service providers of all sizes to actively seek customer reviews with industry-specific survey templates, bundle existing customer reviews in one location and present the overall score in a way that makes it more effective. Already more than 270,000 entrepreneurs and service providers of all sizes benefit from ProvenExpert.