If you’ve ever taken an Uber ride anywhere, or just happen to know about the company, you will know that you can rate the driver. You may also know that the driver is also able to rate the passenger.
Cracking idea as far as I’m concerned. I’ve been told all sorts of horror stories by taxi drivers and their horror customers. So it only seems fair that they should be able to rate customers to warn off other drivers from suffering from them too.
Now then, what about window installers and home owners?
Restoring some balance
As we should all be aware, home owners are very well protected these days. In fact, the last set of revisions to the consumers rights laws practically give a step by step guide to home owners on how to screw installers. I urge you to take a look, it leaves companies with virtually no protection whatsoever. You’ll love it.
But the Uber idea of rating passengers is perhaps something our industry, in fact all business, should be looking at. We’re all consumers at the end of the day, and we all deserve to be protected from rogue companies. But there are just as many rogue customers out there who are more than happy to abuse good companies trying to make a bit of money. Not forgetting too that the online review systems out there can make or break a company. It seems unfair to me that companies have no methods in which to fight back.
It’s very easy for a home owners to leave an unfair or simply untrue review online, there’s very little anyone can do about it. Companies can challenge the review, or reply to it either in private or in public, but it still doesn’t eradicate the review. And I don’t think that it’s going too far to say that there are plenty of professional non-payers and complainers.
So I would see something like the Uber tool as a way to try and restore some semblance of balance to the B2C relationship.
This is how Uber justifies their rating system:
The rating system works to make sure that the most respectful riders and drivers are using Uber. Ratings are always reported as averages, and neither riders nor drivers will see the individual rating left for a particular trip.
In other words, to put off the dregs that might consider using an Uber and then being an ass to the driver. If they think they’re going to be given bad ratings then they’ll either choose to behave or Uber drivers will turn them down, protecting the driver and the company. It also works the other way round too. Not a bad idea.
I don’t see why this cannot be applied to other industries, in this case the window and door sector. If we’re all supposed to be striving for a more transparent, trustworthy and equal world, then should it not be the case that window installers also be able to rate their own customers as well.
After all, if there is a rogue customer doing the rounds, scoping out showrooms and installers, and installers don’t like their attitude, they’re already being unreasonable or being plain old rude, then why shouldn’t the installer be able to fire the warning signals? If other installers get wind of a dodgy character in the market for new windows and doors, they will be able to choose whether to deal with that person or not.
Of course, not a single piece of the technological infrastructure for such an online review system exists. And there is no Uber of the window and door industry. There are plenty of directories out there. So I would guess that the easiest thing would be for already established online review systems, such as the ones on Google, Facebook, TripAdvisor and so on to integrate a customer review system in tandem with their business review system.
The chances of this getting done? Right now pretty much zero. The tech world has a big trust problem right now, what with Facebook and their own data mishaps. To introduce a system to rate home owners and customers would risk a backlash from the public, and it’s pretty popular right now to bash business and turn the word “profit” dirty. So I’m not going to hold my breath.
But, it would be nice to see systems like Uber’s put in place to help level the playing field out just a little bit. Your thoughts on this are of course welcome via the comments section below. My guess is there are plenty of window and door installers out there who would like to review some of their own home owners!
To get weekly updates from DGB sent to your inbox, enter your email address in the space below to subscribe: