For the longest time, it boggled my mind that people would spend significant chunks of their time writing reviews of products and businesses. Are these unemployed losers who just want the world to know about their opinions? Or, are they wealthy heirs with nothing better to do with their time? But, as I used these reviews to research purchases and dining options, I felt the draw to help others (or pay it forward) with reviews of my own. Now, I can see at least six reasons why you should write reviews.

You Help Fellow Consumers

A recent survey by Demandforce found that the number-one reason people write reviews online is to help other consumers. When you write a review on Amazon, Facebook, Yelp, or any of the hundreds of other places people go for product and business information, you tell them the pros and cons of a product, if it is right for them, offer alternatives, and more. You are essentially helping a total stranger, which is the definition of altruism. And, when you’re altruistic, you have the legal right to brag all you want.

You Can Get Your Problems Solved

If you have a problem with a business that they can easily solve, then contact the business directly. If they do not respond, then escalate things with a review. Every company wants consumers to think their products are perfect and can solve every problem. If you post a review that suggests otherwise, they are likely to go into damage control mode and try to make things right. If they provide excellent customer service, you should let other consumers know.

Reviews Hold Bad Businesses Accountable

If every effort you make to reach out to a company is fruitless and if writing a scathing review doesn’t help, then the review of your experience will serve as a warning to other consumers. If a product or company is truly terrible, then others will learn from your experience and steer clear. It may suck for you if your microwave burned down your house, but at least, others won’t have to go through the same trauma. And, perhaps, you were put on Earth to serve as a warning to others of what not to do.

You Help Good Businesses and Products

When a business truly does great work, you want them to serve as an example to the Walmarts and Comcasts out there. By writing positive reviews, you boost their signal. They might get more of the market share. And, it forces their competitors to step up their game or get bought out by Amazon.

Reviews Improve Products and Services

Just about every enterprise understands that their customer experience comes first. Therefore, the best organizations pay close attention to what people like and dislike about their products and services, and they use this information to build a better mousetrap.

Your Review Can Help Drown out the Biased Reviews

There are jobs out there that pay for biased reviews. When I was a broke freelance writer looking for work, I was tempted by the countless listings. There are companies that will send you their products ONLY if you will give them a five-star review on Amazon. Local businesses will hire agencies that bring together freelancers to write five-star Yelp reviews. The more honest reviews there are out there, the more we will drown out these paid shills.

Now, go forth! Wield your reviews like the sword of consumer rights cutting through..I don’t know…I guess the opposite of consumer rights?

Anyway, if you have no clue how to write reviews, please stay tuned for an article on How to Write a Good Review. You can have it delivered right to your inbox as soon as it’s available by entering your email address in the “Subscribe to Blog via Email” box up and to the right (if on a big computer) or at the bottom (if on a mobile device).