Why we like personal reviews, not impersonal stars (Part 2)

Several months after we wrote Part 1 of this post, we feel pretty smug about the fact that even the New York Times agrees with our views. Their article ‘Why you can’t really trust negative online reviews’ confirms much of what we’d originally discussed. And because we know you’re a busy person with people to meet/things to do/a business to run, here’s a short summary of both our original blog, and the NYT article:

1) Strangers’ tastes and opinions are different to yours

recommendations
What would make you come here more; 5 stars from a stranger or a recommendation from a friend?

Someone else’s ‘great’ might be your mediocre. It’s much more helpful to get the opinion of someone who knows your tastes and standards. In addition, the proportion of the population that actually gives online feedback is small (1.5% or 15 out of 1000 people), which hardly makes these views representative. Reaching out to a trusted contact on Kalido is much more reliable.

2) Strangers may be unqualified to give an accurate assessment

ratings
“Best day of my life” 1/5

The NYT article uses the example of an online review for the Great Wall of China that reads: ‘Not a wall guy. Laaaaaaame.’ Do you really want to trust this guy’s opinion on one of the 7 Wonders of the World?

3) Reviews are much more accurate than stars

bad reviews
This is more useful than a 3/5 review.

When you reach out personally to someone you know, you can find out exactly what they had in mind. A 3 out of 5 is pretty ambiguous, and could mean vastly different things to different people. And it’s not unheard of for people to review things they haven’t even tried or used! So, that 3 out of 5 rating is about as helpful as a unicorn for getting you from A to B.

Kalido is built on the idea of trusted connections sharing genuinely useful information and resources. So, next time you want the lowdown about a new client, supplier, or contact – ask one of your Kalido contacts!