Ditch The Stars

Ditch The Stars

by Martin Newman

Posted on Friday 10th January 2020

We’ve all left ratings and reviews at some point. Whether that was on a retail site where it was product related or on a restaurant site where it was about the meal or the ambience. Or where we’ve commented on a hotel, airline or bank.


The attraction for some is that you are potentially helping your peers by leaving a rating or review in the first place, which you hope will help them make a better-informed decision.


The thing is, I truly believe that the majority of consumers no longer fully trust ratings and reviews. We’re increasingly sceptical at best and completely disbelieving in them at worst. Why? Because there’s increasing evidence that in many cases the ratings and reviews being left are ‘fake news.’ Populated by people within the organisastion or potentially by the platform itself. Or, maybe the brand is being trolled by a competitor. Either way it leads to our mistrust in them. I really don’t see this going away, it’ll only become more of an issue over time.


Add to this the fact that they are not action orientated. You have no idea whether or not the brand acted on your feedback. Did they learn a lesson? Did they make things better for the next group of customers? Or, did they simply pay lip service to you? If it’s not action orientated, what’s the point in going to the trouble of leaving feedback for them?


In addition, most platforms charge the brands a fee to get access to customers and sometimes to have improved ranking or ratings. To my mind that’s a complete conflict of interest. Which is why you’ll never see an advert or promotion on CustomerServiceAction.com. Otherwise, why would any consumer trust the comments that others have made about their experiences with a particular brand?


In the near future, we are aiming to implement a customer service mark. A set of standards that we will measure a consumer-facing brand against. This should provide you with all the confidence you need to know that the brands who have passed or been awarded the mark are doing all they can to deliver great service for you.


For transparency, we will charge them for this. Why? Because we need to audit them and that takes time, resource and cost to do. However, just like taking your car for a MOT, they are by no means guaranteed to pass. And they will need to go through this process annually in order to prove their standards of customer service are still at an appropriate level.