As consumers, we live in an age where our opinions about products are important information to companies. This also applies to the way consumers evaluate a company and its services (products). The problem is that there are many ways for consumers to share their opinion of a company, but it can be difficult to know how to view a company’s ratings and understand what a number, letter grade, number of stars, or likes means. At some point, it’s easy to wonder whether these inputs matter.
However, recent research shows that while it can be difficult to get a 100% accurate assessment of a company’s value, a company’s ratings do matter. The onus is on consumers to be willing to put in the effort when trying to figure out how these ratings can help them make the best decision.
As a consumer, regardless of the rating system, it is important to understand the basic methods of breaking down information such as a company’s rating. For example, if the rating shows 5 stars out of 5, but only 3 reviews have been submitted, the rating may not be the most reliable. Maybe the rating system allows reviewers to give a « thumbs up » if they’re a fan. This looks fun and easy to use, but is there an easy way to give a « disagree »? Ratings are now less clear-cut due to the inability to attract all types of reviews.
Ratings are a very subjective thing, and as a responsible consumer, it’s important to remember this when reviewing a company’s ratings. Sometimes people may not use the best reasoning when evaluating a company. For example, when reading online ratings and reviews, a product/service receives 1 star out of 5, but when you read the actual reviews, you may find that the reviewer is generally dissatisfied with the product/service being reviewed, but not So it must be a specific product/service. Not only does this provide an inaccurate view of the company’s products/services, but the company’s overall ratings are now declining.
Consumers are quick to react when they don’t care about something, and they express their opinions. However, take a moment to read the reviews. If someone thinks a restaurant cooks a steak incorrectly and gives them a negative rating and review, does the review indicate whether the reviewer requested a new steak? If someone wants to return an item to a department store without a receipt but thinks they should get a full refund, does the review outline the company’s return policy and other options if they don’t have a receipt? In other words, is a company allowed to remedy undesirable situations before they become a blemish on its overall record?
In short, yes, a company’s ratings do matter. While sometimes you as a consumer have to sift through reviews to get the truth, a company’s ratings are usually a fairly reliable reflection of its performance. These numbers create a sense of trust and confidence in the company, and with so many review platforms available, consumers have the advantage of being able to find the products and services they need.