From buying a car to picking a restaurant, reviews are a useful tool for helping us to make purchases both big and small. Web sites and entire social platforms have been created with the intent of providing valuable and useful reviews right at our fingertips. This also allows us the opportunity to voice our opinions and share our experiences with other potential customers. But the quality of this content relies heavily upon our own ability to write helpful reviews. Here are just a few of the most important concepts to keep in mind the next time you go to craft a glowing review or constructive comment.
Keep the details relevant
When relaying an experience you’ve had with a product or service, it’s easy to get caught up in the details. To you, giving a play-by-play of information may seem relevant, but to someone else reading the review, it just seems long-winded. Keep your review concise and to the point. People often skim the information or only read the first part, so be sure that the most important and relevant details can be found in the first couple of sentences.
Choose your words carefully
When you’re trying to describe an experience with words, much can be lost in translation. Remember that your definition of “good” can be vastly different from someone else’s. To write the most useful review, stay away from ambiguous words that could be misinterpreted. If you’re going to say a service was “good” be sure and further qualify this statement with a description as to what actually occurred. Why did you consider it a good experience – and not exceptional or mediocre, for example.
Keep things in perspective
The purpose of a review is to share your opinion, so it’s easy to get carried away with the thought that your opinion is the only one that matters. To write the most useful review, it’s important to keep things in perspective. If you had a terrible experience at a restaurant, at least consider the other side of the story. Ask yourself what factors led to such an experience. Was is due to one bad server, was it a problem with the management or was the food overpriced? Offering readers both sides of the story will help boost your credibility and the credibility of the review.
Find a balance of negative and positive
The most valuable reviews combine negative and positive aspects of the experience or product. Just as we mentioned telling both sides of the story, you also want to consider both pros and cons when writing your review. A glowing review has room for constructive criticism just as a terrible review should include at least one positive remark. If you can’t think of a single pro, consider offering a way in which the product of service could be improved. This balance boosts the credibility of the review and shows a sense of fairness.
The bottom line when creating a review is to put thought into what you’re writing and to always consider whether you would find this review helpful if you were reading it as a potential customer. Though this is an opportunity to voice your opinion, it is not necessarily a soap box for you to stand on. The most useful reviews communicate critical information with both balance and perspective. ~Stephanie
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