(Australian Associated Press)
Aussie businesses are starting to receive instant brickbats and bouquets from customers at the checkout.
A new high-tech ratings system developed in Britain is being rolled out in Australia to help improve the quality of customer feedback that businesses receive.
truRating, which launched on Tuesday, is being added to EFTPOS devices to feed genuine customer reviews to businesses within seconds.
Prior to making an EFTPOS payment, a question for the customer about the business flashes up on the terminal.
The customer keys in a rating from 0-9, with questions drawn from a pool of five core aspects including product, service and value.
truRating’s chief executive and founder Georgina Nelson says she came up with the idea after realising there were “inherent problems in the review space” while working as a lawyer for Britain’s consumer watchdog.
“I began thinking … how can we make it simple, fast and anonymous so that everybody would review and it would be far more representative,” she told reporters.
She said she had seen businesses “brought to their knees” by bad reviews posted on websites that could have easily been written by disgruntled employees or competitors rather than legitimate customers.
“That’s when I came up with the idea of putting the technology on a payment terminal,” she said.
Ms Nelson said she wanted to create a trustworthy recommendations system after learning that 99 per cent of reviews posted online are from one per cent of customers.
Once the customer answers a question, truRating feeds their rating and information about the transaction to its two websites.
The first website provides the merchant with graphs of trends and competitor comparisons, while the second website provides consumers with real-time reviews entered by anonymous customers.
Ms Nelson said the data gathered can help businesses to gain instant performance feedback such as when particular staff are causing peaks in positive service ratings, or when a hike in menu prices results in low value ratings.
“There is no one doing anything like this in the world. We are on a big, progressive trajectory,” she said.
Head of truRating in Asia Pacific, Sophie Jillings, said the system has just wrapped up a six-month trial in Australian stores including Roll’d Vietnamese street food, the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, and Toni & Guy hairdressers.
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has also come on board as a foundation partner.
Paul Greenberg, executive chairman of the National Online Retailers Association, said truRating will transform the way merchants engage with customers.