As customers, we're used to being asked to rate the companies we buy from.
But now, companies are beginning to rate the customers they sell to. Sure, lots of CRM-savvy companies have rated customers for loyalty-tracking, but they kept that information to themselves. What's different now is that companies like Uber, Airbnb, OpenTable are rating customers, and sharing those ratings with other service providers. And the service providers then use ratings to decide if they want to sell to those customers, or NOT.
According to a December 1 article in the New York Times, "The rating systems are allowing businesses to formalize a longstanding practice: focusing on their best customers.
"The worst customers “demand too much, complain too much and cost too much,” said Christopher Muller, professor of hospitality management at Boston University.
"Beyond that, he said, bad clients make employees unhappy. Companies, he said, do better by spending time on their best and most profitable patrons. “It sounds draconian, but not all customers are created equal,” he said."
In the past, if a restaurant received too many (legitimate) negative reviews about its menu, it would likely respond by making changes to the menu to delight more customers. Similarly, if a customer finds that he or she is being denied service, because they've been rude to other service providers, the customer is more likely clean up his act, and become a better customer. The result of these 2-way reviews is a greater population of good customers.
Here's where this can be a good thing for everyone:
- If bad customers cost a company too much, then fewer bad customers can mean lower costs.
- If bad clients make employees unhappy, then fewer bad clients mean happier employees.
- Happier employees tend to be more engaged at work and invest more discretionary effort into delivering a better customer experience.
- A better customer experience is always good for the customer, right?
- A better cusutomer experience means fewer unhappy customers.
So there we have it - while the 2-way review may seem unconventional, in the end it can create a virtuous cycle that improves the service environment for everyone!
What other benefits do you see, from 2-way reviews?