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Does one need permission to post testimonials?

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by Rhyl Lightworks, Oct 21, 2006.

  1. Rhyl Lightworks

    Rhyl Lightworks UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 2,515 Likes: 419
    I have quite a collection of emails and letters from satisfied customers. I was thinking of posting them on the website, but does one have to get permission from the senders first? (Btw we have a place where customers can write reviews, but it seems practically impossible to get them to do so, even if they are bribed with a £5 off voucher).
  2. cjd

    cjd UKBF Regular Full Member - Verified Business

    Posts: 14,052 Likes: 2,664
    I'm not sure what the legal position would be (copyright, privacy etc) but I think you would be foolish to include testimonials without obtaining permission - it's asking for trouble.
  3. cubzworld

    cubzworld UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 177 Likes: 9
    I always send an email thanking them for their comments & asking if they would mind if I added their comments to my website. No one has ever declined if fact I've had some calls asking if they can send comments for the site.

    I think it's the 15 min of fame thing - people like to see their name.
  4. Bilzo

    Bilzo UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 152 Likes: 2
    We've always asked customers if we may use their testimonials after receiving a nice letter or email and like Cubzworld nobody ever said no, I guess they like to know their comments are appretiated!

    Bill
  5. YEM

    YEM UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 575 Likes: 2
    When we get emails/letters that we could use as a testimonial, we just send a quick email to thank them and ask if they would mind us using it. If people have had a good (or even bad) experience with a company, they tend to tell otehr anyway, but it is courteous to ask!

    Another option is to send a customer satisfaction survey out (we do this on the completion of all projects) asking for feedback and how the service can be improved/whether they had probs.

    We have a really simple one, that asks 3 or 4 questions about the service with 'excellent', 'good', 'fair', 'poor' 'very poor' type answers and then space for additional comments below.

    On the accompanying letter or email, we ask them to spend a few minutes completing the questionnaire and make them aware that we may use thier comments for testimonials.
  6. PrivateInvestigator

    PrivateInvestigator UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 280 Likes: 9
    testimonials are a great idea. I suggest you do the same as me - install a forum on your website and allow customers to "post" their own reviews. Its great. gets by the whole "do I have permission to post thier reviews" issue and as the people reading it know its actually other peopel making the posts!

    My testimonials forum :-
    http://www.tracepeople.co.uk/forum

    If you need one installed, my webdesign service :-
    http://www.cheap-websitedesign.co.uk
  7. Rhyl Lightworks

    Rhyl Lightworks UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 2,515 Likes: 419
    Thanks for the advice and suggestions everyone. I guess I have some emailing to do to get permission to use past testimonials and decide on a system for the future.
  8. earner

    earner UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 169 Likes: 0
    I worked for a company who got every customer to fill in a feedback form (it was a training company).

    Then back at the office, they employed somebody full-time to go through them looking for people who responded favourably, in order to get a testimonial from them. Then the employee persuaded them to have their photo taken, to be shown alongside the testimonial in their next brochure.

    They published about 24 brochures a year, so needed a lot of testimonials!
  9. Stationery-Direct

    Stationery-Direct UKBF Regular Full Member

    Posts: 1,544 Likes: 130
    You could put it in your Terms & Conditions that any testimonials received will be used if you wish.
  10. ib4b.co.uk

    ib4b.co.uk UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 22 Likes: 0
    Two sided story

    1) Common courtesy to ask as the customer may just want to let you know everything is ok.

    2) They leave you with the comments showing they are satisfied so why not? Sometimes it is free advertising.

    Generally, I would ask.