Spend less time managing compliance workflows and more time on growth
Testimonial IQ is the first and only reputation management software designed specifically for financial advisers
Feel confident in compliance
Customizable compliance tools give oversight over the full client feedback process
Standardize and automate disclosures to accompany every testimonial you share
Store your testimonials and compliance review history securely in a digital vault, accessible at anytime for reviews
The regulatory considerations:
Close supervision required
The new marketing rule has opened the door for SEC-registered financial advisers to leverage client testimonials, but the 400+ page document also outlines a lot of important considerations to protect consumers from potentially manipulative tactics. We encourage advisers to work with their Compliance departments to develop processes to ensure they abide by both the spirit and letter of the rule, but the bottom line is: financial advisers need to be more cautious when it comes to reviews than the average business.
"Entanglement" in the review generation process
For many businesses, the process of soliciting reviews is relatively simple: find happy customers and ask them leave you a review. Maybe even offer them a gift certificate to increase the response rate. Many unscrupulous reputation management platforms will even engage in a process known as “review gating” in which they make it more difficult for dissatisfied clients to leave a review. But these kind of practices put advisers at risk of “entanglement.” Essentially, by involving themselves in the process of review generation, the advisers become accountable for the content as if it was their own.
The risk of "adopting" third-party content
In addition to the considerations above when it comes to generating reviews, there are additional cautions when it comes to incorporating content from third-party sources (like review sites or social media). If an adviser endorses or otherwise promotes testimonials (for example, by referencing their rating or highlighting on their website), they may “adopt” that content and again become accountable. This can be problematic when that content lives on a third-party site over which they have no control.
Including the right disclosures
When advisers do choose to use reviews in their communications with prospective clients, they must ensure those reviews are accompanied by “clear and prominent” disclosures which indicate whether or not the testimonial comes from a current client, if compensation was provided and if there are any conflicts of interest.
Putting it all together
There are a lot of ways advisers can manage the workflows associated with testimonials, including good old-fashioned spreadsheets. Given the complexity of the constraints, many advisers (and their compliance teams!) opt to incorporate a dedicated platform that can provide end-to-end oversight in a single solution.