Why the 5-star Rating System Must Die

Oct 27, 2015

The world needs a new interface for sentiment analytics that’s quantifiable and standardized by industry.

Reality is an emotional experience, why shouldn’t my ratings online reflect that?

The worlds needs a gamified and improved real-time customer feedback system. This would have to be embedded in how we can rate experiences and give sentiment analytics on everything about the customer experience of different smart spaces we visit. It would likely be a mobile API, as easy to find and navigate as an emojicon is in SMS. No lag, no more comments, no more hassle. Above all, and I say this with some emphasis, no more mindless liking (double-tap, thumbs up, whatever you want to call it).

Don’t make me go to your brand’s app, don’t make me use corrupt services like Yelp. And for god’s sake, in an age of user generated content, don’t make me “like” or 5-star rate anything, EVER AGAIN! The reality is online venues like Yelp and Facebook no longer hold the same social klout or authority.

Retail keeps talking about the customer experience, yet doesn’t implement sensors that would recognize and interact with smartphones and wearable devices and doesn’t implement smart customer feedback systems.

Mobile evolution is moving fast, how hard is it to plug an API into your infrastructure, get sensors and opt-in customers to rate your service, retail, hospitality or industry? I mean, really! Everything is moving towards apps and SaaS, yet even marketing and those that stand the most to gain, just don’t get it. They would rather wait and see, instead of be early-adopters and innovate an improved human experience where everything would occur in real-time. If you really believe in your customers and want to optimize the experience of your industry, restaurant, hotel, cafe, luxury resort, shopping experience, then you are going to have to take some risks and break the mould.

If I have to do another 5-star rating, answer another dumb survey, leave you a comment on your Facebook brand page, I think you are missing the point and I’m not going to get my feeling across about my experience. Dear retail and service, do you really care about my experience?

The entire mobile world is heading towards user generated content, so why in the world isn’t there user generated feedback?

A world with binary voting, thumbs down or up is a flag world. It’s a boring and apathetic world. IMDB (movie reviews) has a ten star system, so I actually know that above an 8.0, is pretty freaking rare. But as a consumer, I want to hear what you are feeling, not in the words you say but instantly, as instantly as you would “like” something. What has the power to do that? An Adjicon, maybe. I want a rating system where I can feel empathy and know that you weren’t just disappointed, you were outraged. That’s transparency, that’s where the online world is heading.

The full subtleties of human emotion, ought to be captured in testimonials, real-time endorsements and especially anything that’s user generated. The entire mobile world is heading towards user generated content, so why in the world isn’t there user generated feedback? We talk about emotional story-telling, and now at the end of 2015, we’ve realized that a powerful UGC campaign works a lot better than some expensive snazzy video you just payed $50,000 to make for an advertisement.

What is UGC had emotive analytics built into it, wouldn’t we live in a smarter world? What if every experience in the future, with sensors everywhere tapped into our feelings and the full emotional range of how we experience events, places, products, services — the full spectrum. All that this entails, is the rise of IoT with an embedded sentiment analytics human interface with user generated feedback in real-time.

I want to be able to voice-command my Apple Watch, “Siri, this restuarant Imadake, Adjicon “ohrawraw” and attach my boomerang-esque looping video/GIFF [of how bad I really am with chopsticks] and I’m done. No more hanging on my smartphone, we’re going full-on wearables in 2016. Even if the food was great, you won’t find me giving you a 5-star rating and review, those things don’t provide objective ratings and the data isn’t in a format that translates into sentiment analytics.

Reality is an emotional experience, why shouldn’t my ratings online reflect that? On that note, the waitress was quite classy & memorable — “Siri, waitress, Imadake, by the window, Adjicon “Memorable”. Because, a Restaurant isn’t just about the food, it’s obviously about the service too, the ambience, the little things. If we believe the anatomy of the facial expressions, as a reverse-engineerd evidence of our most basic emotions from evolution, then they can be reduced to 4": happy, sad, afraid/surprised, and angry/disgusted.

To be honest, a binary “like” is “conditioning” us to experience life, not unlike a machine would.

Now imagine, hundreds of Adjicons that all can be reduced to these, to positive and negative and everything in between. What that could tell us about our experience we provide customers, clients and about our products would be immeasurable. For, as we move into an increase in automation, algorithms, AI, machine-learning and smart cities; we’ll be craving how to stay in touch with the emotional experience of being human. To be honest, a binary “like” is “conditioning” us to experience like a machine. It’s like one of those really nasty psychological experiments on pleasure and pain.

Real-time customer feedback has to be seamless and has to be in a data-set that’s easily integrated into Big Data. As much as I like up-rating and down-rating posts on Quora, I think the we are just waiting on the world to change on this one, and the 5-star system and the binary like, just won’t do. They must die, same as every service that trumpets them as being useful to enterprise or helpful to the user experience.

The Future is simple, it’s also emotional and embeds the human experience in an increasingly artificial and virtual reality

As we start to live more and more not just “online” but in augmented reality, it turns things backwards and inside out, we’ll be looking for reminders, that we’re still human.

But as a consumer, I want to hear what you are feeling, not in the words you say but instantly, as instantly as you would “like” something.