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Customer Feedback, Ratings and Reviews

Here in India, we citizens as consumers don’t quite take customer feedback as seriously yet, as they do in some other countries.

In my first job for a short stint at a BPO in Bangalore, I was puzzled to find out that random surveys went out to retail customers of our Hewlett Packard products in the US. I almost laughed imagining the wasteful exercise it was. Until I learnt how people in the US take the effort to give feedback, whether good or bad.

And in one month, I had taken a record number of calls, and so obviously, a disproportionately high number of surveys went out to the people I had attended to. When on average, about 8 surveys went out for each employee every month, I had 19 that had come back in that month. My boss, the coolest boss I’ve ever worked with, was so thrilled, he sent my review email to the leads of all the other teams out there.

But coming back to us as retail customers in India, we still aren’t exactly kicked about rating and reviewing products or service experiences.

And it shows, from dodging survey forms with sheepish grins, to hilarious ratings and reviews on Amazon, where products sometimes bear the misplaced brunt of a bad delivery experience. Those are a great laugh, by the way.

Or how we might be nudged to up a 3/5 score to a 5 when the service personnel explicitly (and sometimes shamelessly) asks us to “please give a 5-star rating!”
Or how a few average restaurants on our food ordering apps have a 4 – 4.5 out of 5 rating. Or how drivers on ride apps have 4.7+/5, even though a few should not be allowed anywhere near a car.
We seem most inclined to rate and review only when we have had a horrible or a delightful experience (in that order of likelihood).

Which is why it was refreshing to see this clip below, in which I can only assume what she says about Japan is how things actually are there.

So if we consider our individual inclination and ability to rate and review, and the quality of our individual expectations, and then zoom out to the population as a whole, the quality of our development seems heavily dependent on what our individual standards and expectations of products and services are. Be it as retail consumers, or as citizens.

Would be 5/5 if we Indians became a bit more specific and intentional with how we rate and review products and services.

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