WOMO.com founder Fiona Adler – tapping her intuition as much as consumer insights from the word of mouth business reviews site – says it all comes down to our hearts.
“Consumers are more likely to shout from the rooftops when they have an emotional connection with a product or service,” asserts Adler.
That explains why vets who take care of our pets give out the highest ratings, besides perhaps squeezing out the best service. Or why cake services – something that drives the pleasure centres in the human brain – come second on WOMO.com’s rankings. In fact, most of the top 10 rated services cater to our “senses.” Here, take a look at them:
1. Vets & animal treatments
2. Cake services
5. Butchers & fish shops
6. Chocolate shop
7. Wedding florists
8. Civil celebrants
9. Wineries, wine bars & breweries
10. Lingerie & sleepwear
So, what drives us to hand out the brickbats?
The dubious list topper here is advertising and marketing, followed by real estate agents. Clearly, admen and marketers – not to mention real estate brokers – promise more than they deliver, besides liberally spreading the mistruths, half-truths and outright lies. Adler’s benchmark test explains this, too. Providers of these services, often, are also unable to match the “emotional connect” real consumers make with these services. The real estate agent who finds your home hardly is invested in it emotionally, certainly not as much as the buyer.
Hard-selling dudes don’t cut it
“Where it goes wrong within these industries is that many owners tend to think of their business as a series of one-off transactions. They push hard for the sale and forget that the customer’s experience matters,” said Adler.
But “no one likes the hard-sales approach.” Even if the business is offering a great deal, consumers become discouraged to the point of frustration and that’s when they turn online to voice negative opinions, she explained.
Here are the Worst 10 for consumer satisfaction:
1. Advertising & marketing services
2. Real-estate agents
3. Employment & recruitment agencies
4. Website developers & hosting
5. Bathroom renovators
6. Fencing & gates suppliers
7. New car dealers
9. House cleaners
WOMO.com’s lists are based on about 350,000 reviews on its site over the past six months. Established in 2007, Word Of Mouth Online claims to be Australia's No. 1 business review website, over 300,000 reviewers and one million hits a month. In 2010, WOMO.com.au won the My Business/ANZ Best Startup Award.