What Does 5-star Really Mean?

June 2, 2011 By Brinda Lee

Ask a business with 5-star reviews what makes them a 5-star company and they may give you any list of answers: clean waiting area, good customer service, warrantied work. The reality is that some companies have all of these things going for them and still don’t achieve that coveted 5-star review.customer review ratings

There is no hard rule to explain the difference between a 4-star and a 5-star rating. What may be 5 stars to one person is 4 stars to another. Furthermore, some customers don’t like handing out 5 stars no matter how good the service was. You’d be surprised how many reviewers would love to give a 4.5 rating.

But in general, when reviewers do reach into their back pocket and pull out that 5th star, what has the company done to deserve it or what does it mean? Here are four things we’ve learned from reviewers:

1)   “They went the extra mile”: Not only did the company do everything they said they were going to do but they included a little something extra. This icing on the cake may have been fixing something at no extra charge, showing the customer how to use the new product, or explaining the charges on the bill. The company that pays extra attention and takes extra good care of its customers leaves a lasting impression.

2)    “They cleaned up afterwards”: There’s nothing worse than a perfect service call that ends in a clean-up job for the customer. Nobody wants to spend an hour cleaning their house after the serviceman leaves. The companies that do it right are the ones that don’t leave behind unwanted “evidence” that they were there.

3)   “The workers were polite and respectful”: Please and thank-you go a long way with customers. So do calling to let the customer know if you’re running late, wearing booties over your shoes in the house, and asking if there is anything else the customer needs help with that day.

4)   “They followed up”: A company that picks up the phone or sends an email to inform their customer about the status of the work, or checks in after the job to make sure everything is working properly, is a company that shines above the others. The follow-up call could even include an invitation to write a review.

Can we guarantee that you’ll get a 5-star review if you do all of these things? No.  But we wouldn’t be surprised if you did.

ROI report image for blog


2 Responses to “What Does 5-star Really Mean?”

  1. Ryan

    I thought it was interesting to note that there is NO mention of price in this article, and I think that is probably right. A business can be rated outstanding, 5-star quality, without cutting their prices. If they do these other things!

  2. Alyson Brown

    Good point, Ryan! Price can be but is often not a factor in what earns a business 5 stars. Great service, going the extra mile, and taking the time to make sure your customers are 100% satisfied are much more important. Customers want to “get what they pay for” and will pay top dollar for quality service.

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