An essential tool of business or a potential disaster?
Most businesses do not set out to trick or deceive potential customers. However the inappropriate use of testimonials and endorsements can easily come across as such.
Testimonials from satisfied customers are often hard to come by or sound just not quite right. The urge to make your own or edit the ones you already have to be a little more favourable, can often be to tempting to resist.
Many businesses have fallen into a habit of using logos from prestigious customers as an implied endorsement, in place of a formal testimonial.
The former can lead to accusations of false and misleading advertising. The later is!
All testimonials must be freely given, be able to be substantiated and relate to your current business.
You are required to hold documentary evidence that a testimonial or endorsement used in marketing communications is genuine and hold contact details for the person who, or the organization that, gives it (UK. Code of Advertising Practice rule 3.45).
·You must have documented permission to use that testimonial/endorsement publically.
·That it is relevant to that business, service or product.
·That the review has not been incentivized (paid for in anyway).
·Testimonials or endorsements must also be recent and up to date.
·You cannot use former employers or previous businesses clients or testimonials as your own.
Once you have been accused of trying to trick or mislead your reputation will be very hard to recover.
Have you testimonials made professionally by a competent advertising agency and all this can be taken care of for you. It can be easier for customers to talk freely to an independent third party. Than to the person or business that they have been asked to review.
All reviews do not have to be good. The odd neutral or poor review can often help validate the good reviews. Nobody is perfect all the time!