The Power of Reviews Essay

Product and Service Reviews Now Compared to the Past

In the past, when you purchased a product it usually carried a card in the packet that you could fill out and mail back to the company with your feedback. When it came to services, there were usually cards sitting on a counter or desk somewhere, for anyone to take and fill out, which many stores still have available today.

Nevertheless, the majority of people back then, rarely even paid attention to product reviews and hardly ever filled the cards out let alone read them.

Now, not only does almost everyone read through reviews carefully, but they also base their purchasing decisions on them as well.

Why People Write Reviews

There are a number of reasons why someone would write a review about a product or service. Generally, they purchase a product or use a service that they like and want others to know about it, so they too can share the experience.

In contrast, people will also write a review about an item or service they dislike for one reason or other: perhaps the item didn’t work, was not what they expected, had missing parts, or the service was unacceptable.

Just to note, people who dislike a product will sooner write a review about it than those who like something.

Another reason why people write reviews is that they are given a product to evaluate and provide their feedback in exchange for cash, a prize, the product itself, or another reward.

Although rare, from time to time an angry customer will write a review specifically to blackball the seller, the product, or the service. This typically occurs when a buyer has a problem with a product or service that goes unresolved; therefore, the client retaliates by utilizing the power of reviews as a form of restitution.

Then there are also some companies who will pay people on the side, generally to write positive reviews about their products as a marketing technique.

Negative Reviews Can be Devastating for Some

In today’s world, even if you hold a decent paying job, it’s tough to make ends meet, especially if you have children and are a single parent. Therefore, numerous individuals take to the internet to find ways of earning additional cash. Whether it be selling products or services, freelancing (writing), taking surveys, selling as an affiliate, or another, most people are dependent on these sources of income to help pay bills.

Consequently, reviews have a huge impact on people that do business online as this could either make them or break them and their business. Publicly posting degrading comments about someone can ruin their reputation, as well as, reduce their earning potential substantially. For this reason, sellers work hard at satisfying their customers, yet people are only human and will sometimes make mistakes as we all have done. Due to the importance of reviews — if a seller does happen to perform and error — you should know it is never done intentionally.

Therefore, before giving someone a negative review for a simple error, consider contacting them first, to let them know why you are unhappy with their product or service and what they could do to rectify the situation and improve in the future. Most sellers would be more than willing to comply. They may even compensate you for your troubles or for providing your feedback.

The following are just some reasons why you should always talk to service or product providers first, before giving them a bad rap…

• They may not be aware of the situation
• They may not have had any control over the issue
• They misunderstood what you were looking for
• They may have forgotten something
• They had somebody else handle your order
• They have no way of knowing if a product is defective or missing parts

Most importantly, they can’t fix it, if they don’t know it’s broken. Therefore always try to contact them first.

However, if you are certain that none of the above pertains to your issue and you have already contacted the seller, but they refuse to rectify the situation or choose to ignore you altogether, then you should let others know about it so nobody else will find themselves in the same predicament.

That’s what reviews are really for, sharing your experiences with a product or service, with others, so that they will know what to expect before spending their cash to buy it themselves.

So, think twice before throwing someone under the bus, by publicly posting negative remarks about them, without even talking to them first and giving them a chance to resolve the issue. You can still get what you came for, without degrading someone, in fact, you may even get more.