The other day I went to make a reservation at one of my favorite chain-restaurants. It was a Saturday and there are times that the restaurant can be crowded. Since I did not know the number to the place off-hand, I went to look it up on my phone. After typing in the name and location, the phone number popped-up along with the restaurant's Yelp score. I paused for a second in surprise. The restaurant's score was 1.5 stars.
After looking next to the score, I realized that it had only been reviewed 3 times, with 2 of the reviews being rated 1 star. While I am not sure if the Yelp score deterred people from going to the restaurant, it does bring up a point. Do patrons take the time to review things when they have a positive experience or do we expect this already, so why bother? While I can't quote statistics backing this up, I can personally count more times when I have seen or heard of a negative customer service experience dictating someone writing a review over a positive one. It's the "I'm going to write a letter" approach because the customer was unhappy or unsatisfied with their experience. In today's terms, it tends to be channeled in the form of a tweet or Facebook message, but I am sure all forms are still utilized.
So why is this? The customer's expectation plays a key role. Some see great customer service as something that should be expected. While it should be (to an extent), since the customer is already expecting this, they might overlook it when it actually happens. Their bar is set to a certain level (factors like location and cost of the service dictates usually where the bar is set). So, if the customer's expectations are met, then the experience is typically not recognized. The customer sees the company or person as doing their job. Unless something sticks out (good or bad), there is no guarantee it will even be remembered.
How can this be changed? For starters, remembering to do things, like the customer service survey. I am guilty of forgetting this most of the time. I find if I don't take the survey that same day, it won't usually happen. This is unless my experience is out-of-the-ordinary, so much so that it disrupts my day (or sticks in my mind) in either a positive or negative way. Since the great customer experience is already to be expected, the negative experience usually wins out and therefore incidents like what happened to the restaurant I mentioned occur more frequently.
By occasionally taking surveys, even if the experience was normal or up-to-par (but positive), it gives a more accurate representation of the business. In a world where poor customer service experiences are recorded in some form (and usually go viral) it is important to acknowledge when a person or company did their job to the best of their ability. I find that if I set my bar too high in certain situations, the chances of becoming disappointed increases. While I expect people to do their job, I do realize that things happen. However, I will admit I forget to acknowledge when things go right or when I have a overall positive. I will work on this. Also, until more customers give feedback for all their experiences, it is important to not take every review seriously. Sometimes, a person has to experience the place first-hand in order to fully decide on a review or score's validity.