I have a small confession. I write and read customer reviews. For the most part, I think many of us read reviews, but a smaller portion of consumers take time to write them. For me, this need to share feedback and give reviews started when I was a customer service representative at my first long-time job. Not only because I provided customer service, but because it was the first time I was working in a more structured work environment where there was a yearly review of employees. Yearly reviews made us self-reflect on our shortfalls and achievements over the year and opened a forum to allow employees to provide company feedback.
My employer at the time showed me the importance of constructive feedback, how we could work together to achieve personal work goals, and how they could improve the culture and work environment at the office. I saw this trend carry through into my corporate job several years later with a larger, suit n’ tie company. One major difference was that employee reviews was a continuous process which carried throughout the year, not just at year end. I’ve seen the positive benefits firsthand and can advocate for the practice.
When companies take the time to gather or welcome feedback, even criticism, about their service, product, practice or culture, they are making themselves vulnerable, but also leaving the door open for new and creative ways to improve and stay current. This is one of the reasons I leave customer reviews either via email or platforms like Google+, TripAdvisor, Expedia, Etsy, and just about anywhere that will let me leave a review.
Lately, I find myself leaving destination and product reviews. I write these reviews to help fellow consumers have an idea of what they are about to purchase. Whether it be a camera, hair straightener, beauty product, service or vacation. When you make online purchases of a product or book a vacation, you can’t “try before you buy”. You’re kind of going in blind. So we depend on the feedback of others. As e-commerce continues to grow in Canada and throughout the world, it’s clear that more and more consumers are becoming comfortable with the idea of making purchases from the comfort of their home and I’d like to think that customer reviews contribute to that.
What I look for when I read or write a review for a product, service, or experience:
- To find out if it is right for me and my needs
- What are the pro’s and con’s
- The quality
- If it is worth the price
- Does it actually measure up to its claims and description
Do you read customer reviews or write them? Do you think they are beneficial or are just a bunch of whiney people? I’d love to hear your take on it.
Photo | Life Buzz