05:06:10 pm on
Saturday 22 Jun 2024

Facts Not Emotions
Matt Seinberg

"Just the facts, man; just the facts."

When's the last time you went shopping and didn't read a review first before going to a particular store? The same goes for a hotel, restaurant, a big chain store or an independently own store? I'll always look for reviews on restaurants and hotels. I base my decision on the prices, location and my sense that it’s somewhere I want to stay or eat.

Smart consumers always read reviews before they make a large purchase. To me, a large purchase is anything over $500. When I was looking for a new WiFi extender, I read the reviews about the D-link, which I bought, and they were quite good. Unfortunately, the product itself wasn't.

Product reviews don’t always tell the full story.

Here's the funny think about reviews, they don't always tell the whole story. You're thinking, what does he mean by that? Many reviews are often negative, because the customer had a bad experience after leaving the store, be it a delivery or customer service issue.

The rule is that one person will tell ten people about their bad experience, but only two or three about their good experience. With the popularity of Google Reviews, Yelp, Trip Advisor, and many others, the entire world can know your feelings about a particular subject.

Now, that's not always fair to the person, in the store, that helped you. They probably did a great job helping you make your selection, but somewhere else, along the line, you may have had a problem. Is it fair to give a negative review in that case?

Here's the solution, and it's a simple one. Give your salesperson a review on their service and make it five stars, if they far exceeded your expectations. If the salesperson was horrible, give them one or two stars, with a fair explanation of why you did what you did. Don't just give a star review without any comments, that's not fair to the person or the business.

If you can do it in the store and show them your review, you will have made their day! If you want to tell store management how thoroughly satisfied you are with store service, that's even better.

Product problems are not always the fault of the salesperson or store.

When you actually get the product home or have it delivered, write a second review expressing either your happiness or displeasure with the product. Still, before writing that negative review, see if the company can and will fix the problem you may be having. Let's face facts, sometimes a customer creates his or her own problems, with a product, by, for example, not setting it up properly or not listening or hearing what salesperson told them, in the store.

I strive for that five-star review and realize that sometimes nothing I will say or do will get it. I don't even ask for it. I'd rather have nothing than something that doesn't truly show who I am or how good I am.

After our trip to Plattsburgh and Montreal in May, I gave reviews to the hotels and restaurants that we visited. I did the same thing after I got back from Syracuse, in June. If I can help other people navigate their day and have a good experience come from it, I'll keep on writing.

The key is to be upfront and honest. If the service is excellent, good or bad, I'm going to write about it, but not in an emotional way. If you write about the facts, your review will stand out and show what kind of stand-up person you are. If you write with emotion, using foul language and badmouthing that person or business, readers won't take that review seriously.

Here's an example. If you have definitively bad service at a restaurant and you said the server was an idiot or a moron and should be doing something else, that's emotional. Say the service was slow. Indicate this was due to the restaurant being extremely busy. Also, write how the server apologized for it. These are facts.

Good service always deserves accolades.

Try to remember what your parents always told you. If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. In this globally connected world, that doesn't necessarily hold true, but at least write with facts, not emotion.


Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

More by Matt Seinberg:
Tell a Friend

Click above to tell a friend about this article.