Testimonials Often Just a Marketing Trick
Before buying a product/service or trying out a new diet for instance, most of us like to check out the opinion of people who have actually bought/tried it. If most of the testimonials or user reviews are positive, the product/service is probably offering a good value. Negative responses, on the other hand, are a strong signal to stay away. After all, if the product/service worked for other people, there is a great chance that it will work for you too and vice versa. That is under the condition that the testimonials are authentic which, unfortunately, isn’t always the case. They often just a marketing trick.
More than Half of Consumers Don’t Trust Online Testimonials
Online testimonials have been shown to have a major influence on the consumers’ behaviour including their decision to buy or not to buy a particular product/service. A recent study on consumers’ online behaviour, however, has also shown that more than one half of consumers don’t trust online testimonials, especially if they are exclusively positive and endorsing. The same study also found that nearly one half of consumers who took part in the researchers’ survey believe that companies are probably paying or give some other form of incentive to their reviewers.
How to Tell the Difference Between Authentic and Fake Testimonials
It isn’t easy to tell which testimonial is authentic and which has been fabricated by the manufacturer of the reviewed product/service. However, there are a few cues that can be used to distinguish between the authentic and fake testimonials:
Too positive. Fake testimonials tend to be extremely positive and enthusiastic about the product/service in question. As a result, there are plenty of superlatives such as the best, greatest, perfect, etc. Real testimonials, on the other hand, are not as generous with praises.
Too technical. Most testimonials are written by regular people rather than experts. And they usually don’t use overly technical language. Nor they feel the need to include a full name of the product, model number, etc. So it the testimonial sounds highly technical or like an official company presentation, it’s probably fake.
Too general. Reviews and testimonials that don’t provide much detail about what exactly their authors liked or didn’t like about the product/service but instead, only conclude that they love it or hate it are highly likely not authentic. People who really tried out the product/service are usually more specific about the reasons for their approval or disapproval.