Can dealing with negative customer interactions actually help your business?
In response to a recent question from another Community member about why Thumbtack doesn't allow us to rate customers, like other platforms such as Uber:
I am a fellow Pro and have had moments of frustration with this myself, thinking rating customers would be beneficial as well. I have since changed my perspective on the subject, let me explain why...
- their need(s) met
- to deal with a service that cares about their satisfaction
Customers determine this by...
- evaluating reviews
- looking for referrals
- evaluating how the business deals with other customers
- evaluating the product/service
The Uber example is a great one because passenger ratings provide a level of assurance to both the driver and the passenger. These ratings are particularly valuable because the average Uber passenger takes 5.7 trips per month and most customers remain active for years, meaning there are tens (even hundreds) of interactions to rate.
This is not as cut and dry with Thumbtack as the overwhelming majority of customers will not return to the platform for a similar/repeat service (ex: if a Pro provides service that lends itself to repeat bookings - like a therapist, personal trainer, etc - the client will not return to the platform for subsequent bookings). So, the ability to produce the type of volume in ratings that makes the Uber system so valuable is not as easy on Thumbtack.
The platform has evolved over time and it is clear that the focus is on making the customer experience as seamless and user-friendly as possible. The tradeoff is that the process may not weed out as many undesirable interactions as it could otherwise, but it should provide us Pros far more opportunities to put our services in front of new/potential customers. Ultimately, I believe this is a good thing for our businesses and it honestly took me quite some time to appreciate this perspective.
As an example, many businesses on Yelp have expressed the same concerns, but I find Thumbtack far more advantageous for bringing in quality leads for my business. I think all systems have their pros and cons, so hopefully such undesirable interactions are a rarity and not the norm on the platform.
It should also be noted that it is universally believed that ratings of 4.8 and 4.9 (for instance) serve to provide far more confidence in potential customers than a perfect 5-star rating. When customers "evaluate" ratings, they are not just looking at glowing feedback, but also looking at negative feedback and how the business addresses it. If you are anything like me, I tend to read negative reviews first when considering a product or service - the feasibility of the information provided in that review and the way the business responds tells me how confident I can be in my overall satisfaction. So as long as you continue to provide quality service and professionally address situations like this particular client you experienced - potential customers will know you are a real person who cares about delivering quality service - that will instill trust and they will be forgiving of a few undesirable reviews.
Hope this helps and here if I can provide any further support.