Maybe you bought something you love. Maybe you bought something you hate. Maybe you bought something you have mixed feelings about. And for whatever reason, you decide to share your experience with the world via a product comment or review. How can you make sure it has the impact you want it to have?
I've read over 16,000 product comments, so understandably I have a few ideas on the subject.
1. Consider Your Audience
Reviews are written to share your experience with other consumers, not the company that sells the product or service. If you want to speak to the company about your concerns, do so directly—not in a comment.
2. Make it Clear You’re a Customer
Most sites (including ConsumersAdvocate.org) only publish comments from people who have purchased a product or service, not from non-customers who have an opinion. The consumers who read your review want to know that your opinions are based on actual customer experience. To communicate this effectively, you might begin by defining the product, the company, and the length of time you’ve used it. Something like this:
“I’ve had a homeowners insurance policy from Acme Insurance since 2011….”
“In May, 2017, I hired Acme Movers to move my household goods from Toledo to Kansas City….”
"Two years ago, I bought the Leaf Catcher system from Acme Gutter Guards….”
3. Don’t Disclose Your Personal Information
Your comment should not include your phone number, account number, date of birth, email address, physical address, Social Security number, or any other sensitive information. You’ll probably be asked to supply your email address for the purpose of logging in and authenticating what you’ve written, but this isn’t published as part of the comment itself.
4. Be Specific
Tell other consumers what you liked and didn’t like about the product or service. Don’t just say “It’s great!” or “It’s OK” or “It’s awful!” Zero in on specific aspects of your relationship with the company and the product or service. What do you want to talk about—the customer service? The price? The terms of the contract? The quality of the product or service? The design, look, and feel of the product? The employees’ attitude? The service after the sale? Something else?
5. Keep to the Point
Readers don’t need to know every tiny detail of your experience with the company or the product or service, just those that have to do with the main point of your review. People will lose interest in an overly-long or laboriously-detailed comment.
6. Be Honest
If you’ve had a great experience, other customers will be happy to read why. If some things have been good and some bad, explain which is which. And if you’ve had a bad experience, say so—but don’t insult the people who work for the company, don’t cuss, AND DON’T TYPE IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, BECAUSE IT MAKES YOU SEEM UNHINGED!
7. Make It Readable
No one expects perfect grammar and spelling, but at least try. Our comment text box has a spell check feature to help you. Start sentences with capital letters and end them with periods. Don’t use abbreviations or acronyms that the general public probably doesn’t know.
8. Pro Tip: Make It Balanced
Comments that include both praise and criticism tend to be read more thoroughly and thoughtfully than those that do nothing but gush enthusiastically or complain bitterly. Of course, if everything about a product or service has been wonderful—or terrible—say so. But if there’s a mix of good, OK, and bad, say all of that instead of focusing on just one aspect.