Practically all of the guest blogs I write for Small Business Survival focus on tips to enhance the management or operational aspects of your business. This post, however, goes down a new road.
I would love your thoughts on what you consider acceptable ratings, both as a consumer and as a business owner, when viewing customer evaluations.
Here is the story. Over the weekend (and again this morning as I write this), I had a routine oil change. Everything went fine, work was done in a timely manner, and there were no issues or questions.
A couple of days later I receive an email from the service supervisor. It said I would soon be getting a questionnaire on how I rated the performance. Still okay at this point.
However, the email went on to say that excellent ratings were expected in all categories. If I couldn’t give them, the company felt they hadn’t provided the best service possible and that problems may still be present. If I couldn’t do this, then let them know what the issues were. This is where I stop to wonder about reasonable expectations (This certainly isn’t the first time this has happened).
I have three issues with the process.
- I don’t want to be told what my expected rating should be. Isn’t that my decision? Also, how are they using the information? If they are compiling it for a performance metric, then they are getting skewed data and, if they are publishing it, all we are doing is inflating the true rating of the company. By making such a request, I feel justified in not giving an excellent rating. If you have to push me to say it then something is wrong.
- I believe to get an excellent rating you must exceeded the expected. In my case, I had an expectation the job would be done right and done quickly. It was just what I expected. Is that an excellent rating though? Now I am not sure what would be service beyond the expected in an oil change. They did replace my battery in my remote for no charge. Is that exceptional? Other than that their performance was the like most of my other oil changes. So maybe it is very good, because of the battery change, instead of just average.
- This issue comes from myself as a consumer. I depend on ratings to help me make decisions. If they are using these in their marketing, I am getting an artificial rating which will not help in the long run. Personally, I don’t shy away from companies with a less than perfect ratings. That is why I read the comments. I understand though how this may drop a company from being #1 to something lower which may have some impact (especially if it moves you from page 1 since many people don’t move to the next page).
Yet I also don’t want to hurt the service personnel in their own evaluations. Routinely, these individuals have told me anything less than an excellent is reflected on their evaluation. I don’t know if it is true but why should thoughts such as mine impact them? I had a pleasant person to work with who got my job done as expected. That’s the kind of worker I would want to have around.
Am I being stubborn or just missing the point about my customer satisfaction rating standards? I feel a “good” is fine. As a customer I am satisfied and walked away with expectations met. An “above average” shows some extra effort was put in (which is my situation as they also dealt with my dead battery in my remote for no charge). An excellent is possible but it certainly isn’t the routine. Maybe it is an issue with the categories – met expectations, did not meet expectations, exceeded expectations might this give a business owner better data.
I would love to hear your thoughts. You can post them in the comment section or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please let me know if you are a business owner. Also, give some indications as to how you view a less than excellent rating from a customer.
I look forward to the comments and discussion. I will share what I hear.
- About the Author
- Latest by this Author
Glenn Muske is an independent expert on rural small business, working as GM Consulting – Your partner in achieving small business success. He provides consulting, and writes articles for county extension agents and newspapers across North Dakota. Previously, he was the Rural and Agribusiness Enterprise Development Specialist at the North Dakota State University Extension Service – Center for Community Vitality.