Consumer comments — whether they're online and given face-to-face to your company's service employees — are invaluable indicators of what your brand is doing right or wrong.

When that feedback is fake, however, or when you don't get a complete or accurate picture of what your audience is trying to tell you, you don't make the right moves and your brand can suffer.

You might think monitoring social media reviews is enough when it comes to taking your consumers' temperature accurately. But you need to know when that feedback is fake and get the true picture of how your products and services are perceived.

Want five outside-the-box ways to do it? Follow this great science-driven advice:

Use four points to identify fake online reviews.

Researchers at Deakin University developed an algorithm that shows the specific indicators that may point to untrustworthy online feedback. It's easy to analyze your own online feedback by examining a review with these points:

  • rating frequency
  • total submissions
  • low value or high value transactions of your goods and/or services
  • total feedback on the product or service being reviewed

A suspicious review that raises red flags on these points can be flagged easily and deleted quickly in compliance with your company policies.

Know when a rave equals a bomb.

A study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Northwestern University found that there is a small group of consumers who consistently praise and purchase products that turn out to be unsuccessful overall. These consumers are termed "harbingers of failure."

How can you avoid being boosted by this limited and misleading positive feedback? Check their customer history to see if they have a pattern of buying failed products from you in the past, and if they tend to buy niche products.

If so, you can more accurately evaluate whether it's worth it to continue to produce the product on a large scale.

Create a foolproof comment relay system.

Researchers from Friedrich Schiller University reported that 3 out of 4 actual consumer complaints never get from the service employee who receives them to a manager who can take action.

Therefore, companies never analyze these complaints for accuracy. Reevaluate your company's system for sending consumer feedback up the chain to make sure your employees know exactly how to report it to you and monitor that they're doing it consistently.

Let your customer service team help create solutions.

A study from Rice University, the University of Connecticut, the University of Maryland, the University of Minnesota and National Taiwan University found that customer service representatives who are on the front line of receiving consumer feedback report that feedback can have a key emotional impact on them, which makes them more creative.

Ask for their input regarding their intuition and experience about the feedback they receive. Their perspectives can alert you to false feedback patterns you never noticed before.

Don't be naive.

You believe in your brand, and that's great. But don't let that enthusiasm cloud your judgment and make you believe positive feedback that should be raising red flags. Stay objective and trust your gut. If feedback doesn't ring true, always verify!