One of the greatest challenges to the substance and veracity of online reviews is instilling confidence in the consumers who flock online to make their choices based on the opinions of others, whom they will likely never encounter in real life. Maintaining a review system through robust and vigorous checks and balances is the only way to ward off dishonest types trying to register fake reviews and it also works to build honest and transparent reputations.

NoCowboys has led the way in creating a trusted and valued review platform that does two things – allowing  consumers to make informed choices about which services they will commission and building the reputations of Kiwi businesses, so they can attract customers who put huge stock in their reviews.

None of that is possible if our systems are not the very best they can be.

We field queries from consumers using our site and we have businesses who occasionally question our practices. The easiest way to explain what we do is to understand that trust is the paramount and guiding word in what we do. If we are not trusted, then everything we do falls apart.

Here’s just one example to make the point. Some businesses will do multiple jobs for the same customer. When consumers lock on to a tradie or a business that exceeds their expectations, they will be asked to come back over and over again. But if those consumers left feedback for every job – within time frames that may look suspicious, then the business is left losing the ground that it has worked so patiently and diligently to build on.

For that reason we don’t post reviews from repeat customers if the work done falls within six months. Why? Because a list of reviews with the same names popping up in the thread begins to look suspect. Furthermore, there is no reason for a business focused on enhancing its reputation, not to invite and encourage feedback from all of its customers.

Reputations are perceptions built on trust, so why throw them away just to have a lot of reviews from the same customers? Don’t get me wrong. They are legitimate. Work has been done but the way they are perceived by consumers is what matters more than anything else. We get queries from end users about this a lot – even if the reviews are spaced out over years and they have been published – within the framework of our protocols.

Every second of every single day, people all over the world are making decisions on what to buy and who to hire, based on online reviews and consumers are incredibly savvy. They can mostly spot fakery and they will avoid it like the plague. So ensuring that the desires and expectations of consumers are met by establishing an authenticated review platform is essential.

Research says the same thing, over and over – consumers know there are fake and suspicious reviews and in the main they can spot them a mile off. But they also want to trust authenticated sites – they have an emotional and a financial investment in the reviews that they will read there.