Do Better Than A 5-Star Customer Rating

by | Aug 2, 2019

Amazon. Uber. Trip Advisor.

Customers are expected to provide a rating for everything these days.

Although seeking customer feedback is the right thing to do, a 5-star rating often just means: ‘I got what I expected’.

The experience might have been pretty good, and the ratings might create some social proof, but that’s not enough to get customers raving about your business to anyone else.

So how do you turn a satisfied customer into a delighted one? One that will be your advocate and keep coming back?


1.      Be bold in asking for feedback


If you want real insight from customers about how well you’re doing, the same old ‘give us your feedback’ routine isn’t going to cut it. Receiving a 5-star rating or ‘Yes, I’d recommend you to a friend’ endorsement might give you a warm, fuzzy feeling but it isn’t going to give you enough insight to make big improvements.

And worse of all, this type of generic feedback could be hiding a major issue that the silent majority aren’t telling you about.

But when you ask bold questions, you get bold answers.

We’d ask these questions like, “What can we do to surprise you? What can we do – not to make this better – but to make you tell everyone about it?”


And that answer is different. If I say, “What can I do to make this better?” They’ll say something small.

Instead of just asking for feedback – and only getting insights that help you make small gains – ask bold questions. You may need to incentivise customers to respond, but the insights will make it well worthwhile.


2.      Treat customers with empathy


You can have all the promotions, features or freebies in the world, but if you don’t design an experience from the customer’s perspective, you’re putting your business at a huge disadvantage.

How many times have you dealt with a business and thought ‘why is this so painful?’

  • It’s the website where you can’t find what you’re find looking for…
  • It’s the wait time that makes you want to tear your hair out…
  • It’s the unnecessary form that you’re forced to fill in…
  • It’s the meeting you sit through as a client that feels like a total waste of your time…

Rather than thinking about what’s easy for you, put yourself in the shoes of your customer. Start thinking about what they want, need and expect, and build your processes to match.


3.      Reimagine the customer experience


AirBnB has a great way of finding opportunities to improve the customer experience. It involves completely reimagining what a great experience could be. Not just on a 1-star to 5-star scale but really stepping it up by thinking about what an 8, 9 or 10-star experience could be.

Take the simple example of a coffee cart:

  • 3-star experience: There’s a queue to order, it takes a bit too long to receive your coffee and the coffee just tastes average.
  • 5-star experience: They greet you by name, take your order straight away, the coffee tastes great and it’s ready quickly.
  • 6-star experience: They know your order ahead of time, the coffee tastes perfect and it’s ready as soon as you arrive.
  • 7-star experience: They deliver the coffee to you. And your work colleagues too.
  • 8-star experience: They bring everyone’s favourite morning snacks too.

You get the idea…

It might be completely impractical or too costly to actually do all of these things, but the exercise will get you thinking about what you could do for your customers, which you can scale back to what’s achievable.

The real magic starts to happen when you consider the bigger picture beyond your product or service: Why are your customers buying from you and how does what you’re offering fit into their life?

In AirBnB’s case, this meant thinking well beyond just providing accommodation, but helping people have truly amazing and unique experiences in the city they’re visiting – the origin story of AirBnB Experiences.


4.      Get the whole team onboard


How often have you had an otherwise great dealing with a business ruined by one poor staff member?

Great customer experience is driven from the top and needs to be deeply embedded in the values of your organisation if it’s going to stick. The whole team needs to buy-in.

It’s simply not enough to tell staff to ‘focus on customer service’. You need to show them the behaviours and foster the courage and freedom to make it really happen. If you give them permission to do things that make customers feel unique and special, and consistently recognise those behaviours, just watch the magic happen…

When has a business delivered you a customer experience like nothing you’ve had before? What made it so special?

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash
Quote from Masters of Scale


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Our services span growth advisory, fractional growth roles and strategic coaching using the globally renowned Scaling Up methodology as a certified practice.

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