How do you rate your customer’s behaviour?

We are all familiar with supplier ratings but a powerful new trend is emerging that focusses on driving better customer behaviour.

Marketing Week has published a fascinating case study on Uber and Airnb titled Creating the 5 star customer.

Petya Pavlova consumer analyst at the Future Foundation forecasts that public rating of customers by suppliers is an increasing trend. 

The interesting thing for me about this is the lag that exists in the public sector in relation to  current marketing thinking and practice. 

Having bought into the idea of customer satisfaction measurement about 25 years after the rest of the planet it seems they will continue to play catch up with cutting edge marketing ideas.

The dominant discourse in higher ed’ for example is that students are customers. The unintended side effect of using this metaphor is that some students think this gives them immunity for taking responsibility for their own learning. This in turn can generate hyper critical customer feedback because they feel they weren’t ‘taught’ adequately which in some cases amounts to personal attacks on the reputation and personality of tutors. There is no opportunity to feedback to students how their ‘in class’ attitudes and behaviours are perceived by academics. 

The notion of customer rating changes that.

Customer rating by suppliers is current and resonates with the very latest academic thinking about co-creation of value (Vargo and Lusch 2004 etc) Value Appropriation, the idea that value is not just created to produce customer value but for all stakeholders including the supplier (Corsaro 2014) and the absurdity of unfettered customer centricity (Gummesson 2008).

What this means is that measurement is a two way street. If you are a bad payer, abusive, petulant, unforgiving, nasty and vindictive then you will get a customer rating profile that reflects your poor behaviour. That said:

This isn’t just about keeping tabs on customers. It’s a hallmark of many industries that rely on mutual trust and respect. Saying to customers “we need you to behave well” is actually pretty similar to saying “we need you”.’ The article claims. 

What I find especially interesting is that we are entering a world where:

‘Just like banks have access to your credit score, we reckon brands will have access to your Personality Score’

I for one am certainly all for this.

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