What your business can learn from Uber ratings.

Uber experiments frequently with ratings. Why? And how should your business incorporate ratings?

RATINGS ARE EVERYWHERE

Right from the products you see on Amazon to the rooms you look up on Airbnb to that online guitar course you checked out this weekend, ratings have become a elemental part of our consumer lives. Consumers rely on these ratings to get over their inhibition in trying out something new (community feedback), and help themselves drive decisions faster. Businesses rely on them to weed out the bad vendors and products from good ones, ensure that the consumer experience continues to be top-notch, and countless other strategic decisions.

WHY DO RATINGS MATTER?

More than anything else, ratings are a convenient, quantitative, non-intrusive and visually simplest way to help consumers take quick decisions. They help consumers feel more confident about their purchases and avoid transactions which can potentially end into a nerve-wrecking post-sales experience.

PROBLEM WITH RATINGS AND REVIEWS

Let’s circle back to Uber reviews again. Most recently, Uber has updated their app to allow riders to just skip giving feedback, and regretfully I am one of those people who exercises that skipping option most frequently. And in doing so, I am not contributing to a process that can help Uber ensure that their riders get the best drivers possible, and that the driver partners who outshine everyone else get rewarded in some way or the other. Essentially, I am doing something that I should not be doing, but since I am not obligated to do so anymore, a lot of times I end up skipping on the rating.

THE SOLUTION -or- HOW UBER FIXED IT

So, I was on an Uber ride and during the conversation, the driver complains:

Uber messes up our ratings in quite a weird way. My rating goes down from 4.8 to 4.5 after one bad ride/complain, but then it increases with a snail like speed.

And that made me wonder what could possibly be the reason behind such a behavior. It was then that I found that it is not the driver’s cumulative average rating that is displayed on the app, or treated as the driver’s rating. It is the average rating from the last 75 trips — if I recall that number right! And it blew me away!!!

SO WHAT SHOULD YOUR BUSINESS DO?

  1. Have a rating mechanism that benefits every single party — the consumer, the merchants, as well as the business itself.
  2. Remember that just like your customers, ratings are also fickle. What the rating of a product should be needs to be dynamic and factor in different parameters that can change the rating of a product at any time.
  3. Ensure that the ratings are not being manipulated and that they reflect the true sentiments of the consumers. (Say, when consumers — in a frenzy — start uninstalling and giving a product bad ratings on app stores because of reasons unrelated to the product, one needs to weed those out. For examples, consumers confusing Snapdeal with Snapchat started uninstalling and downvoting Snapdeal. From what I recall, Google was quick to weed those out the play store.)

Helping businesses grow 10x faster, and scale efficiently. Top Writer — Quora, Medium. Drop in a line if you’d like help with yours. mail@abyshake.com

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