Many businesses ask for instant input, but then make it difficult to provide anything that suggests that service received was anything less-than epic. Why is that?
We live in a peer-trusted society. In other words, we tend to trust what our peers say we should. This often comes from faceless people we do not know posting reviews online. And there is a ton of value to reviews. The tried-and-true star rating system gives product or service-seekers a visual snapshot into a company. It is generally accepted that a company with one or two stars won’t satisfy our needs. Three stars and we assume things could go either way. Four stars or higher, and we instantly believe that we can’t go wrong.
Unfortunately, some businesses make it difficult for customers to leave anything but five stars. Lyft is one example. Many riders have complained that the rideshare company has gone to great lengths to manipulate the trust economy. It does this by requiring reviewers to fill out a lengthy survey when inputting less than five stars. While this might not seem like a big deal, people that are in a hurry do not want to fill out a questionnaire about their experience. Instead, they just want to get the point across that it wasn’t perfect but was still well within the range of acceptable.
It is easy to think, as a consumer, that you can just skip the feedback and go on with your day. However, in the case of Lyft’s response system, users can’t leave a tip until all questions have been answered. This brings up an emotional conflict for those wishing to tip for service, especially those who understand these drivers make the bulk of their income from gratuities.
Playing Off Human Nature
Lyft and other companies that put these obstacles in the way of reviews are playing off of human nature. As a society, we are conditioned to quickly click through forms, contracts, and fine print that we assume are standard. We mindlessly agree to things without digging deeper so that we can carry on with our day. These unprompted surveys often stimulate a similar response. By clicking five stars, we can move forward, leave a tip, and go on about our day.
Doesn’t Help Information Seekers
While there is plenty of reason to obtain more information from unhappy customers, requiring instant and extensive feedback is only going to encourage reviewers to either forgo the process or to hurriedly provide a false positive. This does nothing to help online searchers gather valid information. And in industries where the actual service provider relies on tips, this practice may wind up hurting them in the long run. After all, if visitors log off when prompted for more insight, the driver doesn’t get a tip. Even more alarmingly, those hurriedly-provided five-star reviews may put people in danger of willingly jumping into a motor vehicle operated by someone with substandard safety habits.
A Better Option
For businesses, a better option is to allow customers to leave their ratings and then follow up at a later time. This would enable them to provide business owners as well as potential customers with more accurate information. The business could then use this to their advantage by weeding out poor performers; the public would have better data that they could use to make a decision on whether or not to use a particular service provider. In this case, a driver whom the rider is expected to trust with their life.
In all reality, there is nothing wrong with a four-star review. Businesses that think there is do themselves and their customers a disservice. Those that strive for perfection may be best off using constructive criticism to improve their services, not badgering their clients into leaving an incomplete picture of their experience.
Latest posts by Steven Wyer ( More about this Author )
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