Karen L. Kehler, MA,  MSHA - Private- Professional- Affordable Counseling Services
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Kehler Counseling Blog

How Many Stars Would You Get?

I recently read an article in Time Magazine by Joel Stein about the seemingly sudden increase in the use of a 'sharing economy'.   In rural areas you may not have witnessed it as it is exploding in urban areas where those under 35 are taking full advantage of it.   If you have bought anything on Amazon, EBay, and now almost any website for shopping - you will get asked to 'review' your purchase, experience, book, service, food or location.   If you haven't submitted one, you may have used them to determine what to purchase, where to go, what or who to avoid and what questions to ask when you do buy, visit or use a service.  They can be very educational.    
There are several reasons why this 'Sharing Economy' works.  The first is that it works from both sides.  I'll use the example of UBER - (from an account of a user) - you use the phone app to 'call' a driver.  You quickly see their rate and rating.  You pay by credit/debit/paypal account - so the driver doesn't have to deal with 'begging' for money - they are paid via a paypal account.  They also work for tips but the real 'driver' is the rating - using stars -that the passenger/customer gives them.   If they were friendly, safe, helpful, responsible, reliable, courteous, informative - it all builds their potential to get a 4+ star rating.  Higher stars mean more customers will use you again and pay accordingly.    
But we're not done - the drivers can also rate the passenger!   They can rate them by their attitude, odor, leaving litter, being difficult, not being present at call, or anything that would make a driver's day difficult.  Drivers quickly learned that if you pick up the passengers with less than 4 stars - you could be dealing with drunks, belligerence, drug dealing, and getting ripped off.   What a quick way to RAISE the BAR of good behavior!   Suddenly customers also have to 'behave' or they won't get the service they expect and demand.  Suddenly - it isn't 'the customer is always right'.   It expects that BOTH parties will be respectful, cooperative, and responsible.  If you go the extra mile - you get rewarded directly - by building a great reputation that builds your bank account or cooperative service.   
What Joel Stein discovered was that we trust PEOPLE more than Corporations.  We trust reviews submitted, we more often submit either the 'really good' or the 'really bad' and for both- improvements and innovations are either maintained or those needed are addressed - often VERY quickly because too often corporations - don't realize what the 'front line' is experiencing- observing or tolerating.   This way the 'bad' can be communicated quickly and corrected quickly.    Everyone could benefit from both the positive feedback of 'good' reviews and 4/5 stars and if you received less than that - you can thank the brave person for revealing what many might not have the courage to reveal - yet too many might be avoiding your product, service, restaurant, or location because of it.   
So back to the original question . . . IF we gave you a rating/review - what do you think you deserve?  If its not over 3 stars - what do you need to work on?    When you experience a product, service, location, restaurant, venue - what do you notice?   First impressions do count. 
I'm starting a review/ratings process through Yodle - it should be interesting.  Of course I want to hear all the 'great' and 'positive' stuff but one 'bad' might be what I need to become 'the best' or the 'most referred'.  
We could all use a 'review' - you may get them if you're working in a corporation or attending school and benefit from them if you allow the negative feedback to improve your quality and employment experience.  We all have that 'review' that stuck with us for decades - yet forced us to be better.   So share your own reviews today - its an interesting way to get us to all raise our bar of quality of life and that translates to wellness!   

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