3 Legal Tips on How to Use Customer Testimonials

Business

Customer reviews are great for your business. You can build consumer trust and show authority and positive brand history to your future customers. However, the use of customer testimonials is ruled by truth-in-advertising laws.

More than 70% of customers search for product reviews before their purchases, and according to Zendesk, about 90% of buyers are influenced in their decisions by positive reviews. The use of customer reviews gives you a huge advantage, and you can easily benefit from them by using software such as Wiremo.

But there are specific rules that you need to know if you are using endorsements and reviews. Let’s take a closer look.

Make sure that all reviews are accurate

The testimonials can’t mislead your readers. It must reflect the honest opinions of people and their beliefs, experiences and findings. We’ve all seen the ads that promise weight-loss miracles with satisfied customer reviews which are barely credible. However, if there isn’t scientific evidence to validate that the claim is true, then you are misleading your customers.

For example, in the US, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) holds you liable if you make false or unsubstantiated statements through the use of testimonials or endorsements. The FTC also has regulations for when you use a testimonial that showcases a non-typical result of your product. For instance, when a customer is over-the-moon because she lost 55 pounds in a few weeks, you must underwrite the review with ‘results not typical.’ This is because the reviews must reflect typical experiences; and if it’s not typical, it should be disclosed in an easy-to-spot disclaimer.

Never copy and paste testimonials from other sources

Most review sites have a paragraph in their Terms of Service about how their reviews and testimonials are possessed by the owner of the website and licensed by them. Therefore, you should never copy reviews to your website.

So, if you put these reviews on your website, you’re infringing on the intellectual property right of the customer who wrote the testimonial. A better option is to insert links on your website that direct your visitors to these review websites, or you can install software packages such as Wiremo.

Get written permission from consumers to use customer testimonials

You should always have some documentation of the consent of the customer to reuse their reviews. This protects you if a buyer wants to retract their testimonials. When they’ve approved in writing that you can reuse their reviews for a certain period of time, they can’t do anything against you and you can use their customer testimonials until the contract ends.

You can get this written permission in several ways. In B2B, an email is a common practice, which is already sufficient, or you can include clauses in your Terms of Service or Privacy Policy that any user review submitted on your site can be used for marketing purposes.

In conclusion, you should never forget that you can be held liable for false or unsubstantiated statements that are in the testimonials, reviews or endorsements you use. However, it’s not difficult to follow the regulations. Ensure that the reviews are honest, not misleading and display the real results of your product. You want to represent your product precisely to your audience so your customers build a lasting trust in your company.

 

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