Finding Gold In Your 4-Star Ratings

by | May 15, 2024

When asked which star rating out of five is preferred, most business owners will instinctively respond with “All 5 stars of course!” However, realistic business owners know that most customers don’t have a 5-star experience on every visit. And owners who are always looking to improve their business need and want detailed and constructive feedback from their customers. Actionable feedback, both public and private, will help in understanding the nuances of your customers’ experiences and help the business grow and mature.

Difference Between Ratings and Reviews

The Difference Between Ratings and Reviews

For the highest chance of engagement, it’s best to solicit ratings from customers as close as possible to them visiting your business. Furthermore, you must make the rating process super simple to maximize the chance of them actually following through to leave a rating. Many businesses will enthusiastically send all of their customers directly to Google to leave a review, but what happens when that customer is unhappy? Do you really want to find out about a negative experience when the rest of the world does? Obviously not. You want failed experiences to be submitted and resolved privately. The difference between a rating and review is that a rating is for you to know about the experience while a review is for the public to know.

“If you’re extremely happy, tell everyone. If you’re not, tell me.”

The average customer today, especially the younger generation, will do anything to avoid face-to-face confrontation with staff. If they have a negative experience, they will either not return to the business, tell their friends and family, leave a scathing online review or the worst of all, a combination of the three. While it’s inevitable for a few poor reviews to populate your Google profile, minimizing public negative reviews should be a priority.

Minimizing Public Negative Reviews

Don’t fret over a couple outliers, as a few less-than-perfect online reviews can help vet your brand as being more legitimate to potential customers. This theory was proven by High Level Marketing, who found that 50% of consumers are MORE likely to trust a brand with a few imperfect scores.

So, what do different star ratings imply about that customer’s personal experience and how should you approach them with your response?

1–3-star ratings indicate that there are some inherent issues with your current procedures and/or overall customer experience that have become apparent to that specific customer. These are concerns that should be addressed promptly and seriously to mitigate future occurrences.

Let the customer know that you understand their issue and appreciate them bringing them to management’s attention. They should get the impression that you will do everything in your power to provide a 5-star experience on their next visit.

4-star ratings are the sweet spot of ratings. These are customers that enjoy patronizing the business and when asked about their experience are not quick to simply hand over a 5-star rating. They are the ones that stop and think about the ONE THING. What is the ONE THING that this business could do to improve? They will give you honest and actionable feedback about what THEY would like to see to make their experience 5-stars. If you cater to the 4-star rating customer, you will make CUSTOMERS FOR LIFE.

These are the customers with the MOST potential to become lifelong ambassadors of your brand by way of the customer service paradox. This states that a meaningful resolution after a negative experience yields a stronger loyalty than if they didn’t have that negative experience at all.

5-star ratings are great when it’s not an impulse decision to get through the rating request. A 5-star review with feedback from the customer letting you know why it was a great experience is great for building employee morale and recognizing great employees. If you can give customers a 5-star experience and have them tell you why, then you are ahead of the curve.

5-star Review with Feedback

While basking in the glow of a 5-star review is tempting, it’s essential to remember that perfection doesn’t leave much room for growth. Businesses thrive on constructive criticism and opportunities for improvement. Without the occasional 4-star and even 1-star experiences, stagnation can set it, hindering progress and innovation. It’s the occasional not-so-great ratings that often hold the most valuable insights. These reviews represent a delicate balance between satisfaction and actionable improvement.

Having tools like Real Time Feedback at your disposal is a no-brainer for managing your online reputation. Detailed insights driven by A.I. help management quickly determine the highest priority objectives and keep track of current trends in your customer experience. Our solution also has tools to make responding to, resolving, and organizing customer Feedback as easy as a couple of clicks.

Using tools like Onsite Insight™, Real Time Feedback helps business owners gauge customer experiences and find out about operational issues while customers are on site. Review Boost™ helps business owners generate hundreds of 5-star public online reviews WHILE helping quickly and privately identify failed experiences. Review Hub™ helps businesses manage and respond to all of their online reviews and see how their compare to their competition.

Aaron Thompson

Aaron Thompson is a standout graduate from Texas Tech University’s College of Media & Communication. He has won national awards for his creative writing, including attaining first place in the National Student Advertising Competition during his time as a student. After graduating, he began his career as a brand strategist for one of the largest ad agencies in West Texas, GriffinWink Advertising. Since then, he has moved on to Real Time Feedback, becoming the youngest director of marketing in the company’s history.

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