Desensitization to reviews : We have a customer problem we are not talking about.
I visit a grocery store next to my apartment quite frequently. It is one of the many in this particular chain, with nearly every thing you could ask for under one roof. Naturally, it is frequented by a lot of people in the open hours with long lines in front of every counter. Customer satisfaction is one of the key metrics for this outlet. The staff is friendly, courteous and helps you with what you need. They have a quality check in place where you rate your experience on a scale of 1–5 ( Depiction below ). I once gave them a one and got a call within an hour asking what went wrong. My point in elaborating this is that the system is robust, it is implementable and it gives customer satisfaction.
In theory, this method works like a charm since you get immediate report of any unhappy customer and you can reach out to them and solve their issues in real time thus keeping your client base happy.
“It does not necessarily always work that ways”
Scenario: There was a couple standing in front of me in the line who seemed to be happy, chatty and were engaged in a conversation with the guy on the counter while he generated the bill. After the payment he reminded them gently of the feedback system and focused his attention on the next customer. The man briefly paused before pressing the button 3 (average) and walking away. I was confused and decided to discuss the reasons. “How does it matter?” was the reply.
The issue lies in the fact that we as customers are desensitized to the review system. After decades of neglection of the review system on the companies’ behalf the consumer has finally given up on the system. There is no feedback mechanism in place that gives you accurate data about how your company is performing in terms of customer satisfaction. For the offline brands though, it is just an annoyance.
You know who is taking the worst hit though? App companies! Scroll down to the review section of any app and there will always be that one troll who decided to rate the app 1 star because “Lol”. This causes the app to take a severe hit on its reputation because nobody wants to download a 3.5 rated app just to “try it out”.
The reason why no one has been talking about this is probably because they do not see a way around this. We have accepted this as a part and parcel of feedback loop and turn a blind eye to it. If left unchecked for a little longer this will cause a serious issue and it is about time we tackled it head on either by education ( Tell customers the review still matters) or by elimination (Smart mechanism to eliminate fake review).