Publishing customer testimonials on an e-commerce web site is a good way to inspire customer confidence but yet there appears to be little or no active regulation or audit and we are aware of web sites displaying fabricated testimonials.
Hertfordshire (PRWEB UK) 30 March 2013
For internet businesses, one of the most powerful techniques to attract customers and encourage a longer web site visit is the use of high impact customer assurance visuals.
These ‘optically attractive’ visuals include the logo of trade bodies, money back guarantees, payment methods, web site security and more recently – customer testimonials.
According to Tom Barley, a spokesman for car2cover – the unaudited and unregulated ability to display customer feedback and a ‘star rating’ is being substantially exaggerated and abused.
“Publishing customer testimonials on an e-commerce web site is a good way to inspire customer confidence but yet there appears to be little or no active regulation or audit and we are aware of web sites displaying fabricated testimonials,” said Barley.
In Barley’s opinion this activity is one that does not treat customers fairly and is a practice, which must be subject to audit and stiff penalties where fabrication is identified. “We have communicated with the Advertising Standards Authority and suggested these cases be acted upon and a digital audit trail requested to prove the validity of all published testimonials and star ratings.”
If the customer testimonials are to be used, the eBay feedback method which publishes good and bad feedback is surely the way forward. It was recently reported Google have demoted the ranking of some web sites with disproportionate numbers of doubtful self published testimonials and is in discussion with a third party administrator and publisher of testimonials to develop a Google recognised standard.
“We have recently called for the Advertising Standards Authority to act quickly to collect digital evidence of published testimonials to give consumers even greater confidence and the examples we have provided should help. Obtaining ‘genuine’ customer feedback and testimonials for the purchase of an insurance product is very difficult to achieve because insurance is not a product of desire or interest,” said Barley.
Visually comforting star ratings and testimonials are probably here to stay and there is clearly a need for regulation to prevent the fabrication for profit. The car2cover business has been on-line and FSA authorised for six years and prides itself on traditional values of honesty and transparency and good old fashion customer service.