Wednesday 17 August 2022

Is 4 out of 5 a good score?

The simple answer? Yes, if you are selling clothing or white goods. Consumers will buy a shirt or a toaster that scores 4 out of 5.

But for services? Medical, financial,  legal and so on? No way. Let us explain. First some numbers: let's assume the business has 100 reviews - and that the reviewers have scored the business either 5* (happy) or 1* (unhappy) - a score of 5.0 self-evidently means 100 x 5* reviews. A score of 4.0 means 75 x 5* reviews and 25 x 1* reviews (75 x 5 = 375 + 25 x 1 = 25 = 400/100 = 4.0). A business with fully a quarter of its reviewers rating it 1* (given that a reviewer cannot rate a business 0 stars) will not look good by comparison with most of its competitors.

Take the firm of solicitors above. Scoring 4.0 means that no less than six of their 25 reviewers rate them at 1 star. The comments made in those 1* reviews will deflect business - they will prevent people from picking up the phone and/or clicking any further. And so will the score. Far from saying to themselves '4 out of 5, that's not bad', prospective clients or such a business will be faced with ninety-two out of a hundred such firms scoring 4.5 or better, the same goes for the  medical sector...

The odd one out, somewhat surprisingly, is the financial sector. We continue to see scores such as these...

What is the legal profession doing that the financial advisers are not?

Simply? Asking for reviews. If you don't ask for reviews you don't get them (that is, you don't get the ones you deserve - you will get the odd review from the most motivated of all reviewers: seriously unhappy customers).

Our advice

1.  Ask for reviews. But remember, by law you must enable all your customers to write a review. No cherry-picking (just about any business scan score 4.7 by only inviting happy customers to post reviews - but it's illegal). 

2.  Adopt a moderated system such as HelpHound. This will enable you to sleep at night without the fear of unfair or inaccurate reviews causing harm - and harming your score.

3.  Aim for as close as possible for a perfect 5.0 score. Few businesses achieve it over any length of time, but 4.7 - 4.9 is our benchmark for clients. Any lower and we take a long hard look together. 



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